I still remember the day clearly as if it happened just yesterday. It was at the third birthday party of my daughter’s second cousin that the incident happened.
The birthday boy, as is the norm with three year olds was running around the small party hall in which the cake cutting was organized. And since the rest of the crowd was yet to arrive, his only playmate at this point in time was my daughter who was just a few weeks of turning three years old herself.
Now both these kids were ‘only children’ in that they didn’t have any siblings to share things with and were pretty much the center of attraction and attention in their respective families. This automatically meant that they were used to getting their wishes fulfilled and although were not ‘spoilt brats’ in the true sense of the word, the honest truth was that there was no competition for them as far as having their way at home. This naturally meant that both of them were quite bossy (for lack of a better term) in their demeanor.
That being said, both of them quickly realized that they were the only kids in the room and therefore adjusted well to playing with each other, generally singing rhymes and running around the room. Slowly however, as the birthday boy’s friends started arriving at the venue, he started getting more and more into his element. Within the next half an hour or so, we had a bunch of 10-15 kids running around, having a fun time in general.
Pretty soon my daughter was the only one there who didn’t know the other kids at all, and she started being left out of the fun and games that the rest of the kids were figuring out on their own. But that did not dampen her enthusiasm to be part of the fun and at every given opportunity she joined in on the fun, laughter and running around with the gang.
I still haven’t been able to figure out why, but all of a sudden the birthday boy suddenly started pushing my girl around. Every time she tried to get into the crowd of kids playing, he would make it a point to come over to where she was and physically pushed her away from the game itself, so much so that on more than one occasion he managed to successfully ensure that she lost her footing and fell on her butt.
While my wife and me were quite disturbed by this behavior, the fact remained that it was the boy’s birthday party and both of us knew better than to get involved in a kiddie fight as long as it was not physically dangerous. But, once we noticed that the boy didn’t have any intention of letting it go and let my girl join in on the games, we had to intervene and pull her out for fear of being injured, both physically and to a smaller extent mentally as well.
What got my goat was the fact that neither of the parents of the birthday boy even tried to intervene and ask him to ease up on his bullying of my girl. Yes, it was his birthday and while the intention of not scolding him on that particular day was understandable, the fact remained that he was targeting my girl for unnecessary heckling and that irritated me to no end.
On previous occasions when my daughter had tried bullying other kids elsewhere, both my wife and me had intervened and explained to her as to how it was important for her to share her playthings and allow other kids to join her games. And while she didn’t quite like it at first, she soon understood that this was ‘the rule of the land’ as far as interacting with other kids went. Therefore, when the birthday boy continued his bullying without any intervention from any of the adults present, it ticked me off to no end that nobody was discouraging this behavior in him.
While I understand that the kid was probably a little too young to actually understand what he was doing and how it hurt my girl, I was more irritated at the sheer callousness displayed by his parents who ideally should have intervened in this situation up front itself. Just remembering this incident rankles me a lot for more than one reason, not the least among them being parents inculcating good value systems in their children right at a very young age itself.
This post has been written for Project 365: A post a day where the intention is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided. Today’s prompt was to describe the last time I was surprised by the intensity of a feeling I had about something or how strongly I reacted to something that probably wasn’t a big deal.
17 thoughts on “Intensely Angry”
You say that “the intention of not scolding him on that particular day was understandable”. The little boy’s parents need not scold him on any day. But they must correct such behaviour, pleasantly but firmly, on any day.
@Pro, they didn’t and that’s what precisely irked me the most
Kids, huh? You never know why they sometimes behave the way they do. But yes, the parents should have intervened and stopped the boy. However s lot of kids these days are spoilt beyond ..much beyond how much we all used to be…if at all, we were. Yes, the cane needs to be spared, but that doesn’t mean the parents shouldn’t teach them rigt and wrng.
@Sid, well, what do you do? In any case, we haven’t visited this particular cousin of hers’ since this incident for fear of little R being bullied again.
Oh I have suffered this many times. It is really terrible that parents choose to ignore the bullying behavior of their kids. If we don’t correct our parents now, who will? Also some parents get so defensive when you tell them about their kids’ misdemeanours. They just defend their child and end up creating even bigger bullies! I can understand your dismay.
Typo correct our children not parents.
@Rachna, well, there’s only so much that we can get involved with bringing up others’ children….
Though I don’t have children of my own, I can relate to this anger, having seen my neighbor’s kids very bossy and demanding of others sometimes. I think it is good to be taught a certain level of softness when they are still young. If it is left to grow, then they start taking things for granted, and that never works out.
@Leo, what irked me the most about this situation was the parents not even bothering to step in and try to control the bullying that was happening. For sure, these values need to be inculcated at this young age, because, as you say, if left like this, these kids grow up to be bullies.
Happens all the time. And I really get irritated with parents. I know a boy who apart from bullying creates a ruckus everywhere he goes. And the parents just smile and say, ‘he is an active boy’. Though he doesn’t jump on furniture or throw toys around in his own home, I wonder why.
@Bhagyashree, the kind of things that parents tell themselves to console their ‘bad parenting skills’ are ridiculous to say the least
I have seen this behavior in some parents-kids too. Some parents go to the extent of taking pride in what their child would be doing – being bossy. I cant stand it at all. Soon enough its going to come back and bite them, for sure. And how about those parents who let their kid run around, pulling down all the toys, jumping up and down on the sofa and what not – as if its normal in someone else’s house ?! recently I got slapped by a two year very hard and I didnt even touch her. She happened to see me next to her, thats all. And her mom and grandma were all laughs. Hmpf!!!!
@greenboochi, wonder where the good old values that our parents taught us have gone. How have all these parents nowadays completely forgotten what their parents taught them? I wonder if this is all a result of parents wanting to be ‘more friendly’ with their kids rather than being ‘strict’…
Right parenting is a tough job. It means parent(s) choose to do right things to help their children learn right things and, this calls for parents’ sacrificing good amount of fun time. Like in this party if the hosts had decided to deal with their own kid who was bullying ,they might have had a crying ,cranky, tantrum throwing kid at hand or at least they had to leave some fun time to intervene. It was probably easier to just laugh it off and expect that nobody will think much of it and they can have their good party time.
Brings back the memory of a similar incident when my son was bullied by his own cousin for no reason and his mom, who had absolutely no help from home in raising her kid, had opted to ignore such things because of being perpetually tired.
Easy ,effortless child raising without much parenting ,I guess it is.
@Kirti, so true, most parents today are just tired from having to commute between home, office and school that they just decide to let the kid grow at it does without too much intervention
Such disturbing behavior! It’s sad because then the kids grow up thinking they can get away with anything without facing any consequences..
There is a little boy here, all of 5 and yet, he has learnt to lie quite successful!!
This incident you have mentioned reminded me one such instance where the boy ran screaming and crying to his mother accusing another little girl of calling him names. The mother of the little girl was about to punish her when I intervened and told her that she hadn’t called the boy names! Instead, the boy had pushed the girl unnecessarily while playing and when the girl had pushed back (before I could stop them from pushing each other!), he had run screaming and crying to his mother!!!
The mother listened and did nothing to condemn her child’s actions.. not even a firm but polite lecture! Instead she went dragged the crying boy, made him cry louder and told the other folks that the little girl had called her son names!!!
@pixie, in Tamil there is a saying ‘for a crow its younglings are golden in color’ and this incident precisely reminded me of that saying. Wonder when parents will learn to treat all children, including their own, equally and in an unbiased manner.