What he said

By kate on August 29th, 2008

MetroDad is my favorite parent blogger, and I’m fully in agreement with his most recent entry:

Last week, I was at daycare with the Peanut when an older boy came over and grabbed a toy out of the Peanut’s hand. When she kindly asked for it back, the boy pushed her. The Peanut then turned to the boy and said, “Please don’t push me. I don’t like being pushed.”

The boy’s mother witnessed the whole thing and gently admonished her son, saying that it wasn’t nice to push one’s friends. What does the kid do? He hits the Peanut and pushes her again!  Before the boy’s mother can do anything, I calmly turn to my daughter and say, “You know what to do, kiddo…”

I don’t want Ruby to be a bully or aggressor, but you bet I’m planning to teach her to stand up for herself when necessary.

Today at the playground, Ruby was playing with a large wheelbarrow toy in the sandbox when a boy her age decided he wanted it. He tried to get it from her with a combination of pulling and angry grunty noises. Ruby quietly stood her ground, gripping the toy, until the boy’s mother swooped in and redirected him. Two things about this made me proud:

1. Ruby didn’t look to me to mediate. It’s an important life lesson that you need to take control of your own situation, and that your parents won’t always be there to save you. I observe so many parents hastily and constantly interceding for their children (with other children, not adults). I really think that, rather than helping, this causes weakness and dependence.

2. She didn’t react violently. Maybe it’s because both her hands were engaged in holding onto the toy for dear life, but she didn’t hit the boy or yell at him, just quietly defended her ground.

I haven’t had any explicit conversations with Ruby about this subject, but it’s probably time. I’d like her to operate from the same position of power as MetroDad’s Peanut (calm and polite, but able to back it up with force if required).

Filed under: parenting
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3 Responses to “What he said”

  1. Jason Grimes Says:

    i swear to god kate, you make me proud to know you (ruby and steve too)

  2. Jill Gomez Says:

    Hi Kate. I just wanted to say thank you for posting my website on your blog. As a thank you I wanted to send you a toy free of cost. How old is Ruby now? If she is 2 or older I think she will really like it as it has been a huge success with that ae group. Please email me your address and I will ship it out this week. Thanks again,
    Jill Gomez

  3. imaginary dana Says:

    Um, you are rad and so is MetroDad!

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