[QUOTE=drssgchic;884896]I know for the animals that I've met- if they have rules- or better yet, jobs- they feel more secure and are therefore better behaved. I hear this also applies to children.
Hey- speaking of jobs- would you trust the kid enough to "assign" him as your baby's protector at gatherings? Job description including both protecting the baby from others AND setting a good example (ie, behaving himself, you know, for the kid) It sounds like he has potential since he was taking the time to play a baby-safe game- he just hasn't had much encouragement.[/QUOTE]
hmmm...he has more rules than my kids do. i don't want to get more specific in a public forum, but i think there may be too much punishment and not quite enough actual discipline in his life. the protector role is an interesting suggestion, but that would be usurping my son's role as protector. we've indoctrinated him with the idea that oldest children are responsible for helping the younger kids stay safe and providing a good role model. Well, more specifically, we've taught him that younger kids are usually going to try to emulate him, so he needs to remember that when he makes his decisions. I could talk to my son and explain that it's a trick of sorts to help H treat everyone nicely, he might be on board with that. or he might see it as me supporting H as a person exercising authority over everyone. hmmm...that is another interesting idea. If H bullies because he wants to be the leader of the pack, maybe I could find a book to gift to him about leading judiciously; if such a book exists for kids. I know he likes to read.
I like your Momma bear approach. He knows he's messing with a bigger bully that way. Your simple and clear language left nothing unclear about how you felt. I also think the idea of giving him the job of protector has quite a bit of value. If you change his perception of himself, he can become the kid who protects others from bullying and make a big difference as he already has size on his side.
Dressage, you are quite wise!
Co-protector works too...
It's basically just teaching him a different way of seeing himself in relation to other children.
You don't want to see himself as an authority over other kids so much as a benevolent big brother.
A benevolent leader is a leader still... just of a very different flavor. More of a quiet watchful eye and setting a good example.
But that a well timed 'hey, careful around the babies' with other children is fine.
And explaining it to your son is a big plus. I'm sure he will get it.
My son ended up in protector role once he got big... but I didn't have to trick him to get him there... maybe it was just my parenting style.
Mud Flinger- Thank you! Now if only I could apply my wisdom instead of just spouting it off . . .
Saoirse- You're right, it would be bad to usurp your eldest's role. How well do H and your son get along? Do you think you could get them to work as a team? Your son is responsible for his sibs all the time, and during get-togethers he and H can team up beacuse there's more going on? It sounds like your kid has his head on straight, so maybe he'd be a good example?
Gotcha on the punishment vs discipline. Actually, that can make your job easier, maybe. If you can give him a clear structure and discipline that is more positive reinforcement than negative, he might latch onto it big time. The "nos" still need to be absolute for the safety of your own children, but if they're consistant and he has the possibility of getting "yes," he will at least be given the chance of giving the right answer.
*narrows eyes at Cori* Get out of my head . . .
mud flinger- i agree. i hate that i had to play into that bully dynamic to get my point across, but i was simply at a loss as to what else to do. i think as long as we stay within that aggressive dynamic, nothing will really change.
cori- :D i was 5 and 6 years older than two of my younger brothers. when kids bugged them at the park, i was eager to step in. probably a little over-eager. i was never aggressive, just menacing in the background while my brothers played.
Maybe I could gather the three older kids (H, D, and my oldest) and have a little pow-wow where we teach them how to be benevolent leaders. Really, D and my kid don't need it, but I think putting them in a group together might be better because it would avoid singling him out in an uncomfortable way, which really isn't for his benefit so much as his parents'. I think they are more of the attitude that "kids will be kids."
Actually, D and your kid might benefit from it. Today's world is all about "team players." They both have their crap together, so how do they deal when one of their "team" doesn't?
Sounds like you have a plan!
[QUOTE=drssgchic;885084]Mud Flinger- Thank you! Now if only I could apply my wisdom instead of just spouting it off . . .
Saoirse- You're right, it would be bad to usurp your eldest's role. How well do H and your son get along? Do you think you could get them to work as a team? Your son is responsible for his sibs all the time, and during get-togethers he and H can team up beacuse there's more going on? It sounds like your kid has his head on straight, so maybe he'd be a good example?[/quote]
they get along like oil and water. H is usually aggressive and pushy with him. if they both happen to want to do the same things or play the same way then things go well between them. however, if my son doesn't want to do what H wants to do, H will find ways to "persuade" him.
[quote]Gotcha on the punishment vs discipline. Actually, that can make your job easier, maybe. If you can give him a clear structure and discipline that is more positive reinforcement than negative, he might latch onto it big time. The "nos" still need to be absolute for the safety of your own children, but if they're consistant and he has the possibility of getting "yes," he will at least be given the chance of giving the right answer.[/QUOTE]
hmmm...this concept is too abstract. can you help me understand what you're saying?
Another thing I have seen work well to reinforce behavior is handing out a "special prize" to the kid or kids who do well. Maybe an invite to go for ice cream or some other with your family when he has done particularly well. Do you know something he is into? A thank you card can work wonders as well - sent through the mail to him. Kids love to get mail and a thank you card is a rare thing so it may make some impact (and is cost effective - other prizes can get pricey). I like your idea of a book too. Maybe showing special attention is really what this kid needs/desires.
[QUOTE=Saoirse;884749]Anyway, so I led him away from the party, looked him straight in the eye, and put on my "I'm so pissed right now, i can only talk in this quiet, strained way" voice. In extremely few words, I basically said:
"this is my baby. "
awkward pause as i stared him down.
"i heard that you were going to dump water on his head"
more awkward pause.
"you do not TOUCH my baby."
"are we clear?"
more awkward pause.
I'm not a parent, so I don't know what my opinion is worth here, but I think you handled this situation beautifully.
One year in my classroom, we had a major (and majorly sneaky) bully and a practically non-verbal autistic five-year-old who could not defend himself in any way, shape, or form. (I call him non-verbal although he did talk - but it was just echolalia of TV and video games - no meaningful conversation whatsoever.) This kid clung to my shirt for the larger part of five hours every single day thinking I was a fellow character on a video game. If someone hit him, he couldn't tell me. If he needed something, he couldn't tell me. So I watched the bully like a hawk and made it very, very clear that he was NOT to touch this kid. EVER.
And he didn't. We were supposed to have loving conversations about why Little Billy hit or spat or did the nasty thing with his booger, but I wouldn't engage. The loving conversations never made the slightest bit of difference. He did it because he liked it, and nothing changed that ever. But he was absolutely not to touch the kid who walked around the classroom holding my shirt and calling me Ratchet (from the video game - he thought he was Clank). Or the mouth of hell would open under his feet. LEAVE MY BABY ALONE. He doesn't even know what planet he's on.