My little guy is still learning how to play with other children and how to interact with them on the same level, so it comes as no surprise that some children feel a bit awkward around him when he gets excited or mimics them. However, that’s not an excuse to let your child bully mine.
This is the third time I’ve dealt with this extremely rude behavior while watching the parent just stand there until they get annoyed AT ME and take their child away (or I take mine away). It’s really rude. I’ve all at once cried about it, got really angry and am to the point now of being fed up. This never happens to my husband when he’s out, but to his credit – he does have a very intimidating personality. So we’ve come to believe that it’s just because I’m too nice and I care too much about not being rude to the other child. I don’t want to have to be mean just to keep my child safe, because my sternness isn’t stern enough. It’s not my job, it’s your job. So to all the parents in this town, do me a favor, when they start being little bullies – tell them NO.
The first time this happened we were at a toddler park and my son was copying everything the little kids were saying and clapping for them when they went down the slide. So they were making him say mean things that were directed at himself, to himself and I was trying to get him away – smiling as he kept telling himself no, even though it made me sad. And instead of the parent telling the child that’s not very nice, they got indignant with me and pulled their children out of the park. My son stood there, uncomprehending, watching them go.
The second time happened at the park where we frequent. My son has learned to ‘wait his turn’ when there are other kids in a line. So he was ‘waiting his turn’ when a little boy realized that he would wait forever. He would sit there and suck his thumb and wait for the slide until the boy went down so he would take as much time as he possibly could and whenever he decided to go up the stairs to the slide, the boy would push him out of the way and do it again. The parent was standing – right there – and even though I asked the child nicely to go down the slide and nicely to take turns because my son was waiting. He smirked at me and continued to think it was okay. The parent didn’t seem to mind either so we left the park.
Now today I go to the Library and my son finds a little boy to play with. They are so happy running around and you have no idea how happy it makes me seeing my son play with other children. And then once the child picks up that he will copy anything he does, he starts to take advantage of it. When once they are in a line and playing in the book aisles, it soon turns into the child pushing him forcibly until he runs down the book aisles. I said no once, said no twice and the parent (to her credit) said no while never getting up from the corner where she was reading her book. So the child smirked at me and did it again, this time Judah fell down, and I finally got on to the child (in the stern voice my husband says is not so stern). My son tried to hide behind a Judy Bloome book and then when he tried to disappear around the corner the boy got away from me and followed him over there trying to get him to flap around. I took my sons hand and led him out of the Library. The parent was watching the whole time and I really felt like giving her a piece of my mind, but instead smirked and left.
I don’t want to have to always make my child leave somewhere because I either a) am not stern/mean/rude enough or b) because you feel entitled to let your child push other kids around. I don’t want to have to explain to my son why he can’t play with the kids at the park because you don’t like how he’s playing or you don’t care if your child is taking advantage of him. I can’t help but believe this is the beginning of early bullying. That letting your child pick on another child at this age without explaining how it isn’t respectful or kind will just make them grow up to be these kids that think it’s okay to push around and beat on others.
It’s not okay – at any age. It is not okay.
So to the parents in this town, tell your child, NO. Tell them no when they mock him or laugh at him. Tell them NO when they are ignorant to an adult who is kindly saying not to do something. Tell them NO when they push him and watch him pick himself up off the floor.
Your child isn’t entitled to be mean just because my son doesn’t understand that is what they’re doing. Because *I* understand. And the next time a child is being mean to my son – I won’t be the one leaving.
Also thanks to big brother, who is 6ft tall at 14, and stands beside his little brother. <3