I’m having an all new parenting issue- I think my HSP is going to make this Mom thing more difficult than I realized. EBoy has always been a bit of an alpha male. In our playgroups (much to my total mortification) he was the one who would push around the other children. We tried everything to get him to stop- time outs, removing from the situation, offering treats for good behavior, but finally realized he honestly thought the whole falling down thing was funny (if anyone pushes him even now he’ll typically laugh and crash to the ground). I spent the year from when he was about 18 months old on contantly worried that my child was never going to break out of this bullying behavior and I’d never be able to allow him to play anywhere with anyone. Well suffice it to say he’s finally gotten beyond that and is nice to play with.
Because EBoy has always been well liked even with his WWF ways- I had an especially hard time the other day when he was playing with some dear friends. These two girls(ages 4 and 6) I hold personally responsible for socializing my dear bully son. After their influence he learned to not only play well with other children but began to desire social interaction (we couldn’t pass by a playground with children without him begging to go play with the kids). This particular day they had a friend over to play (another 6 year old girl) I saw something I’ve never seen before- they wanted nothing to do with him. “Get away”, “bad boy”, “do I HAAAVE to play with him” were the phrases I repeatedly heard from my sweet girls mouths as they rolled their eyes. My heart was so hurt- why don’t they like my baby? What has happened?
So I spent the afternoon feeling that Mama bear urge well up inside of me. I can remember how bad not being included felt when I was a child (heck it hurts even now). I just wanted to grab him up and take him home so he’d never have to be exposed to such things. Then I realized a couple of things. First, he was completely and totally unphazed. No matter what they said to him it certainly wasn’t ruining his good time. Secondly, this behavior resonated so deeply with me and I couldn’t place my finger on why. I finally realized what the familiarity was- they were treating him exactly as I used to treat my pesky little brother. Since I do consider these friends to be a part of my extended family I realize I can’t be mad since honestly they were only acting as siblings tend to do.
I felt quite a bit of relief realizing that this situation was not as extreme as I originally thought but it opens up a whole new world in my eyes. One in which I have this child who will interact with other children that may or may not be kind to him. I am fiercely overprotective of those that I care about - I’ve always said if I were any animal I would be a lioness because though I appear sweet and gentle you don’t want to see me if you hurt someone I love. I’ve been actively learning about homeschooling in case he doesn’t respond well in a school environment (plus we won’t place him in any school but the local charter- if he isn’t admitted there the other public school is severely overpopulated and understaffed no way would I send him there) but now I’m wondering if I should just homeschool from the get go to try to save him from ever being hurt.
Its definitely not realistic to think that EBoy can make it through life without ever getting his feelings hurt but I sure wouldn’t mind if he got hurt less than I did as a child. I still remember the difficult transition I had from the German kindergarden to the American school in Texas. I’d come home from school and ask my mother why was the color of my skin so important in America while in Germany it had never even been brought up. I’ve always thought of raising my children in another country- first Europe and then I was enchanted with Trinidad just because race is not such a major obsession in other countries. But now I realize even without race in the equation kids will be kids.
Now I have even more appreciation and respect for all of you mothers out there with older children. Yes having babies is hard but to deal with real little personalities and outside influences has got to be one of the most difficult things to endure. I pray that I instill good values and confidence in my children so that the damage that others may try to inflict will hopefully bounce right off of them. If not Mama Bear might come out and that’s just not going to be pretty!