As most of you know, if you read this ramblings from my brain on any sort of regular basis, my dear Maniac is three and a half.
She’s bigger than all the other three-year-olds
in our play group in the world! She is off the charts for her age. And people tend to forget that despite the fact that she is the size of the average 5-year-old, she’s only three.
She can get a little aggressive when she’s playing with other kids, she has pushed and hit, taken toys away, and one time she even bit one of her little friends.
She doesn’t mean any harm. She’s not doing it to be mean or just to pick on the littler kids. She’s just three. She doesn’t have other kids to play with during the day.. she just has me. She’s still learning the ropes of playing and interacting with her peers.
That being said… the person who I thought was my closest friend here, had been acting really strange for the last month or so- basically just not talking to me unless she had to. I finally had the opportunity to confront her about it on Tuesday. Her reasoning for just not talking to me:
“The Maniac is a bully, and you don’t do enough to stop her.”
My first reaction was that I know she can be rough.. but I’m working on it.
After thinking about it for a few days, I’ve come to the realization that it’s not fair to brand her a “”BULLY”. That’s a really strong word. That makes you think of intimidation and malicious intent, preying on the weak.
She’s just a little girl who is trying to figure stuff out. Like I said, she doesn’t have other kids to play and fight with all day.. she just has me and (when she’s not in school) the Teen. She has to learn somehow. So she gets mad and hits someone. or bites them (which I’m pretty sure is where this whole thing started.) or takes a toy away… whatever… It could happen to any kid by any kid. That doesn’t make her “the Bully.”
As for the “You don’t do enough to stop it” I’ve been thinking a lot about that too. I definitely feel like she is attacking my parenting. Theres a really fine line between being helpful and being a judgmental jerk. I would never judge her parenting decisions. You have to do what you have to do. And truth be told, I have witnessed a couple of things that I would never do, but I would never call her out on… unless of course the kids were truly in danger.
Yes, my husband kindly pointed out a week or two ago that maybe I give the Maniac too many chances to get her to stop doing stuff. I’ve been working on that. And I have instituted an absolute no hitting policy. You hit/bite = time out. No exceptions. We’ve also been talking about what it means to do nice things and mean things, as well as what to do when you feel angry that doesn’t involve touching other people. It’s going to take some time… but I know she’ll get it.
She has actually been quite good on the last two playdates we were on. So there 😛 .
Maybe I didn’t reprimand her to her liking because I was with a bunch of women that I don’t know very well. Come on, you know as well I as do that you don’t yell at the kids like you normally would in front of strangers or people you aren’t 100% comfortable with… mostly because you don’t want them judging you, or thinking you are a horrible parent.
Be realistic- if you have ever been to a playgroup… all the:
“Come on honey, we don’t _____________” in the sweetest tone ever…
You know they most likely don’t talk to the kids at home. You know there’s some yelling going on there… maybe I’m wrong… but in my experience… when there are kids they eventually make you yell no matter how hard you try not to.
Anyway- that’s what I’ve been dealing with this week. Now I have to decide whether I need to just let it go, or say something to her about the unfairness of labeling her a Bully. I will probably just let it go… it’s not worth the energy to worry about it… she’s going to think what she wants anyway no matter what I say.
I just have to show her that she’s anything but a bully.