The other day, while Olive and I were at the playground, an older toddler (is a 5 year old still considered a toddler?) came up to her and deliberately threw a ball in her face. Olive, of course, started crying. The other kid’s parent was nowhere to be seen. I picked Olive up, comforted her, and watched the other kid run away, laughing.
More and more often, we are running into the situation where Olive gets ‘bullied’ at the playground. I use this term loosely, of course – a lot of kids play rough with no ill intent; this is normal, and expected. They are kids, after all! But once in a while, you will meet another child who is deliberately trying to be mean, and to hurt others.
I find myself leaving these situations concerned, and stumped. Am I supposed to let Olive learn how to stand up for herself? Because my instinct is to protect her, and tell the other child to behave. However, as a parent myself, I know that if someone decided to discipline Olive on my behalf, I wouldn’t take to it kindly.
Have you ever told another child to play nicely? How do you teach your own children to defend themselves against bullies? What are your rules of the playground?
Have a great Wednesday, you guys.