Friday, November 21, 2014

What If A Kid Raised A Chair Against Your Child?? #saynotobullying


I was pretty riled up on Monday night. Still am thinking about it, but not so angry now, just rather taken aback at the way some parents let their kids run amok. I try my best not to judge or comment on other people's parenting styles since each family is different, and nobody knows their kids better than themselves but this time... urgh. 

That day we were at the club for our usual swimming session but since it was raining, Lil Pumpkin went to play inside the indoor playground instead. There were two boys there and Lil Pumpkin wanted to play with them so being her sociable self, went to chat with them and even took a stool to sit next to them. I was watching from outside and no way did I see her push her way into their game of playing on the seesaw.

Suddenly, the older boy {likely 6 or 7 years old} got up, took her stool and raised it above his head like he was going to hit her!!!!!!!!!!

Of course I immediately went and stopped him, and told Lil Pumpkin to go and play somewhere else. She was startled, but thankfully didn't cry. I was the cool, collected adult {although to be honest I was raging mad inside!!} and talked calmly to him that he should not have done that, and he should play nicely etc. He was barely remorseful, glared at me and even have the audacity to say why should he apologise since Lil Pumpkin was disturbing him and his brother so he's not in the wrong. Obviously talking to him wasn't going to work, so I asked for his mum. He kept quiet but I didn't relent and he said she was in Bangkok.

Ok fine, so I asked who was the adult that brought him there and he finally said it was his helper, who was not around at all.

I waited around and he kept glaring at me and saying why should I speak to his mum when she's in Bangkok and after a while the helper came back. She immediately sensed something was wrong and I briefly told her about that boy's behaviour and confirmed that the mum wasn't around. However, his dad was coming to pick them up so I told her to inform me when he arrives. The helper gave a sorry face and said that he's always been a naughty boy.

The boy's friend's mum came in to take her kid away for dinner and saw that I was standing there upset. She asked what happened and I told her. She was upset at his behaviour too and wanted him to apologise but the boy was rude to her as well!! Goodness! She too gave me an apologetic look and admitted he's always like that.

His dad finally arrived and we talked but he did not even get his son to apologise to Lil Pumpkin or admit his fault. When the boy was obnoxious to me in front of his dad, he did not stop the boy and said "oh, he talks like that do everybody". He even said that kids play rough in playgrounds, and he understands how the boy can be because he is like that with his brother too.


Suddenly, a light bulb went off in my head and I realised that there's no point talking further to his dad. If raising a chair to threaten another younger kid is just "playing", if speaking rudely to an elder is not worth stopping, if having consistent bad bahaviour {as affirmed by those around him} is acceptable, then I've nothing to say already. I reckon parenting, or lack of it, plays a large part in how our kids act. If the parents see no wrong in this matter, or makes little of it, then there's no reason to continue that conversation.

I spoke to some mummy friends about it and as far as rational adults go, they agree the boy's AND the father's behaviour and attitude were unacceptable. They even shared some of the bullying incidents their kids went through as well which were quite shocking. I don't live in la-la land where all kids are angels, but I'm really perturbed how mean they can be.

Yes, kids play rough sometimes, and I know Lil Pumpkin is no saint at the playground too, but that should not be used as an excuse to condone violent behaviours or bullying, which is exactly what this was. Boundaries have to be drawn, and wrong behaviours need to be corrected. There is a thin line between rough kids play and bullying, and we should never accept bullying from other kids, or even our own.

We are the parents for a reason, and we have a responsibility to teach our kids right from wrong. We cannot deny there's a problem or shrug it off when we see them make such awful mistakes. 

I can't do anything about that family and I'm certainly not going to parent that boy for his own parents... but I'm just glad I was there to intervene. If I wasn't there, the boy might have even thrown the chair at Lil Pumpkin, even though he claimed he just wanted to move it away. Oh please, if you just wanted to move the chair you would have raised it up slightly, not lift it over your head like you were going to throw it!!!

Previously I just reminded Lil Pumpkin each time we were at the playground not to mind if kids don't want to play with her, as sometimes she doesn't feel like playing with others too. After that incident, I had a good talk with her about bullying and how to stand up for herself and call for help. And also to stay away from that boy, and to not let him near her, if they are ever in the same playground again.

