Thursday, October 8, 2009

No Hitting

Arica and I watched the nursery kids at our church last night during the weekly bible study classes. This is not our normal role, but there was an emergency and my dear wife stepped in to help. Basically she watched the nursery kids, and I did my best to keep up.

We had a 3 year old boy, a 4 year old girl, and Braden. Dealing with other people's kids is not my specialty. I am still learning how to deal with my own nearly one year old. I have not reached the 3 or 4 year old stage yet. Unlike my wife I was not born with any innate parenting skills. I, like many men, have to survive with a learn as you go strategy. Our adventure last night allowed me to learn a few things first hand.

I learned that little girls are quite bossy. Our girl spent most of the night saying that's mine.

I learned that kids around the age of 3 and 4 apparently don't like babies. The phrase of the night was "no baby." I would prefer the Austin Powers inspired "Yeah baby!", but that was not to be.

I felt sorry for Braden. All he wanted to do was play with the other kids. He sometimes tries to grab toys from the other kids, but that is expected from a baby. More importantly he doesn't fuss when you correct him. He never cries when the other kids take things from him either. I think he likes to share. He is very sociable and just wants some attention from the bigger kids. I was very proud of him. He played nice as always. Apparently "no baby" doesn't have an affect on Braden.

The final thing I learned is that I can actually see another kid hit my child without violently throwing said kid through the window. I am proud of myself for that one.

Braden had a toy and was shaking it around and yelling. He tried to show it to the bigger boy and accidentally hit the kid in the eye. I stopped him, and immediately apologized to the other kid. He went on and on about how the baby hit him. Then when I let my guard down he smacked Braden in the head with his hand. I grabbed his hand and instructed him that we don't hit. I tried for several minutes to explain that Braden was a baby and he didn't mean to hit him. I might as well have been explaining the fundamentals of Calculus to this kid. After he decided I was not going to ring the bell for round two he started sharing how he hit his head at his Grandma's house. I guess this qualifies as disaster averted.

During this entire time Braden kept right on playing. I guess it takes a lot more than a punch to the head to slow him down.


Daddy Files said...

Good post, it brings up an issue I haven't fully vetted yet because I'm still not quite sure how to deal with it.

Will loves to play with older kids. And you're right, older kids don't like babies. And when I see one of them take something from him or hit him, I nearly go ballistic. But like you, I step in and try to calmly explain right from wrong, sharing is good, etc. But it never sinks in. And like Braden, Will is so sharing (for the most part).

And let's face it, you're less apt to sternly correct another child because he isn't yours. Even if you do want to strangle him, you have to figure his parents won't appreciate that.

Baby News said...

I've seen a similar situation with Ethan at childcare (there are 9 kids of varying ages all in the same area). Ethan wants to play with all the kids, and steals all the girls stuff. He's a bully...they put together a puzzle, he comes along and pushes off the table, watching it fall apart. I've actually had the kids tell me when I'm talking to the sitter, "Ethan is being mean." How does a baby be mean? LOL!

PJ Mullen said...

I've been dealing with the hitting thing among kids my son's age a lot lately at Gymboree classes. My son is smaller than a lot of the other boys in the class and some have used their size to take things away from him or knock him over. The moms have been pretty good about correcting their children's behavior, but there was one dad that kind of giggled a bit at it. I started him down until he did something. I so wanted to take the ball right back from his kid, but I refrained.

PJ Mullen said...

Uh, I mean 'stare' him down, geeze.

Brandy said...

Grayson is always in awe of the older kids. I have to keep out of their way because they have no idea how to be gentle.

Captain Dumbass said...

Ugh! Other peoples kids.

surprised mom said...

I have to tell you that I love your new post header!

Trying to deal with other people's kids is, well, trying. I like the approach you took when watching those older kids. If I saw someone smack my kid upside the head, I would have to had put myself in a time out or that kid would have suffered the consequences. I can't stand seeing babies being hit. They are usually such loving creatures, as I'm sure Braden is.
Arica is a sweetheart for volunteering to watch those other kids. Glad you were with her.

WeaselMomma said...

Not all 3 & 4 year olds are anti-baby, but they are all immature. None the less, that kid has a lesson to learn and 3 year olds are old enough to know better. I'm happy to hear that Braden was unphased, but that kid needs to learn to protect those smaller than him.

Braden's Mommy said...

As Bradens mom it almost made me cry that he was being hit even though it didnt phase him and I couldnt do anything except for tell the other kid that it was wrong and we dont hit anybody especially little babies. It was a good experience though. By the way we took Braden to the nursery during church for the first time last week and the teachers said he was so playful with everybody and very good, I almost cried on this occasion as well, LOL

seashore subjects said...

Sounds like you passed the trial by fire for all new parents. Redirecting another person's child can be difficult.

Melisa with one S said...

It's always tough when you're "new" parents and you have to deal with older children as they relate to your own, even if they are still toddlers themselves! Sounds like you two handled things like champs!