Today I had the pleasure of accompanying my son to the Gardiner Museum with his kindergarten class. It was so much fun and I love that I get the opportunity to tag along and volunteer on these field trips. It’s nice to really spend time and get to know each kid in his class.
There is one classmate who we’ve been hearing a lot about lately from my son. Let’s call him “Bob”. My son tells me that Bob makes fun of him and hits him. He says to me “mommy, Bob punched me in the heart”. OK. He is four and this may be a bit of an exaggeration, but still, what is going on here? He tells me this at least twice a week. The other day he said that Bob told him “everyone is going to kick your butt because you like princesses”. Ahh, Frozen. Yes, my son LOVES this movie (along with Cars and Up and Flushed Away.) And I love that he loves it. But I can’t believe that he is already being made fun of for the things he is interested in at age 4.
I am sure this type of behavior is totally normal and this is only the beginning. And I know that at anytime, my own kid could be the “Bob”. Still, when you’re the mom, it totally sucks to hear that your kid is being picked on.
I’ve talked to the teacher and she assures me that he is not being “punched”. Hit and pushed, maybe There are other kids that poor Bob has issues with too and the teacher is trying to work with him on this.
Things I say to our son:
“You make sure you tell your teacher right away when this happens.”
“We need to help Bob learn how to be kind to people, so if you are kind, he will learn from you.”
“Tell him “NO” in a strong voice when he hits or pushes you and then go and get your teacher right away.”
What I really want to say:
“Don’t take it!”
“Hit him back if he doesn’t stop hitting you!”
Obviously, these statements are very wrong for so many reasons.
My husband tells him “If he pushes you or hits you and won’t stop, you can protect yourself. You are not a punching bag”.
Sometimes as a parent I have no idea what the right thing to say is. This is one of those situations.
In my group at the Gardiner Museum, I had three girls and three boys (including my son). The three boys were wild and jumping all over the place at most times. They were bumping up against the glass cabinets in the museum while the girls were taking their time looking through the glass carefully. The girls were neat and pleasant and did whatever I told them to do. I was amazed at the difference between these boys and girls. It made me think of this poem:
What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails
And puppy-dogs’ tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
And everything nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.
We love them both equally as much and I think they’re both made of everything nice, but man, do those boys cause some trouble!
Do you think boys or girls are easier to raise??