I'd finally decided to stop being such a Mommy-copter and backed up a few feet to give her some space, and sure enough, as soon as I let my guard down, this little kid took it upon himself to push my little girl. And it wasn't even just a little tap. It was like a full on shove. It happened in slow motion. One minute she was waddling up to him, a huge grin on her adorable face, and the next she was being shoved to the ground.
I think I screamed a little. I definitely snarled. I briefly imagined myself letting out a Xena-like battle cry, leaping over the three tables separating me from them and knocking that little over-sized bully to the ground, but I'm pretty sure there are laws against that.
The most irritating thing is that the father, who witnessed the whole incident, didn't say a word. Not once did he apologize or chastise his belligerent little child. Even as I rushed over and picked up my munchkin, who was wailing at this point. James wisely chose that moment to intervene and suggest that we were past due for lunch. He probably saw my eye twitching and my fingers balling into fists.
Don't get me wrong, it's not that I've never seen Jasmine hit a kid. Because she has. But, most of the time it's an accident because she's excited and is just flailing her arms about . Even so, I always firmly tell her no, and immediately apologize to both the kid, and their parent(s).
It's called parenting. And it's hard work. But that's no excuse not to do so.
Truthfully, I feel a bit bad for the kid. Children aren't exactly born with a moral compass that helps them distinguish good decisions from bad ones. That's where parenting is suppose to come in. It's our job to teach our children what is okay, and what is not. If we don't teach them, then who will?
There are a lot of things that I said I would never do when it came to raising Jasmine. I said that I wouldn't let her watch television. Fail. I said I wouldn't feed her processed foods. Fail. (Although, I think it should be noted that I haven't yet gone as far as to feed her fast food.) Yes, there's no doubt about it, parenting makes you eat your words. Almost every day. However, one thing I refuse to cut her any slack on is bad behavior.
I will not allow my daughter to become a bully. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with teaching her to stick up for herself, should the situation call for it. But picking on someone simply because they're smaller than you is unacceptable. Bullies just don't spawn overnight. They grow out of neglect and a lack of intervention. And I know it's difficult to imagine that your child is capable of being mean, but it happens. Your child is just as capable of being a bully as mine is. And it's our duty to remember that and discipline them when the time comes.
So my question to you ladies today is how do you deal with disciplining your children when they do something mean to another child? And what do you do when you see another kid picking on yours and the parents don't seem to care?
Also, be sure to tune in later this week for part II on adult bullies. Trust me, it's going to be a good one.