Friday, June 6, 2014

Bully at the Park

A few weeks ago, I decided to take my boys to the park. My husband had to work, and my little ones were restless. I knew the park would be the perfect way to have some fun and get my boys, especially Monkey, tired for bed.

It was a beautiful evening. The weather was warm with a slight breeze. Monkey was so excited to go the park because he loves the swings, the slides, the splash pad, and the fire truck. The park had several other adults and children there too.

I usually end up being pretty close to Monkey for most of our time at the park because he wants me to play with him. I don't mind since eventually he will grow out it, and I want to enjoy the time where we can play together.
Monkey loves the firetruck!
Once Monkey saw the firetruck he instantly ran over to it. He just loves the firetruck because it has a steering wheel and it rocks back and forth. Another little boy joined Monkey. I thought this would be great for him since he will have another child his age to play with. Sadly, I was mistaken. While I was taking Roo out of his stroller about 10 feet away, I heard the other boy say, "It's a seesaw, not a firetruck. You're a stupid guy."

Instantly, my whole body froze. I wasn't going to put up with my son being called stupid so I headed over to him. I heard Patrick say, "It's a firetruck" to which the boy respond, "It's a seesaw. You're stupid." I didn't even think before I told the child that we don't call others stupid and kindly suggested that he could pretend it is a seesaw while my boy pretends it is a firetruck. He promptly told me its not a firetruck and that my boy was stupid.

The little boy ran off to play somewhere else. I was so relieved because it gave me the chance to talk to Monkey about what happened. It gave me time to talk to him about accepting others even if they think differently than you. I went on to talk to him about self esteem and not allowing what others say determine your worth.

I made sure our evening wasn't soured by ending it on a fun note by playing in the splash pad. However, I kept thinking about what happened. It really hurt to see a three year speak to my son and to me in such a negative way. I don't want my children to ever behave that way and think it is okay to call others name. Words are powerful and should be used with care.

This experience taught me that I need to be a better example to my children so they don't pick up bad habits from me. I don't want them thinking it is okay to say mean things to others just because they are different or think different. Even though my son hasn't even mentioned this incident since it happened, I can't seem to shake it. I guess you could say that this was a slight wake up call to make sure that my little kiddos are learning appropriate and kind words from me. So the next time when I get upset and frustrated, I'm going to work really hard at not uttering stupid (or other hurtful words) because my little boys might turn around and use them!

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