Monday, November 06, 2006

Wimp Or Bully?

Our playroom at the resident's club recently added a few Little Tikes cars. Whenever we go there, it's obvious that it's the most coveted item by the kids. When I took Boy Wonder to the playroom yesterday, one of the cars was free so he happily sat in and started driving around my seat.

The strange thing about Boy Wonder is that everytime a kid approaches him while he's in the car, he comes straight out, horrified for some bizarre reason. So the moment he gets out, the kid gets right on the car and drives away. And even stranger is that most of the time, Boy Wonder doesn't mind that he just got carnapped.

So yesterday while Boy Wonder was happily playing in one of the cars, a boy about his age approached with the intention of snatching the car away from Boy Wonder. I was in no mood for bad manners, so I held on to Boy Wonder telling him not to get out while telling the other boy to wait for his turn. After the boy went away, I did the best I could in both Chinese and English to explain to Boy Wonder that he doesn't have to get out everytime someone else wants to take his car. I tried to explain to him that he shouldn't be scared and must tell the other kids that its still his turn to play.

A few minutes later, the same boy was back again. This time, although it broke my heart to do it, I sat back and watched what Boy Wonder would do. Sure enough, the moment the other boy approached, Boy Wonder got out of the car with horror in his face. The other boy hopped in right away and drove away. This time Boy Wonder realized what had just happened and started crying. I was really upset with the other kid, but I had to be firm with Boy Wonder. I told him it was his fault to get out when it was clearly not the other boy's turn yet. I told him he shouldn't be scared and repeated all the other things I had told him not too long ago. I told him to go to that other boy and ask him if he could borrow the car again and of course the other kid refused. I got quite pissed actually when the other boy refused and even more so because the mother was there and didn't even encourage her son to share. But then again, it was Boy Wonders fault to have gotten out of the car in the first place.

I was mad at the boy, at the mom and at Boy Wonder. I was so frustrated! Even though I felt really bad for Boy Wonder, I was hoping this would be a lesson learned for him not to be such a wimp and that he'll hopefully remember the next time someone tries to grab his car or toy or whatever item he's got. It broke my heart to have to scold him even though he had done nothing wrong. But I wanted to toughen him up!

I'm glad Boy Wonder isn't one of the kids who hits or is aggressive or grabs other kids' toys. He's one of the most mild mannered kids I've seen. But I just hope all this niceness will not be a disadvantage when he grows up. Its already been studied that kids who learn how to lie are more successful than their counterparts when they grow up. Are there studies that show what happens to kids who were wimps compared to bullies when they grow up?

I'll see how Boy Wonder goes again the next time we're in the playroom. If he still runs off scared when another kid wants his car, I might just have to step in and be the overly protective mom in the meantime. But the day Boy Wonder understands, he'll have to learn to fend for himself.

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