Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Yelling at other people's children.

It's the worst thing a parent can do, in my opinion.

But I had to do it today. Bad mama.

After "holding it" for nearly a year and a half, I yelled at someone else's child.

When kids play in our backyard, all kinds of fights break out. Someone refuses to get the ball from the garden next door, someone cheats while playing hide and seek, another calls someone a "baby" (oh that's the biggest fight starter - like a box of matches thrown into the fireplace!) and I never ever interfere - I just let Arda deal with whatever he faces that day. That's how kids grow up. That's how they "toughen" up. That's what everyone says.

But when you reach a point where a bully repeatedly hurts your child, not only verbally, but also physically, I have to draw a line. A big line that includes yelling at that bully. And boy, a year and a half worth of "holding it in" resulted in me screaming at the top of my voice to an 11 year old. After seeing the whole thing take place right in front of my eyes, my son came home crying, I called the other kid and said "I don't care what happened, you have NO right to hit my son, you have NO right to kick him, and NO right to try and suffocate him and if it EVER happens again, I will do whatever you do to him right back at you, and believe me, you really don't want that. You are older and stronger than him, but I am older and stronger than you." Then I slammed the door at his face.

I'm terrible person and a worse mother. I should have done what I have been doing for the past year and a half - talk to Arda about what happened, explain to him that bullying and hurting people is bad, and he is a better person for just coming home and not hitting back etc etc etc. After being beaten up.

But the look on his face after I slammed the door was pure relief - and I could tell that even if it's the wrong way to show your child you support him in his daily conflicts, threatening the bully made him feel somewhat safer and more cared for.

After this whole ordeal, three of us sat down for dinner and Tunca was trying to cheer Arda up. He kept trying to give him a sticker and spit out his food to make his brother smile. It was way too cute. And moving. The spitting part was disgusting.

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