I Watched Another Kid Bully My Son
The first time my son told me another kid teased and made fun of him, I fought the impulse to hunt down the other boy. I told myself that my preschooler needed to learn to stand up for himself because I won’t always be around for him.
But this morning, while we were at a science summer camp, I watched as a much older and bigger boy teased my six-year old incessantly. Again, I resisted the impulse to grab the other boy by the hair and instead waited to see how Ten would handle the situation.
My kid kept telling him to stop. But the bully simply ignored him and kept on throwing pieces of adhesive tape into my son’s face. Until my brave little boy suddenly had enough. He began sobbing and hitting the bully. That was when I dragged him away and comforted him.
But I didn’t know how to explain it to him why some kids are just mean. Because that was what the other kid clearly was. Being a head taller than my son and four years older, he was a bully. And disrespectful, too. While I normally don’t like to tell other people’s kid what they should or shouldn’t do, I had to tell the other boy he shouldn’t tease other children, more so those much younger than him. He ignored me.
We left the workshop with me reassuring my son that no matter what mean things other kids do or say to him, he’s still a better person than them. I was also glad, though I couldn’t tell my son, that he was able to get a few punches in!
But I still wonder if I should have intervened earlier.
What do you do when you see another kid hit your child? Is it okay to teach them to hit back? I’d love to hear your thoughts, moms.
image from: thebullyproject.com