The one where I’m teaching my son to stick up for himself…

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This last few weeks has been hectic. I’ve done some extra hours in work whilst they were available, and I’ve celebrated my 32nd birthday…..quietly.

This topic may be controversial. But I’m in no way saying what I am doing is right and what you are doing Is wrong. It’s what’s working for us.

Ive realised since my baby turned 2 that he’s now in a different world. He likes to do what the big kids do. Copy the big kids, and play with them. Big kids are more boysterous. They charge everywhere, jump and climb. Daniel is doing exactly that.

On Mothers Day he was pushed off a climbing frame by an older kid. I instantly ran over to him (I do every time he falls!) as it was a 2 foot drop and he fell face first. And….I was furious! Instinct kicked in and I grabbed him and said “he’s a nasty boy isn’t he baba?! Are you ok??” I then realised that the older child would most likely remember what I had said if he had overheard me and I didn’t want to be ‘that‘ Mum, so …. quick as a flash I said louder “I’m sure he didn’t mean it. It’s just an accident”. I took him to the picnic bench to give him a drink and wipe away his tears. He had a graze on his hand. My boy had his first injury caused by another child. I was so annoyed, but I’m not the type of person who handles confrontation well, so left it at that.

A good 5 mins passed when the boys Mum came over with him to apologise. Being diplomatic I said “not to worry, I’m sure it was an accident”. To which she replied “no, he said he meant to do it. Is she ok?” She? SHE? She called my son a she. I’d been calling his name across the play area. What? I let Daniel play on for a little while, wondering how he looked like a little girl in a dinosaur t shirt, jeans and red converse. The mind boggles.

I don’t know what more Daniel could have done for himself on that occasion, as he was pushed from behind. And I’m not sure what the etiquette is either.

A week or so later we’d were at his best friends house. They hadn’t seen each other for a while and were in the “mine mine mine” playing stage. His Mum was about to get his leapfrog reader out when Daniel got excited and said “baba see?” When out of the blue his friend kind of side swiped Daniel on the cheek and said no. We’d only had a conversation a few minuets earlier wondering who would hit who first and what they’d fight over. Well, Daniel broke his little heart. His friend broke his heart too, upset that he had hurt Daniel and upset that he was no longer getting to play with the leapfrog reader. His Mum and I discussed this, they’re friends and I fully accept that they will fall out from time to time. I’d be living in the clouds if I never expected it.

Since then I have been trying to toughen him up. I’m teaching him to stand up for himself. I don’t want bigger kids or bullies walking all over him because I’ve taught him to ‘run and tell Mummy’. And I’m not saying my son is an absolute angel who listens to every single word I say, because he doesn’t, he’s 2. But he’s never snatched with force, or pushed or hit another’s child, and he doesn’t behave that way with us.

We practically spent my whole birthday weekend with his little friend because his Mum is 1 of my closest friends. So playing with his friend he had plenty of opportunity to try out our method. And my friend fully supports it. So anytime his friend tried to snatch, intimidate or push him he’d say “No. Naughty!”. When he first did it myself and my friend applauded him. Daniel didn’t need to come running to me for reassurance as I heard his words, and he didn’t get upset as his friend backed off. I’d much rather Daniel learn this type of behaviour from a friend where I can talk it out with his mum, than in a park with a child we don’t know, and who’s mum thinks he’s a girl or worse….blames my son, or my parenting and what not.

*I need to say, his friend has 2 older brothers, so he has learnt to stick up for himself, and has had the fights over who’s toy is who’s. He isn’t in no way a naughty little monkey. Just in case any of you were thinking ‘who does she hang out with?’ *

Our method was tested again today too, were at a friends Christening. The children were running and playing around the pews in the church as it was welcomed by the vicar. Daniels ran off into the corner with 2 children, when he reappaeared he said ‘naughty’ so I knew that a child may have pushed past him, and that he had sorted this himself. He also said it when he was playing with a little boy and his mum was watching over, top of his voice “no naughty”. Again this had dealt with it. As the Mum explained to her son why he had said he was naughty (snatched a car) .

Its a worrying world sometimes. Stories of bullies all over the news, TV and social media. As a child I was bullied by a girl who didn’t even go to my school. She just targeted me as Id walk to my Nanna’s house which was round the corner. I’d stand at  the bottom of the street and see if I could see her and work out which way to walk round to avoid her cornering me or chasing me. She only ever once physically hurt me. She kicked me in the back and winded me. This was when I was primary school age. And I dint know her. So why me? I wasn’t bullied in secondary school. All the girls were clicky but I had a good group of friends. Some girls pretended to be my friends but were just bitches. I had no desire to be the popułar girl in school or with the popular group so i wasn’t arsed.

My son will know how to stick up for himself, and how to defend himself. I want him to always confide in myself or his Dad. This is my aim anyway. I won’t allow him to be bullied or be a bully. I have zero tolerance.

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