Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Home Schooling - Modified Tit For Tat - A Winning Strategy In Dealing With Aggression


Song:  Bring Me To Life

Group:  Evanescence


The reason behind this article is to reinforce what should be
common sense to all...
yet, throughout my life...
I had found to not necessarily be so in so many
(sounds arrogant doesn't it?...  :)


If what I say here is not agreeable to you...
then what follows will not flow logically.

There is a Right...
There is a Wrong.

There exists Good...
There exists Evil.

Just because we may not know where each lies in a situation...
does not mean they do not exist
(It had to be said as so many attempt a retort with the mindless cliche of
"The world is not black and white...but a shade of grey").


Assertion is Good.
Aggression is Evil.

Everyone has the right to self preservation...
to self protection...
so long as they are in the right
(if the virgin action was borne of Assertion...
not that of Aggression).



As with everything in life...
there is a framework of knowledge from which to base
further knowledge.

There also exists...
 many common fallacies of logic...
a nebulous moral relativistic outlook (where there is no wrong)
and the incorrectly simplistic common manifestation of it -
"What applies to one...must apply to all...equally".

Now...
just follow me on this - 

The guilty (Aggressors) do not have 
the same rights as the innocent (Victims or Asserters).

We only apply equal protection under law because the guilt or innocence
is yet to be determined with suspects
(and rightly so).



Moral Relativism: 

Where there is no absolute right or wrong - 
just the agreed upon right or wrong 
by personal or societal floating standards...
a Subjective (non) standard...
there are no absolutes...
no musts or shoulds...
where anything goes
(Anarchy).


For those who need further convincing - 

Following such a line of thought...

There could be no long term team work...
the rewards are not assured.

Not with individuals...
not in companies...
not in nations.

There would be no progress.


All Violence is Wrong!

Clearly not.

If that were so...
Evil would win by default.

The Aggressor would merely have to up the ante
until...knowing you could not resort to violence...
 winning by default.

They could take property or lives at will.

The Asserter must sometimes resort to violence to
protect himself, and the innocent, from harm.


War is Evil!

No...
it is the Evil person(s) who sometimes makes War necessary.

Whether we talk of persons or nations...
most often there is an Aggressor...
and an Asserter.

It becomes a battle of Good against Evil.


So why make you read this obvious line of thought?

Because what follows...
many will balk at.

Many will agree with the above rationale...
and yet...
reject the methods of achieving the results
of the above rationale.

Many have been raised by the social mantra of
never using force...
never retaliating...
as if it were, somehow, evil.

Even if it (retaliation) were to just achieve Justice....
it would still be right.

But it is far more than that...
it is to assure future corrective behavior
of the Aggressor.

This precludes the notion that EVERY
little wrong must retaliated.

Actually...
what I shall present is just the opposite...
by design.



This also precludes the necessity of using this notion
from Parent to Child.

There is a unique dynamic reserved for Parent to Child.
It is a sacred bond to which this does not apply.

This is for the teaching of your child in how to deal
in an effective manner with aggressors in his life.


I am now reading an extremely interesting book - 

Titled:  Magic Universe - A Grand Tour Of Modern Science
Authored by Nigel Calder
Oxford University Press  
Year of publication 2003

It is an A to Z of some of the areas of great intrigue in modern science.

Some of the areas and topics covered include...

Altruism and Aggression
Biological Clocks (molecular level)
Brain Rhythms
Extinctions
Forces
Genes
Grammar
Human Origins
Immortality
Matter
Memory
Primate Behavior
Prions
Relativity
Speech
Stem Cells
Tree of Life
Universe

These were just some of the topics and disciplines of science covered
and all done in layman terms and presented with rational
examples and explanations.

This is actually a perfect book for advanced Junior High Students...
and certainly High School Students.

In the Altruism and Aggression section...
I had come across a sub section in which a commonly 
used tactic for which group cohesiveness often relies...
the Tit For Tat mode of operation.

I, in no way, support a strict Tit For Tat mode...
and neither does the book express nor imply it.

What it goes on to cite were actual observations of various behaviorists...
of animals and of humans
and of the studies and experiments they had constructed to, at first...
find out the most successful strategies and to then verify...
time and again...under various circumstances 
and real life conditions.

Now...
you don't need studies to what to most is...
common sense.

If what I observe, over time, in life seems to be true...
when I read of it and it coincides with real life experience...
and it is supported with correct reasoning...
it greatly strengthens my belief in my general rule.
It becomes a standard of belief until shown to be incorrect...
or in need of modification.

I wish for you to read and reflect over your lifetime and 
see if in fact you have seen similar scenarios played out...
time and again.

What they had seen...time and again...
was the use of the modified Tit For Tat.

First of all...
just to clarify...
Tit For Tat is basically an Eye for an Eye.

An injustice occurs...
you retaliate...
just once and in the same amount of damage...
no more.

At the conclusion of the retaliation...
normal relations resume.

The weakness of the, what they had referred to as the 
"Pristine Tit For Tat"
(unmodified)
is that the retaliation is blind...
merely reacting to results of actions
with no room for lack of intent or mistakes.

