The other day, we were on our daily evening stroll – my 2-year old son [D] and I. We met another lady from our building with her son, who is 2.5 years old. I was aware about her son’s habit of hitting other kids, but I let the kids play. All my son, who is yet to go to school or properly be in the company of other young kids, wanted to do was run around with the other kid. Let us call him P.
His mother is a nice lady, of happy disposition. Now, D would call out to P to run around and hide and generally play. But every time he would be close to P, P would push him. Twice my son fell because of being pushed, but he did not pay much attention to it, got up and continued playing. Thankfully, he wasn’t hurt.
Now, the third time P tried doing it, I went down on my knees, held his hands and told him he cannot push little D. But he got scared, and started crying and calling out to his mother. As the parent of a young child, I needed to assert that I was there to protect him, that I would not let him be hit.
I am aware this is just the beginning. I know there are kids who hit other kids. Mommy friends and relatives have often told me about this situation. And I know this is inevitable when he starts Playschool in coming months. Now, other mommies have told me that they taught their kids to hit back because they were getting hit too often. They cannot be around their kids all the time to protect them.
Now here is the thing: I cannot tell my son to hit other children because we all know it is wrong. All this time, we [most parents] have told our children that hitting others was not ok. Now all of a sudden how could we legitimise it? In a way, will it not teach the child that problems can be solved by violence or intimidation?
When we came back home, I went on my knees and spoke to D about the situation. I asked him if he recalled being pushed by P [he did not really say anything], and told him it was not right; and from next time, he must not allow this in his own capacity. He could hold the other child’s hands and tell him ‘No’. I don’t know if this would work but for now, that is what I want to teach him. I am certain that a child who can stand up for himself is less likely to be bullied.
We all know, raising boys and raising girls have different sets of issues to deal with. Bullying, fighting, physical intimidation, peer pressure are part of growing up as a boy. In good time, I want to train him in Karate or one such martial art to give him the confidence that comes with the knowledge that you could protect yourself. But I will always make it clear that it must be used only in defense. Moreover, as far as I know, all martial arts are based on such philosophies.
Well, I am a relatively new mother. Am I being too naïve? Or am I right in falling back on simply ‘doing the right thing’?
You tell me.
Reema Sahay is a Stay-At-Home-Mom, Freelance Writer, Voracious Reader, Passionate Blogger, Social Media Enthusiast, Internet Junkie and Ex-Marketing Communication Professional. She spends her days running after her very curious toddler, ‘the star’, and catching up on books when he naps. She writes about charms and challenges of life at Pen Paper and shares her passion for books at Recommend Books. She sometimes feels that her 5.5 years stint in Marketing Communication was in another life