Thursday, July 30, 2009

Life Lessons

How young is too young to teach your child about life lessons? I take Jellybean to the play area at our local mall at least once a week during the summer. It's a great place for him to play and get out some energy while I have my coffee. I've had the opportunity to observe JB and see parts of his personality play out. He's very persistent about getting what he wants, but he's not a bully. Also, he loves to play with other kids and follow what they do. He is starting to hit and kick on an inconsistent basis, so he's had to have a few time outs. Luckily, he uses "nice hands and feet" after his timeout.

This past week, while we were at the play area, there was another boy there who was about 4 years old. He had golden blond curls and the face of an angel. That's where the comparison to anything angelic ends. The boy was very rambunctious and aggressive to every child he came in contact with, including JB. JB was on the play bridge and was waiting his turn to go down the slide area, which *devil boy was splayed out on. The boy turned over on his back and used his body to push JB off of the play structure. I saw the whole thing happening and I just sat and watched. A few reasons I waited to see what would happen is because 1) the play structure is very well padded and 2) I can't bail JB out every time he encounters an aggressive kid. I never got a chance to see what would happen because another parent verbally admonished devil boy and then picked up JB and removed him from the play structure without my permission. Devil boy acted like he did not hear anything, and he chummed up with an older boy, at which point his behaviors became progressively worse. At this point, we just left.

Yes, JB is only 20 months old, but really, what would have been the harm in letting the other boy push him? If I rescue him every time, how will he ever learn how to deal with other personality types? How young is too young for these lessons? I'm not really sure what the answer is.

*I do not use the term "devil boy" lightly. I've worked with kids with very severe behaviors - blowing snot on me, kicking, hitting me in the head with a cast, biting, scratching my arms (which is how I got most of my arm scars), so my yardstick for "bad" is not the norm.

9 Comments:

Blogger tweetey30 said...

Oh Notta. I would have done the same thing with the girls. See where they will find themselves to stick up for them selves sooner or later. I think you did a wonderful job in that area. I know some children that shouldnt be allowed outside but they are.. They are a danger to society..

5:12 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I agree with you. I am very hands-off when it comes to kids playing. With Nutmeg and Pebbles, I will intervene if one hits the other but in general I try to let them settle their own disputes.

On the other side of things, Nutmeg was aggressive with other kids before she went to preschool. I am so glad she has gotten past this and now seems to make friends easily. She's still bossy with them, but she _is_ the oldest so it's not too surprising.

8:11 PM  
Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

Tweety - I wouldn't go as far as saying they're a danger, but they could use some training in play and getting along with others.

Carrie - I've seen Nutmeg play, and there's a difference between bossy and getting pleasure from hurting others (which this boy seemed to do). Like Nutmeg, I am the oldest of four, and I was pretty aggressive with my brother until he taught me a lesson. After that, I learned to treat him nicer.

8:07 AM  
Blogger tweetey30 said...

Let me rephrase that then. If they arent taught to play nicer or in a more civilized way they could be a danger to many children and end up in loads of trouble. There we go that makes more since than my first comment..

12:40 PM  
Blogger SME said...

Why are the cute ones always so mean? ;D
I think you made a good call. JB will gain confidence and learn invaluable social skills from dealing with his own conflicts, but kids whose parents intervene only learn to count on others to solve their problems for them. "Fight your own battles," is how my mother put it.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Angelique said...

I don't have kids but my parents hammered in to me that you treat others how you wanted to be treated. That little boy is in for a rude awakening because he is going to try that on a bigger boy some day. I hope JB is okay.

2:58 AM  
Blogger tweetey30 said...

Ok Ok we need a new post here and how is the little guy doing?? What is his new tricks now?? Is he getting excited for Halloween??? Cant believe he's almost two!!!!! Where has time been for me..

9:34 AM  
Blogger tweetey30 said...

I know its early but Happy 2nd B-day JB... Hope you are being a great bundle for mommy and daddy...

7:37 PM  
Blogger tweetey30 said...

OK NOtta its been seven months since your last post... How are you three/four doing?????? What newe adventures is JB doing???How was his first B-day?????

8:27 AM  

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