Lately I've seen it more and more. It scares me. It makes me want to bubble up my sweet boy Braden and never let anyone influence him. I love him just the way he is and I don't want him to change.
What brings this on, you ask? Boy. Rough-housing, mean boys. It's inevitable and I can't protect him forever, and by no means am I a "helicopter mom" or a "smother mother"....but things of late have scared me.
My nephew Luke is a few months over 4 years old. He's a thick, solid boy. All boy. I love him to bits, I always have, and we are around him the most, out of all the cousins. Luke has always been a sweet, gentle, kind-hearted little boy, very much like Braden is. But as boys get older and start going to pre-school and start playing a bit more rough with boys their age...it scares me. Luke has been playing a bit more rough with Braden the last couple of months, and while he's not mean and doesn't intend to hurt Braden, the fact of the matter is he's just a bigger kid than Braden by age and markedly in size. Braden, I think, mostly gets scared if Luke is a bit too rough with him and never gets hurt. Laura (Luke's mom) and I are both on the same page and don't want them to play this way, and Luke isn't like that very often with Braden, but something else happened today that just makes me so sad.
Jay took Braden over to a neighbor's house to play this afternoon and their almost 5 year old boy was very rude and physically rough with Braden. "You can't play with my things" and things of that nature, and even punched/hit him once. They have a son that is just a couple of months younger than Braden, that Braden gets along with very well (I haven't found a kid Braden doesn't get along with yet), but he was feeding off his older brother and saying that he didn't want to play with Braden because he was playing with his older brother. That just broke a little piece of my heart for Braden! My son is getting "bullied" at not even 3 years old? Jay said Braden wasn't really phased by this, he just went about his way and played with other toys by himself, but Braden was looking SO forward to playing with his little friend, then the brothers stuck together and my poor little guy was left alone.
I have noticed some changes in my little sweetheart. He has thrown the odd toy - which he has never done before - but as soon as he does, we calmly say "No, Braden. You do not throw your toys, that is not a nice thing to do. You do not get to play with this toy tomorrow." I really want to teach him that there will always be consequences for his poor behavior.
I know it's inevitable that he will learn bad things, for the rest of his life, from other kids and people he meets along his journey. Pre-school, kindergarten, HIGH SCHOOL...ick! I guess all we can do as parents is teach our kids how we expect them to act and behave and just PRAY that they value what we have taught them and carry it through. I know my kids won't be perfect, but I just don't want to loose my little sweet boy. He has never shown any signs of aggression or violence, and it would just break my heart if he started being physically violent and verbally rude. One thing is for sure...that will not be tolerated in this household.
Have you noticed your little boy, or girl for that matter, either getting more physical or aggressive as they get older? Are they getting bullied? How did you deal with it?