My girl and I were having some splashing fun when this chubby girl in an undersized bikini decided to dip her mud-filled bicycle into the water and attempted a water ride. There were other toddlers playing nearby and I could see residues from the wheels floating around in the pool.
I asked the girl to remove her bicycle from the baby pool. She pretended not to hear me at first, then started splashing water at me. Her parent finally turned up and apologised while dragging her and the bicycle away.
Or how about the time this boy just refused to let others in queue get on the arcade ride despite hoarding it for a good 10 minutes and not feeding any coins into the machine? Or your little niece who loves to hit other kids just because she didn’t get what she wanted?
I know it’s uncool to lose your cool at other kids but I’m not one who will sit still and just watch my kid gets bullied. Unfortunately, there’s just no way to respond tactfully, because it just isn’t a fair fight to begin with. So here are your next best options:
1. Find the Parent/Guardian: Don’t go head on with the kid because it will make you look real bad. Locate the parent or guardian and inform them politely of the situation. Be prepared to be the bigger person and walk away if you have to, especially if it’s a place you frequent.
2. Prepare Your Child to Face Such Situations: Role play different scenarios with your child at home and educate him on how to respond. This is a win-win: it gives your child an opportunity to learn how to fend for himself and teaches him right from wrong. Learning how to react to such situations also encourages independence in your child.
Sometimes I watch from the side and observe how my girl does it. We go home and talk about it, and we discuss how she could have reacted differently. It’s a learning experience that we both enjoyed. But be forewarned that this is easier said than done. Now that my girl is a toddler, I’m still struggling to let her take charge in such situations. While she is not really aggressive in nature, she has also learned to fend for herself when facing other kids, despite being the only kid at home and almost always getting things her way.
3. Walk Away: Don’t be sorry to do this. Or like me, rant and write an article out of it.
Lai San is an ex-marketer living in Jakarta but her heart has never left KL. Mother to 3 years old Doughnut, she is close to total cure of her OCD with a toddler to clean up after at home. When not stuck in a jam, she writes freelance as a cover up for her total inability to cook, bake or sew.