They were Mean to My Kid…

meantomychild20140118Yes, kids can be mean; my boy has seen his fair share of mean kids and the mama bear in me wants so very much to go and knock some sense into these kids who use their words as a weapon and do mean things to get a laugh. BUT… i don’t …

Why? One reason is because i can’t express myself sufficiently well enough in German to get my full intent across. Another reason is sometimes (just some of the time) i feel my boy needs to learn to stand up / speak up for himself.

It’s a fine line and one i have lots of problems walking along because my boy is a sensitive child and what people say to him and about him really does bother him a whole lot!

Like just the other day, on the way home, his friend called him dumb. Apparently for no reason and without provocation. He was upset and felt that all the kids must think that. When he left to go back to school for the afternoon, he didn’t want to walk with his best friend because his best friend was already walking with the friend who called him dumb. They were ahead of us and kept looking back. My boy was upset, thinking they were talking about him and how dumb he is. i told him that may not be true and that he should be the bigger person and just let it go.

Yes, easier said than done.

i wanted so much to go up to the other boy and ask why he called my boy dumb – but i didn’t. i wanted to call his mother but i didn’t. Should i have? i’m not sure it would have been the best thing.

i read this article yesterday  – What to do When Someone is Mean to Your Child – and it hit home

And what she said to her boy is exactly what i want and need to say to my boy.

My boy needs to know that mean people will always exist regardless of how good you try to be and that we should never try to please people. We live by God’s standard.

My boy needs to know that what people say of him / about him does not define who he is. He is a well-loved son, grandson and friend and most importantly, a beloved child of God.

My boy needs to know that he can be assertive without resorting to physically hitting back.

My boy needs to know that there are people (like his teachers, us, grandparents, uncle etc…) he can go to if he needs to; when bullies get to be too much.

My boy needs to know that God’s standard means we need to be kind to everyone; it’s a way of showing God’s love to the people around us. And the kindness he shows will come back to him.

My boy needs to know that bullies can sometimes be victims themselves and he needs to be like Jesus and try to see the possible good in a person and see how he can help.

It is a tall order and i hope that my boy will learn it and be the kind friend. He won’t learn it all at once but bit by bit i pray he will grow into that kind of person.

So what do you do when someone is mean to your kid?


Too Much Parenting?…

Education vs Experience
Education vs Experience (Photo credit: gtalan)

So over the last few weeks, which i spent in my homeland of Singapore, i have observed my friends with their children and other children in general. i have eavesdropped on conversations (not intentionally, people are just in such close proximity on public transport, it can’t be helped).
My friends and we generally share the same basic principles in parenting and allowing our children to learn as much as they can on their own.

But the conversations of the kids on the trains tell me something else. They seemed so pre-occupied with issues which are non-issues really. But then they were teens and of cos i’m on a completely different wavelength.

Then i spoke to another friend who is a lecture at a technical institute and am horrified to hear that even there, the last stop before these young people face society as working adults, students hide behind their parents; getting their parents to fight for everything from a better grade to days off without valid reasons, to excuses for undone work.

All the above left me wondering and making a comparison with the way kids are taught here, what they are expected to learn and be able to do on their own here. It also reminded me of this article: Why my child will be your child’s boss – CBS News.

Have a read and let me know what you think.

My favourite line:

So, while he’s 4 and generally covered in dirt, I suspect he’ll be more prepared for leadership when we move back to the U.S. than will children who have no freedom and responsibility and face no consequences. 

That is, if he doesn’t cut off his own hand with the saw.


Please Don’t Help My Kids…

Today my son got a new toy (shhh… don’t tell my husband…).

So when we got home to Grandma’s house, he wanted to open it. i said, “Sure.” He set about happily opening it. But got kinda stuck at the last part. Grandma wanted to help him but i told her he can manage. And he did after a bit more struggle.

That was a very very tiny event. But it reminded me of this article: Please Don’t Help My Kids – Kate Bassford Baker’s Blog – Alameda, CA Patch.

Click on image to find out more about it… i think it’s a great art piece… reaching for the sky…

i completely agree with her. Kids need to learn that they have the ability to do whatever it is they need or want to get done. They just have to push themselves just that little bit harder, try again.

That has always been the spirit which we try to instill in our little guy (not so little anymore, i have to constantly remind myself).

We don’t buy every toy he wants. He saves his own money and buys some of his toys himself. (Doting grandparents buy a fair bit of his toys, we don’t.) Or i would wait till he has shown wonderfully good behaviour and surprise him by telling him he can get a toy or i would pay for half an expensive toy for him. We want him to learn the value of money as well as patience and to have the ability to save for later (delayed gratification).

We encourage him to try to do everything he can himself. We do very little for him these days (he is after all 9 already). We have always nudge him to try new things. We want him to not be afraid and to dive into life, loving what it has to offer.

We don’t fuss over every fall or cut he has. We check it, ask if he is alright and get him to carry on. We have always tried not to baby him and to allow him to fall and pick himself up.

We try to get him to solve issues with his friends himself, only offering advice as to possible solutions when he asks. Same with difficult homework.

All because we…

…want (him) to know the exhilaration of overcoming fear and doubt and achieving a hard-won success. 

…want (him) to believe in (his) own abilities and be confident and determined in (his) actions. 

…want (him) to accept (his) limitations until (he) can figure out a way past them on (his) own significant power.

…want (him) to feel capable of making (his) own decisions, developing (his) own skills, taking (his) own risks, and coping with (his) own feelings…

It is not the easiest thing to do as a parent because the first thing i wanna do is to rush over and protect him, keep him safe from all the hurts and bad things. But i will not always be there so i need to help equip him to deal with the mountains he might face.

Is this what they call “Tough Love”? Maybe. But i have seen too many kids who have grown up with a sense of entitlement, a sense of the ‘world-owes-me’ to not be tough for the sake of my little guy and his future.