This week Buddy came home with another bite report and a conversation with the teacher that began, “Buddy plays a little rough with the other kids.” Great. I know that he’s one of the biggest kids in the class and I suspect he will be for quite some time. Without a bigger kid to knock him down a peg, I don’t like to think where this is headed.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that buddy is a bully – what 2 year-old is? But he is a 2 year-old the size of a 4 year-old; he’s a bull in a China shop.
I decided that Buddy could really benefit from having has ass handed to him. I decided that, as the older sister, Kitten should do the honors.
After school I gave Kitten the scoop. “Buddy needs your help to learn to play nice. He doesn’t realize he’s being too rough. He needs someone to stand up to him and push him back. Can you do that, Kitten? Can you push Buddy back if he pushes you?”
Big, bright, glowing eyes. I have given Kitten the keys to the city. “Yes. Yes, I can do that.”
The rules are that Kitten can only push back defensively. This is actually really good for Kitten too, who has trouble standing up for herself. Her reflex response is to cry and tattle. Every time. It’s disheartening.
Let me be clear; I am not trying to set up a kiddie Thunderdome in my living room. I’m trying to instill a little physical awareness and respect for boundaries in my son and a little confidence and self preservation in my daughter – under adult supervision.
Kitten is not naturally aggressive. The first time Buddy pushed her under the new rule, she still cried before she remembered she could defend herself. And then the tap she gave him in retaliation was so light Buddy didn’t even notice it. Regardless, Kitten was so proud of herself. It was kinda cute. But it also illustrated that we’re not looking at any knock down, drag out brawls anytime soon. Or ever. That’s not the point of this exercise.
The point of this is teaching Buddy that most people don’t like being played rough with. The point is teaching Kitten that it’s ok to stand up for herself.
That’s the theory…let’s see how it goes…