08 February, 2007

A "Pushy" Dilemma

For the past 3-4 days Abhay has been coming home from school and telling me “He pushed me” “He’s pushing me”. When I ask him “Who’s pushing you Abhay ?” there is no response.

So I’ve been going down to the kindergarten a bit early nowadays. Cos if I’m there early, then I get to see the entire class lining up from the Music Room and get ready for their toilet break.

Once that’s done, they once again line up outside in the play area and proceed onto their classroom.

Plus the fact that the little guy looks quite thrilled if he happens to see me outside the glass door and there’s a smile and a quick wave of his little palm before he goes off into his classroom.

And a couple of days back, I did see it happen. He was being pushed out of the line by another kid and the other kid seemed to get a lot of pleasure out of it. And another thing I did notice was that some of the other kids preferred to keep away or rather out of reach of that little boy.

Abhay was quite literally getting “pushed around” until one of the teachers noticed and she pulled the other boy away from the line and asked him to go to the end of the line.

The other day in the park too I noticed 3 boys (accompanied by their mothers) playing. Now these boys must have been around 4-5 years old. And there were lots of other children, some as small as 1 ½ - 2 years playing there. These 3 boys were really playing rough – not just amongst themselves but generally with the whole crowd. Anyone in their way would just get pushed or pummeled or get screamed at. So much so that I had to intervene a couple of times. Surprisingly, the mothers were just sitting around with very benevolent looks on their faces.

They said nothing – zilch !!!!

Made me wonder – are they, by their sheer inaction, giving their children an edge as regards streetsmartness and surviving in the outside world are concerned.

Do we, who insist on our children using good, mannerly speech, actually put them on the backseat by not letting their aggressive tendencies grow.

I mean, all kids have it in them. Some time or the other during the course of their growing up it does happen. They hit someone, or throw something at someone and our immediate reaction is – “You are not supposed to do that.”

While, what I noticed with the mothers of those 3 aggressive kids – the common factor – was inaction. The kids’ actions, however inappropriate or violent or hostile or intimidating, did not have any effect on those moms and consequentially, there was no reaction from them, which, I guess, in turn, was interpreted by the boys as silent approval.

First, we teach our kids to be well mannered and when something like this happens how in the name of God do you tell them
“Hey you go right ahead and push the other guy back !”

A kid above the age of say 6 or 7 years would be able to make sense of the theory

“You don’t by yourself start any trouble. But if anyone troubles you unnecessarily, you give it right back to them”.

But how do you make a 3 ½ year old understand such complexities.

Yet again, at the impressionable age they are in, is that not akin to sending out mixed signals. I mean, it is going to leave the kid wondering – just the other day I am told not to push or be mean or hit or throw things and now mom says go ahead and push another kid.

Right now, am pretty much confused !!!

6 voice(s) said so:

@ said...

you know, I experienced something similar few months ago and was so outraged - I should have blogged abt it immediately. Older kids in the mall playarea were shoving and pushing young ones, including mine. So do you jump in and ask them to shove off (note that the parents were watching and doing nothing) or do you move your kid to another location or do you just not do anything unless it looks like serious bodily harm...I hear you, Gauri, and am equally appalled at the parents of these bullies...

Anonymous said...

Just behave as if you have not seen the bullies' parents. I usually say it out loud to the child thats troubling my child "PLZ KEEP YOUR HAND TO YOURSELF".That way other parents around will also take notice.

Its worked almost always......

The Mad Momma said...

It's funny.. just read something similar at http://my2centstoo.blogspot.com/2007/02/job-well-done.html

its so good to see parents concerned... I think the anon comment is right.. you should check the other child if the parents dont. perhaps that will teach them to correct their child. I just dont think staying quiet is the answer.... bullies need to be nipped in the bud .. and kids need to know that you are always there for them till they can take care of themselves.

Gauri said...

anon & MM : You have to actually come across the locals here in HK to get a first hand feel of the thickness of the buffalohide that they carry on their persona.

When I said I had to intervene a couple of times, I had to put a check on those guys and that was what I did.

But it did not make an iota of diff to those mothers.

And this is not the first time I'm coming across such a situation.

And yet again, what do you do when your child comes across such behaviour at school ?

Anonymous said...

Its me again....:-)
I usually would talk to the teacher saying "In my dd/ds routine updates abt school, she/he mentioned....blah blah blah."
Then you put a few extra lines like "I know sometimes its gets difficult for you to keep a check on every child, but if you could just keep a watch on the not so gentle kids (don't ever mention the other child's name...its against school rules for the teacher to take names of other children and talk to parents, here in the US)"

Try it out....

SM said...

Yeah I hear U all! The mommmies' indifference throws me for a loop too. When I take my 10 month old down for a walk, some of the kids are real rough with her(even though she is in my lap or in her stroller). They yank her arms and legs or try to climb all over her stroller. They'r not trying to be hurtful, they are just not age sensitive-babies hurt easier than 3-4-5 yr olds. The mommies just sit there and go-how sweet, my Aryan or esha or tubby just loves babies. Weren't these kids babies ever??Don't these moms know better than to teach them to be gentler?
It ends with my daughter finally crying-oh beta, baby is crying! u play with someone else now.
Or with me telling them to stop doing that, to which the retort is-beta aap kabhi baby ko mat choona (don't touch the baby ever!). Hello???