There's nothing like seeing your kid bullied by a bigger kid.
This kid was thin but he was probably three heads taller than Joshy and maybe three years older. Up on the park play equipment, I noticed the boy and a girl crowding up close to Joshy, no doubt wanting to use the little periscope too.
I overheard Joshy say, "No! I was here first! And I'm strong." I think he then pushed the big kid. The big kid just laughed and said,"You're not strong."
Later, I was disciplining Joshy for something and Joshy was crying. The boy more than once chimed in things like, "He's crying like a baby!"
Finally, near the end of our park adventure, Joshy was face to face with the boy (who always had a friend or two with him) and did the only thing that came to mind: He tickled him with a big smile on his face. He was trying to play with him. The kid replied with something like, "I'm going to shove you down."
That was when I stepped in and said, "Kids, can you please be a little nicer?" But I don't even think the kid heard me. He was running off to do something else before I could tell.
This kid didn't do anything to Joshy really; he mostly just seemed to enjoy saying mean things to people and probably had issues that my kids haven't had to deal with. But it was still so painful to watch. It hurt me somewhere deep inside to see Joshy reaching out to play with the kid and the kid laughing at him.
It also made me proud to see him stand up to him and say "I'm strong" and defend himself, even if that wasn't necessarily the nicest thing to do. It gives me hope that Joshy won't be bullied. Of course, I also don't want him to be the bully. (And I can't even imagine what sweet little Bennett would do. I can only hope that he will have some good survival skills from being pushed around by his older brother all the time!)
Sometimes I just wonder... at what point does the parent intervene? How far do you let them go before embarrassing your kid and stepping in? And what is going to happen to your kid when he is at school and you aren't watching?
Sometimes I just wish I could hold my kids close to my heart and never let them go. Never let them out into the big, wide, mean world.
23 hours ago