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.
“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.
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.
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- 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!
hmmm...this concept is too abstract. can you help me understand what you're saying?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.
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.