We all have that one thing we DREAD about raising kids. Or at least I think we do? Help me out here people. Surely there is SOMETHING that you absolutely dread about parenting, whether it be current or in the future. Mine? Dealing with mean kids and bullying. Finding the right balance between Defending Yourself and Killing People With Kindness is a fine line and to every person means something different.
We were having lunch with Paulina and Emma at a fast food chain that had an indoor play area. They had adequate seating inside the room where the play area was, so we were sitting at a bench, eating our lunch while the girls played. There was only two other adults in there and two little girls.
I was periodically walking over to check on Zoey and she was just having fun being a silly 2 year old. I heard the older girls getting acquainted, asking each other their ages and whatnot. I heard that one is 7 and one is almost 6. They began playing together, though the 7 year old was McBossyPants. I went back to sit down and finish eating and I hear one of the older girls, REALLY meanly yelling “GO AWAY! STOP FOLLOWING US! YOU’RE SO ANNOYING!” and I’m thinking, surely they aren’t talking to my TODDLER?
I went to check on them and sure enough they were yelling at her, over and over again in a REALLY mean way. Zoey was giggling because she thought it was a game. I told the girls that she was only 2 years old and she doesn’t know any better. I tried to deter Zoey from playing with them but she REALLY wanted to play with the big kids and was having so much fun. Oh to be naive again!
I stood there for a while, watching them play because I just didn’t trust those girls. Any kid that is going to be deliberately and downright MEAN to a toddler is obviously not to be trusted! They crawled up the platform steps and Zoey got up 2 steps behind them and I see the girl lean forward and yell “GO AWAY! STOP FOLLOWING US!” and kick Zoey in the head. Zoey said OW! really loudly and rubbed her head, but wanted to keep playing. THAT is when I drew the line and I told the girls not to touch her again and if she did I would go get her Mother. She got scared and apologized.
Ok here is the thing.. I WANTED so badly to kick that girl in the head, too. But I didn’t. You know why? Because a woman in her 20s kicking a 7 year old girl in the head would not go over well with, well, ANYONE. Just like a SEVEN YEAR OLD kicking a TWO YEAR OLD in the head doesn’t. If this were another 2 or 3 year old hitting my kid, I would not have been near as livid as I was. This wasn’t even a sibling fight either, which is a little more understandable too. This is a REALLY MEAN 7 year old little girl just being a total brat and sadly I am sure it is directly related to how she has been raised this far. Her Mother was sitting there playing games on her cell phone the entire time this was happening, not paying ANY attention. The other little girl was there with her Grandfather and he was reading a book.
If my kids EVER do something like this, regardless of the other kids age, EVER, they will be in some serious trouble. Teaching acceptance and tolerance is my number one goal with my children. It broke my heart that some little girl was just being down right mean for no reason at all. Zoey couldn’t even keep up with them because they were so fast, so she wasn’t bothering them physically or anything. I seriously had tears in my eyes because it upset me so much. I am home with my children all the time and they do not get socialization at day care so I was really excited to see Zoey wanting to be social with strangers. It was just a shame that it had to end up being a bratty girl. Thankfully Zoey thinks she just had a great old time and hopefully she didn’t take anything from the whole Kicking People In The Head.
I know she is going to have to learn about mean people and how to handle those situations but 2 years old seems so young to already be learning about it. Give her another year or two or FIFTEEN, PLEASE.