I will admit it. The park is not my favorite place. Clover loves it. It's not that I don't enjoy the great outdoors or anything like that. It's just that there always seems to be that one kid at the park that wants to annoy (read: terrorize) everyone else. Now, I don't really believe that there are bad kids. I believe most kids that are labeled "Bad Kids" exhibit bad behaviors that have yet to be corrected.
Before you roll your eyes, I have worked with kids my entire life. I started babysitting as early as I could, was a Nanny for a little bit, and worked at couple day care centers as a teacher. I'm not saying I am an expert by any means. But being a parent is an entirely different ball park. When you are a teacher you have a set of rules and a learning environment. When you are at a public place, it's a free for all. Like today when another kid pushed my kid. It took every ounce of mental strength not to go Momma Bear.
I had to turn it into a learning experience.
Clover has been told that if someone hurts her she has permission to defend herself. We told her that it is more than okay to stick up for herself. It seems she has a problem with this. Which baffles me because she is naturally an outgoing and loud kid. She will stick up for everyone else. She has told me more than a few times to quite picking on Dada (innocently-I would never). She sticks up for her friends all the time but when it comes to sticking up for herself she get's really quiet and walks away. And that's what she did today. So after she got pushed she just looked at the kid and walked away. So while she was playing I told her that it was okay to use her words and tell people that it's NOT OKAY to push her. So she went back down the stairs to the slide and told the kid that it wasn't okay to push her. And then she walked off and played somewhere else.
I then heard the same little boy tell his friend that they should beat up my daughter. I gave him the "Disapproving Mom" look and he got the hint. His mom was conveniently seated under a tree across the entire park. His friend said they shouldn't beat anyone up which made me feel better. That and the fact that they were about a year younger and a foot and half shorter than my daughter. It's not as if I viewed them as a physical threat. I just found it annoying that this kid was running around pushing and threatening MY KID.
I don't want to be one of those helicopter parents that does everything for their kid. I know that Clover has to learn how to stick up for herself and that I can't really do anything to stop these experiences. There always seems to be at least ONE of those kids at the park when we go. I guess at this stage it's more of a guiding roll, giving her the tools she needs to handle these situations on her own.
It's freakin hard!
I sat down with her when we got home and went over sticking up for herself and brainstormed some things she could say. I just heard her yelling at her pillow so maybe it's sticking. It's not like I'm going to avoid going to the park or anything. I go because my daughter loves it, even if it isn't my favorite place to go.