Did I Just Make My Son A Bully?
I made a decision. "You are not allowed to play with A, even if it's his house," I told Happyboy. "Stay away from him, and I will stay at the pool with you. If you are attacked, and I don't see it, attack back--YOU WILL GET CALLED OUT OF THE POOL. I am your mother, not theirs, and I will talk to their mothers, but I can't guarantee they will do anything. So if you have to hit back, because it's the only way they are going to leave you alone, then hit back and know that you will be called out of the pool, but that you're not going to be in trouble if you're defending yourself. That is not," I qualified, "blanket permission to hit someone. It's only if for some reason I'm not there and you get hurt by someone." I have never, not ever, encouraged him to hit someone, encouraged him to be violent in any way. It's just not the way I want to raise him, and I have seen enough kids bullying him that I don't want him to become that, ever. But I felt like I had run out of options, in that moment. I then spent some time with him at the pool (I had not brought my bathing suit as I had thought it was a kiddie pool.) Since A was now avoiding me, he didn't return to the pool, but B did. Imagine my surprise when, without the influence of A, he and Happyboy hit it off and played nicely for the rest of the time, so that Happyboy came home saying "I had so much fun!"
I suck, sometimes, at knowing what to do in these situations. I could have left, but it was a graduation party and we were waiting for the party girl. I could have told him he's not allowed to hit anyone. And I could have, probably should have, told both the other parents involved....but again, I really didn't believe that it would do any good, and we have to see these same kids at every family function. I also was raised with three boys, so we rough-housed and fought and learned to hold our own, so I don't know if I should be teaching Happyboy that. So I gave him the best tool I could, and I stayed by his side (I am sure there was some derision at this, as the 'let the kids be kids' theory runs rampant. I am all for kids being kids when they are being creative, playing nicely, having fun.) Last night I thought of all those other things I could have done, and I felt like I had blown it. So moms...have you overcome an awkward family moment like this? Have you felt like you nailed it, or failed it?
www.suckathomemom.blogspot.com I'm a 40 something year old with two tweens and a new baby. This is my effort to keep my sanity after leaving the workforce, taking up breastfeeding, and managing the kids. I'm mostly failing at it.