This is what keeps feuds going indefinitely.

The Arabs of old had what they called...
Blood Money.

It was the institution of a monetary loss for the guilty party
to the innocent party in lieu of a never ending feud.

Of course...
what we have are the Civil Courts.

In a modified Tit For Tat...
the book cites that there are two basic modifiers
of the strategy that have proven to be effective.

One is called the Generous Tit For Tat.

It merely involves only retaliating to a certain percentage
of offenses.

This is too arbitrary.

The one which the makes the most sense is called...

Contrite Tit For Tat.


It has the innocent party absorb the mistake
(in life it would be accepting an apology...
along with any damage caused to be reimbursed
without retaliation).

BUT...
it does call for retaliation against a true aggressor.

Study and analysis of...
 Wars among nations...
International Trade Rules...
Negotiations among nations...
Military History...
throughout history...
 has shown to confirm that the best
way to deal with aggression...
to prevent future attacks by the original aggressor...
and to prevent future attacks by others observing the outcome...
is in the proper and prompt handling of the initial challenges
(Assertion).

For most men...
it is intuitive.

The testing and attempted aggression of the playground...
is no different later on in life.

Human nature is human nature.

The games go on...
the players move on to easier targets
when met with Assertion.


A modified Tit For Tat in a child's life commonly
involves an unjustified action
(which must first be analyzed for intent)
being met with one of the same in return.

A child gets unjustifiably yelled at by a play mate...
he yells back...once.
They often resume playing as if nothing had happened.

So long as the response is proper in initiation
(against an unjustified action...not a mistake)
and in proper relation to the offense
(a one time yell back)
it was an act of Assertion...
and so...
correct.

A child is unjustifiably pushed by a playmate...
he responds by pushing back...once...
correct.

Now...
would he have punched the playmate in response...
it would have been an improper response in relation to the offense.


If a child is left with no viable response in return...
such as one where he must tell someone of authority
or he must tell them to stop after he had already been pushed down...
he would be a toothless and clawless tiger...
one that can only growl...
but could never respond.

He would be left defenseless and a target...
and extremely frustrated at having been put into
a no win situation by those who he looks to 
to guide him effectively in life.

He would have to take it until he could not anymore...
and the resulting response would be so disproportionate
to the latest offense that he would then be targeted by everyone
as an imbalanced Aggressor...
someone dangerous to the group.


It simply is not enough to try to marginalize
an event, claiming that it is nothing...
 if the same small events never stop...
or come so arbitrarily that it becomes torture.

Even a rabbit will bite when poked and prodded repeatedly.

If a child is not given a true and viable retaliatory 
tool to respond to aggression with...
he will eventually either explode
(over respond)
or self destruct
(withdraw from life).

When Alex feels he has been treated unfairly by me...
he responds pretty much right away.

He first tries to verbalize it...
I usually listen so long as it makes sense.

He has actually been right at times.
I apologize to him, correct my action, give him a big hug...
and with my guilt running on high...
I will buy him something or take him out to eat his favorite meal.

Once when he was a kindergartener...
while lining up for class...
a child simply cut in front of him.

Alex immediately cut back in front of him.

Appropriate response.


Once, when I had to yell at Alex to get him to listen to me...
he kicked me!  :)
(just lightly on my right shin...still inappropriate response).

Although I said to him that he is not to do that...
I could only say it in a lighthearted manner...
not only because I had understood his frustration...
and he immediately apologized, but because...

I was so very proud of him!

He was developing Assertion.

Although he was incorrect...
 in both, the initiation of and relative response...
he did have an inner fire...
courage to stand against perceived injustice
regardless of any resulting penalty
(there was none).

He is developing into a man!


The Tit for Tat...
is actually a fully natural response...
one that naturally develops in children.

It is often squelched by societal decree
(unjustifiably in my mind)
and by well meaning parents.

In my mind...
it is not the fire of justice that drives a child 
to correct injustice that needs to be quenched...
but the correct initiation of and proper relative response
that needs to be taught to ensure that only the truly guilty
gets responded to and to the appropriate degree.

A boy who is taught that all violence is wrong...
is one who grows up to be a pacifistic male...
one who is not prepared to visit violence
upon the violent...
one who will not protect himself or other innocent people
against violence...especially if he has the excuse of Pacifism
to hide behind.

A boy taught that all conflict is wrong...
is one who will not only not do anything...
he will then not even say anything.
He will end up playing monkey
(see no evil...hear no evil...).

Such a boy growing up...
will always be a male...
but never a man.








2 comments:

  1. My son, all too often, expresses his frustration with inappropriate physical aggression. As such, until he is able to exercise better judgement or self-control, we have to discourage all violence on his part. Hopefully one day, we will be able to teach him appropriate responses.

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  2. I hear you...and in your case....it is fully understandable. He is taking a martial art. They teach assertion...while curtailing aggression. Things will work themselves out in time. From what I have read...kai is good natured...he just gets frustrated. Once he learns coping skills...his inner fires will be diverted from inappropriate actions to appropriate ones...with a lot of drive.

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