Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mean Mommy Quandary: What to do When Another Kid is Mean to Yours

A Mean Mommy quandary: What do you do when another child is being mean to your child? I think that it should depend on the age of your child. My kiddo is 6 and is capable of standing up for herself, but a few years ago it was quite a different story.

We were at the park with some other moms and kids, and a girl who was slightly older than my kiddo tried to get her to eat a spoonful of dirt. The kiddo knew that didn't sound right, but she was about to give in to peer pressure and take the dirt. I intervened and told the other girl to stop what she was doing. All was well for a few seconds, then the other girl scooped up a spoonful of dirt and flung it into the air, and it landed on my (hot, sweaty, sticky) leg. Yuck. The girl's mom was around, but she was either busy (since she had organized the gathering in the park) or she was pretending not to notice. No help there. So I  said "that's enough!", grabbed the plastic spoon, broke it in half for good measure, and threw it into the trash can.

The girl and her mom didn't like me much after that. But what was I supposed to do--put up with the kid's crap (and the mom's lack of discipline) and not ruffle any feathers so we could remain Facebook "friends"?

No matter what the age, there will always be kids who are mean to our kids. Our kids might even be the mean ones, much as we don't want to admit that. However, when they reach a certain age (4, maybe? 5?) and they are more confident in asserting themselves, we have to take a less active role in defending them. This is the point I'm at now. A child who regularly interacts with my kiddo is frequently mean to her. The kiddo has been very good about speaking up and saying "Stop it!" and "I don't like that!"--she has been coached and praised for responding that way. However, it isn't working and the mistreatment continues. I like the parents, and they are trying everything they can think of  to change their child's behavior (and that's not the only reason I like them!), so I don't want to tick them off.  If this situation continues (and it doesn't show signs of stopping), it will get to the point where I have to step up and reprimand the child, or my kiddo will haul off and slug the bully. The child in question can be very friendly and responds fairly well to being corrected, so I make a point to be friendly so that when (not if) I have to speak up, it won't be perceived as picking on the other kid. Other than that, I don't think there is much I can do other than continue to talk to my kiddo about how to stand up for herself--without boxing gloves.

No comments:

Post a Comment