Family & Culture Featured

Mondays With Mimi – No Tolerance

By Mommy Mimi

With all of the recent media exposure surrounding the topic of bullying, I had been giving thought, yet putting off how I was going to approach the topic with my son. I imagined when the time came, the topic would be discussed from the angle that if someone was bullying him, he should not tolerate such behavior and to feel comfortable letting the teacher and his dad and I know what was going on. So imagine the shock when I had to have the talk with him from the angle that he should not bully other children.

Let me explain.

Last week, after school I took him to the playground to run off some energy. There were a few other children on the playground, and I was busy playing around with my camera when I heard this little voice being quite demanding, rude and just downright mean to the other children. I was dumbfounded. I very rarely observe him playing with other children so I was very shocked at what I was hearing.

I yelled out for him to stop with the mean talking or we would be leaving the playground. Did he listen? No. About five minutes later, I heard, “You can’t slide like me, I’m better than you.” As if that wasn’t enough he commences to shove the other child out of the way. Okay, this is getting out of hand. I am mortified because there are other parents around. I demand he apologizes. He does and although one of the moms stated it was okay and they were just kids playing. I didn’t feel that way, I grabbed him and off to the car we went.

Once we got in the car and before pulling off, I had a long talk with him about how we should treat others, and that his behavior was not acceptable. I tried my best to explain to him that his words are powerful and can hurt people and that’s not what our words are supposed to do, and that we are NEVER to put our hands on other people. He said he understood and wouldn’t do it again.

After that discussion, it dawned on me that teaching our children about topics such as these will require an ongoing rapport. One that will come up from time to time and one that we will need to constantly reiterate to ensure that they indeed understand and get a full understanding of the ramifications of such actions.

Did I overreact? Was this indeed just child’s play or an excellent opportunity to bring up the topic of bullying?

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7 COMMENTS

  • Baby Shopaholic

    I don’t think you over reacted. I do believe this will be an ongoing lesson.

  • Hicksgirl93

    No I don’t think it was over reacting, these talks have to be had early and often with our children. I appreciate your honesty on the fact that your child was in this situation the “bully”, I have been in that situation too. I have also had my son being the child on the receiving end. We have to do our best in explaining the seriousness of this because the little ones, eventually grow into big ones and then it no longer is considered child’s play.

  • YUMMommy

    I think you did the right thing. You warned him about his behavior and he kept going. I think that bullies are created by parents like the one who said they’re just kids it’s fine. It’s never fine for anyone-child or adult- to talk down to or put their hands on another.

    I am glad to hear that you are a proactive parent and will not settle for any kind of foolishness. We need more parents to start putting their foot down instead looking on as their kids participate in mean like behavior. I agree that this may have to be a subject that you all revisit with him to make sure the message is sinking through.

    I certainly don’t put up with any mean behavior my little one when we are at the park or on playdates. I just can’t stand by and watch her be mean to others. She knows better and it’s my place to remind of her that when she acts otherwise.

  • JoeyfromSC

    You didn’t overreact at all! That’s so great that you had that discussion with him at the time and I too believe it’s an ongoing battle.

    I am appalled at how out of hand bullying is in schools, so KUDOS to you!:)

  • Kita

    I don’t think you overeacted I think it’s a process that needs to be started now so that kids learn early. Adults are bullies to and it starts with them. Kids learn by what they see a lot of the times. Great Post

  • Mirna

    I would have done the same. I have some incidents at the playground with Matthew and I demanded the same thing from him. Now, before going to the park, He knows there is No hit, push or fights allowed. It took a lot energy and patience from me but worth it.

  • I think you did the right thing. This was a perfectly good teachable moment that you totally took advantage of. Kudos. And the speech was well thought-out and executed: that’s not what we use our words for. Such a powerful message to teach little ones. It is an ongoing process, but knowing when to take advantage of teachable moments make a big difference.

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