Parenting for me is constantly evolving, because the kids are constantly growing. I keep telling them to stop, but they just won’t listen.
Claire’s starting to enter into the age of not knowing what’s OK and what’s not when it comes to other kids’ behaviors. She thinks that if you’re older, then you must be right, and even if it makes her feel sad, it’s OK because they should know better.
Wrong. They don’t know better.
Lately there’s been some undoing with a kid who goes to the gym daycare and he’s older by at least 4 years and thinks that my kids will always think he’s the greatest thing ever because he’s bigger. And I give him credit for that. What upsets me, however, is that he thinks it’s OK to shoot things at my kids and make fun of them if they say that what he’s doing isn’t nice or he’s being mean.
And that’s so not cool.
Claire is very trusting. She’s also extremely impressionable. I don’t want her to grow up thinking that’s OK. That that’s how boys are. Because guess what, it’s not OK and boys shouldn’t be like that. I don’t care if it’s ‘what boys do’ because guess what, mine won’t. Mine won’t deliberately hurt another kid just because it’s funny, or taunt someone because they don’t want to play with them or generally be a little shit.
Luca, however, knows that what’s happening isn’t nice and he defends himself. He tells me that so and so is mean to him and it makes him sad.
Where my problem is, is who do I talk to? Personally, I’d love to threaten the shit out of the kid, because, well, that just sounds like fun, but truth is, it’s not very adult like or right. I know I should talk to his mother, whom I like very much, but I find it as if it’ll be like speaking to a brick wall and only embarrass her. Then I think, it’s my kid. I have to defend my kid. And I have got to stop this now because I can’t just let my kids think that this is OK.
Tonight in the car ride home, we talked about it and Claire said she understood, but was quiet. Luca was much more energetic about it, saying, “Yah! I didn’t like that! It’s mean!” But I think, for Claire, she felt something new. Betrayal perhaps, or even that unsureness that comes with growing up and just not knowing who is right or wrong. As I said, she’s a very trusting girl and doesn’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers. Especially someone she thought to be cool.
As she grows, I realize that my opinion will become more and more obsolete and I should really try to build a strong foundation now, so that even when she’s saying, “Yah, yah, yah” to me, she at least knows her roots.
But now, I am beginning to question my parenting and if I am teaching them correctly or not. Am I building my kids to be strong for themselves? Time will tell, of course, but I’d like to think that they could stand up for themselves given the situation. Just not at five and three.
This is uncharted territory for me. I’ve always felt so sure in everything I’ve done as a parent, but now it’s entering into the level of other people’s kids. And we all know how I feel about other people’s kids. (Frankly, some were surprised I even had one kid, based on how much I don’t like other people’s kids.) But worse than other people’s kids is the people having those kids. I can’t parent the kids and I surely can’t tell another parent how to do their job.
But do I say something when it directly relates to my kid? Because hearing from the daycare lady that she had to rip the boy a new one for making fun of my kid, and my kid not realizing she was being made fun of, well, frankly it breaks my heart.
She had no idea.
I’m at a loss.