Parenting the oldest is like skydiving without a parachute sometimes. Tonight my son came downstairs because:
A. He didnt want to sleep
B. He physically could not sleep
C. He held out on a story too long and had to spill the beans
D. He actually went right to sleep
The answer… a&c. So it turns out when he went next door to play with his best friend- and the bf’s little brother- there was a kerfuffle. My kid picked up a land mine toy.
You know, a toy that lies untouched and dormant until someone has the audacity to put a finger on it, then…BOOM! Instant Shit Show.
My kid touched a treasure of the li’l bros and li’l bro decided to push my kid. My kid asks (clearly and calmly, no doubt) what he’s done to cause a ruckus, and BFF decides to push, too. Somewhere in all this the bedroom door gets shut and the two bros jump on my kid.
The mom shows up, everyone throws their bodies on the bomb as if nothing happened, and my kid comes home for dinner.
It had been hours since the alleged incident, and this is when my kid decides to tell me the story?!
So my son is very sensitive. He likes to act crusty on the outside, but he’s a fluffy lamb on the inside….beneath the boiling lava. He’s also emotional. He likes things spelled out and black and white. He does not do vague or hinting well.
He says (cliffs notes) he wasnt sure if pushing the boys off of him would have been ok. This was the moment. One of those parenting moments you feel you should be prepared for. You scan your brain for the chapter on insensitive jackass jock-minded best friends and the pleasers who befriend them…..but nada. The nurse at the hospital skipped this chapter.
My impressionable son is now needing guidance. Mama bear had to be squelched for the duration. I was holding back a rabid Badger in my mind who was screaming, “Pummel the little shit for putting his hands on you!!!!” Instead, I had to find a calm middle ground.
“You stand up. Look at the kid(s), and say ‘I dont like this, this is wrong‘ and you walk out/away, find a grown up and then leave and when you get home, tell me.”
I got a weak “ok” and wasnt satisfied. Probing further, he wasnt sure how to defend himself, or if he should. That hurt. We had a chat about how standing up to friends is the hardest thing to do, but always believe you are worth fairness. Never ever let someone put their hands on you and not defend yourself.
His best friend has a brother and their mom only knows semi-rambunctious boys. She lets her kids work out most arguments before she steps in.
Not how I do it.
We decided: you can absolutely defend yourself
You’re bigger, you can physically move someone who is blocking a door
Call out or bang on a wall for someone to come check on you
Leave/walk away/get out
Do not let the fear or intimidation of it being your friend stop you from doing what is right for yourself
(and silently i thought kick or punch a brat who thinks its ok to push you around) but we’ll save that one for karate
Seriously. This was a conversation I wasnt expecting to have. Stupidly, probably. Why do friends behave this way?!
I left the conversation feeling manic. Bipolar. A tad torn. I had that feeling you get when you ace a quiz you didnt study for…but also like it was an open note test i wasnt prepared for and just got lucky.
Its not enough to wish and hope for happiness for your children. You have to show them how to fight for it.
Unfortunately for my kids, being a passive aggressive role model translates to: “hold all those feelings inside, and then go home and blog about it!”
Thats not gonna get you out of a cornered physical situation. “Dont make me write you in an unflattering light….i’ll do it!”