The First Bully Experience
It was an absolutely gorgeous Sunday today, here in New Jersey. It wasn't too hot, it wasn't too cool, it was just right. So, naturally, Jeremy and I decided to take our little guy out to the park. In town, there is only one, and it is usually packed. I was hoping that since it was a Sunday, most of the crowds would just be getting out of church and it wouldn't be that crowded.
While it wasn't overflowing with children, there were a few kids here and there. However, they were the loud and rowdy type that don't appreciate other kids creeping in on their turf. We told Syrus it was okay to go and play, that mommy and daddy were right behind him should he need anything. Not more than two minutes into him playing, we hear a child yelling. When we go to check out the situation, there is a child, who cannot be more than two years old, yelling at Syrus, telling him that he could not use the slide. Then the child also proceeded to call Syrus a "baby," which is apparently what stood out the most to him.
Syrus asked us why the other kid called him a baby, when he clearly was not a baby, but a big boy. I never really anticipated having this conversation at such a young age. I guess I was disillusioned into thinking that we would not have to have the "bully talk" for a little while yet. I was pretty taken aback when a child as young as two, younger than Syrus, is bullying other children. We ended up telling Sy to ignore the other kids and just play, but being the friendly ever-polite boy that he is, he kept trying to play with the other boy. That's when things started to get ugly. The two year-old attempted to grab Syrus, at which point moved away from him because I assume he saw that one coming.
But after that, you could tell that his little feelings were hurt. As a mom, that sucks. I really can't stand to see my child in such a sad and vulnerable state, although I know it is a part of life that he will have to learn at some point. The whole ride home he kept asking us why the other kids didn't want to "be his friend." I'm not even sure how to begin explaining it to him. How do you have that conversation? He thinks that there is something wrong with him, and ever since then, he has been constantly apologizing to us, as if he thinks he is constantly doing something wrong. I hate that it has affected him so deeply. But all we can do as parents is to make certain that we reassure him that he hasn't done anything wrong.