Saturday, August 7, 2010

Blogs, bullies and babies

Wow, the world of blogging is amazing. I hadn’t ever really paid attention to it before, then a good friend started a blog of her own (check it out: and it opened up a whole new world for me. Ammaaaaazing, seriously so many people have so much to say…. It’s daunting. And it leads me inevitably to wonder why. I mean, what is it that leads us to want to share everything about our lives, and to do it publicly? Is it a form of egomaniacal behavior? What leads us to believe that what we have to say is interesting? Do we do it for ourselves, as a sort of modern day diary, instead of putting pen to paper we type on a screen and save somewhere in cyberspace, but then why the need of an audience?? Or do we do it because we need validation, have we become so far removed from other human beings that this is just a way to connect? But what really gets to me, and you see this a lot on blogs that are very popular, that are read mostly by random people who don’t know the blogger, are the negative comments. Seriously, some people’s comments are just horrible, and we open ourselves and our lives (and possibly our families) to this sort of unfettered, uncontrolled criticism with no restraints. Why? Of course, as I'm now writing a blog myself (a public one as opposed to the very much private one that we have had for five years now) I should be able to answer these questions myself... And hopefully I will soon, for now, I'm experimenting!
And on to another subject, one of my biggest pet peeves.
Bullies. Two, three year old bullies. Unbelievable. These kids just get to me, on the one hand I want to just smack them, on the other hand I feel sorry for them. And their parents, don’t get me started (oh, right, I’ve already started…). Ok. I realize I may be going overboard just a tad, but really, I honestly don’t understand how a parent can watch their two or three year old consistently rip toys out of other kids’ hands, or smack or push their way to the toys they want or jump on, push or otherwise act aggressively towards other 2 – 3 year olds (or even younger kids) and not say a damn thing other than “oh, junior is so exuberant, hee, hee, he really knows how to get what he wants”. This just makes me want to whack the parents upside the head with something heavy and blunt. Not kidding. Really, lady, your kid is not exuberant, he’s got bad manners and the result is that nobody will like him in the end and it’ll be your own damn fault. I recently had a mother tell me she was happy her kid was “exuberant” because she knew he was going to be able to defend himself in all situations. I understand her relief, on the one hand, cause I have a shy kid, who always looks amazed when another kid acts too rowdy and I never really know what to tell him. I don’t want to teach him to hit back, cause I don’t think that’s how one should resolve conflicts, plus I try to teach him NOT to hit, and really can you successfully teach a toddler to distinguish between being aggressive and defending from aggression? So, I’m teaching him to defend himself (specifically his head and face) from things being thrown or getting hit and I tell him to get me, or his dad or another adult if it happens, but then when he does all these things and the kid’s parents don’t react, and by react I mean they don’t attempt to discipline the kid, or yell at him or anything, he gets this look, like, well, THAT was useless.
So I posted about this on fb, and the unanimous reaction was that I should discipline the kid myself if his mom won’t, especially if they’re playing at my house, by explaining that you shouldn’t hit, or putting them in time out cause hitting is against house rules. But here’s the rub, in my experience these kids’ parents are the ones that get angry if someone dares say anything to junior, who, after all, is just “exuberant”. But, as The Husband says, what are we supposed to do, just let our kid get hit and keep quiet about it??
Up till now I’ve basically avoided the problem, if I see that a friend of The Boy’s is too “exuberant” (and by exuberant I still mean massive pain in the ass with no manners) we simply stop inviting them over. But then I started thinking, what I’m really teaching The Boy is to shy away from conflict and avoid it rather than facing it. So basically my conclusion is this: if a kid is aggressive I think it’s the parent’s fault for not addressing the reason for the behavior and not taking care of it, or at least watching the kid like a damn hawk so that they can intercept them BEFORE they hit or throw stuff. On my end, it’s my responsibility to teach my kid that it’s ok to respect himself and good manners be damned, if our guest can’t behave properly, I’m going to start intervening, if the parents don’t like it they can take themselves off into the sunset to ringing applause from The Boy and I.
I’m getting off my soapbox now.
Also, as you will see from the pictures, The Boy got a tent. Oh, are we going camping, you may ask? Are you kidding me, do you not know me? So why does he have a tent? Well, let’s just say that it was not a mother approved purchase, and I won’t add anything else. But he loves it, so I guess boys just understand boys better! So now, if anyone’s looking for The Boy you know where to find him.


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