Bullying, the act of willfully causing harm to others through verbal harassment {teasing and name-calling}, physical assault {hitting, kicking, and biting}, or social exclusion {intentionally rejecting a child from a group} is a real problem all around, even up to adulthood. Our kids need that life skill to deal with it. I just hope that all parents reading this will remind their kids not to bully, and to correct them immediately if they see that they do #saynotobullying

Here's some other resources on bullying if you want to read up more on it:

1. Coalition Against Bullying for Children & Youth - Bullying in Singapore
2. Singapore Children's Society - Bullying in Singapore Schools
3. Focus on the Family - How to Deal with Bullying
4. Ministry of Education {Singapore} - Zero Tolerance Towards Bullying in Schools
5. StopBullying.gov - Anti-bullying Education Materials
6. National Crime Prevention Centre {U.S.A.} - What to Teach Kids about Bullying
7. Kids Against Bullying - Anti-bullying Education Materials for Kids
8. BBC - Understanding Bullying

Have your kids been bullied before?
How do you teach them about bullying or deal with the bullies' parents?

*****
 photo singapore-kids-children-costume-swimwear-accessories-googles-babiators-sunglasses-swimzip-rashguard-rashies-set-giveaway-rev_zps247368df.jpg

Photobucket

16 comments:

Six Little Hearts said...

Whoa!
Frightening situation and I don't know what I would have done. Probably get very angry at the child who is bullying! Not a solution and not helpful in the long run but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Masshole Mommy said...

The sad thing is, if he acts like that at his age, it's only going to get worse. His parents are basically doing nothing to stop his behavior.

Sarah@tomfo said...

I truly believe we as parents have the responsibility to show our children love and respect and teach them to be like that to others...
it is something if all parents become involved in, we can teach our children to be caring to all they meet. Thank you for this post and reminding me of the special job I have as a parent.

School of Mum said...

It's sad. And it totally happens. As a teacher I've seen that chair behaviour more times than I can tell you. It is unacceptable behaviour, and when parents are like that - it is so difficult to get through to them.

Debs G @ Owls Well said...

Frightful behaviour from both boy and dad. Hopefully this doesn't stop L'il Pumpkin from being friendly and sociable! That would be the worst.

alissa apel said...

I'm so glad she didn't didn't get hit with that chair!!!

With the boys in a martial art, I see a variety of parents and kids. I notice that the kids that act up don't ever have parents there watching. One of us are always there. We want to see how our kids do, and correct them if they are wrong.

Ai Sakura said...

Six Little Hearts: Yeah I was very angry, and made even more so when he was so obnoxious even after I stepped in.

Masshole Mommy: That's what my friends said too.

Sarah: No worries, thanks for sharing my thoughts too.

School of Mum: If the parents' aren't even supportive, it's hard to even do anything really.

Debs: That was my fear too. Really don't want it to kill her spirit!

Alissa: Exactly. No need to hover over them, but just to keep a watchful eye if anything goes wrong..

Stacy said...

This boy ain't going to grow up right if nobody changes his path. Poor kid.

I do like how you went over this with lil pumpkin.

Adeline said...

Gosh what a horrible experience! I think it was good that you made an effort to speak to him and his dad, as it shows Lil' Pumpkin how seriously you took the bullying. If anything, she will learn that you will always be on her side, and that she should always go to you if she encounters bullies, because you didn't brush it off as a "small incident", like how the boy's father probably does/did.
It's sad that the boy is allowed to behave like that, and I think his parents will have a tough time keeping him in check as he grows older and bolder. Hopefully, you won't meet him again!

Irene Soh said...

This is terrible, what makes it worst is the father's reaction to the situation. *shake head*

oomph. said...

wow, i would be livid! my son isn't a saint, but i will definitely address behavioral issues right away. what a scary experience for you both. glad she's ok.

Lucy @ Bake Play Smile said...

That's terrible - your poor little girl. How awful! That's just not acceptable at all. xx

Grace said...

Man, I am so made for you! I can't believe the father didn't his son to apologise. It sounds like they've kind of given up on him which is truly sad.
It's such a shame that bullying not only exists - but starts at such a young age :(

Brandi Yee said...

Oh my goodness....so sorry that happened to Lil Pumpkin and I hope it never happens again. How disappointing that the father wouldn't want to take that as a teaching moment for his son, especially with how serious of an act that was and could have been. Good for you for how you handled it though and I hope you don't encounter a situation like that again.

Theresa Mahoney said...

Sounds like the parents think he can do no wrong. He'll only get worse as he ages. Seems like he has a sense of entitlement now, and it's totally the parents fault!

Sweetday said...

Glad that Little Pumpkin is not hurt. Bullying is around for quite some time. Parents should be responsible. There is also cyberbullying which is getting common too. I really wonder why is that so? We can teach children to seek help when they met bullies. What if they are cornered by a gang? I read some where children usually bullies in a group. I hope nothing of that sort would come to harm our children.