mean boys

I started this post yesterday, but had to update that just this morning my baby Marshmallow started crawling! OMG, what happened to my newborn????

Now for my not so nice post. My sweet not-quite-four-year-old Monkey has been getting his feelings hurt at school by a boy (I’ll call him A) who has been his BFF for the last year. We have not been fans of this friendship as both boys are way too rough with each other. They alternate between hugs and smiles and kicks and slaps. It’s been a trying year for all involved, but Monkey just thinks the sun rises and sets on A. He talks about him all the time, wants to bring him things, etc. Just loves this kid.

A couple of weeks ago, A’s mother approached DW and mentioned that A has been telling her that two other boys (L and R) don’t want to play with Monkey. Pissed us both off and we were like, well what do you expect us to do with this information (except be pissed off). A’s mom is from another country and English is her second language, so it’s hard to figure out where she’s going with stuff sometimes. Then DW and I went out of town for 2 nights on business and Grandma stayed with Monkey. She dropped him off at school and then texted DW that she asked Monkey on the way to school, “What are you going to do at school today? Play with A?” My boy said, “No, A won’t play with me. R and L won’t play with me. I’ll just be a helping hand.” When they arrived at school, Grandma witnessed A pulling L and R away from Monkey and telling them not to play with him. Monkey got teary and the teacher stepped in and got him involved in something else. My poor baby – and we weren’t home to smother him in hugs :(

Monkey talked about it and cried a few times afterwards. A and the others were also name-calling, mostly about Monkey being a “baby.” Monkey is most definitely a “young 3,” so there’s some truth there which makes it even meaner, if you ask me.

Coincidentally, our school is having a bit of trouble (long story), so for a while we will be having 2 sessions rather than 1. We decided to move to the session that A (and L and R) are not in. It has been going well – no problems. Teacher says both A and S are doing well apart.¬†Yesterday Monkey was invited to attend both sessions due to an absence (4 hour school day – woot!), as was A. When we arrived at the end of the day, ¬†A and Monkey were all over each other (in a good way), smiling, hugging – Monkey just looked SO happy. His teacher said there was some trouble (and tears) in the early session (when L and R are there), but they had a ball during the afternoon session. So I guess that group together is an issue. I think it’s the A/R combo as L was in soccer with Monkey over the summer and we’ve had play dates with him. He’s a sweet, quiet kid and I can’t imagine him doing this.

Anyway, my heart is a little broken over this. We talk about it with Monkey but I’m not sure if there’s more we should do with him to help. Have any of you encountered this stuff yet? If so, what did you do?

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “mean boys

  1. Oh man, as a kindergarten teacher (no kids thought) I get a broken heart several times throughout the year when I see a relationship fall apart. Earlier this year there was a girl/girl dynamic of 5 year olds where one was being a bit pushy towards the other. The mom got involved and told her daughter to buck up and stand up for herself. I watched the pushyer one get a broken heart as she couldn’t understand why her best friend was being “mean” and avoiding her. We decided to work through it and they are better then ever now. We work on self regulation and using words to explain what bothers you. Children even at 3 can usually understand why their behaviour bothers someone else. Do you think Monkey would be willing to tell the other 2 kids they are making him sad?

    I feel for you. :(
    I see it every year with different kids but I can’t even imagine how it would feel to be your own child. Sorry you have to go through his first bully experience.

  2. Wow, I can’t believe this happens with such young children. So heartbreaking. I think it would be good for Monkey to learn to share his feelings and be honest. If they don’t respond well, that will suck, but learning how to advocate for yourself and open lines of communication is an awesome skill to have for the rest of life.

  3. chunkandmommy

    Lordy, kids can be so mean. If I were you, I would just keep dialogue with Monkey and open communication with the teachers. That is basically all you can do. Unfortunately, all of us will face some sort of peer issue with our kiddos and it is hard to be a parent on the outside. Chunk has a group of boys that he has been with since infancy and some days they are like brothers and other days, they are mortal enemies. Also the nature of active boys and the aggression that goes with it. hugs mama!

  4. This stuff is so hard to observe. I’ve seen our very submissive Curly get picked on or rejected before and I fear it will keep happening because of his personality. Anyway, when it happens I just tell him that not everyone is going to like him all of the time and it’s their problem. He should go find other kids who will be nice to him because he deserves it….that he’s important and a good kid and we love him. Just try to buck him up, you know? I guess in time they all have to learn how to navigate the social world and we have to remind ourselves this is all natural and we went through it, too, and survived. I think the more confidence and love we instill in them, the better they’ll be able to handle it.

  5. Ugh. So awful. Like Jenn, I’ve seen this play out with my kindergarten kids, but fortunately not my own children (yet). There are some kids that want to control their friends and often that’s done through excluding others. R seems to have figured out how to get the other boys to do what he wants. Hopefully A and L figure this out and start standing up for themselves and their friends, namely Monkey.

  6. I wish we could shelter them from “mean” boys/girls forever. I know it is a normal part of childhood and growing up but it sucks. I hope that they sort it out and that Monkey is brought back into the fold shortly!

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