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Sometimes I think that I wasn't cut out to be the parent of boys (long, sorry)

(31 Posts)
GreatGooglyMoogly Fri 18-Jul-08 19:44:55

Today I took ds1(4) and ds2(2.6) to the playground. There were two other boys there who were probably slightly older than ds1. They knew each other and were playing together with one nanny and one mother on a bench nearby. I teach my boys to play nicely with others - no hitting, throwing sand, meanness(sp?), etc. So these two boys are being openly hostile in what they are saying to my boys, but are not hitting or doing anything that I can intervene with. It was very much an "us" vs "them" mentality. The two boys played a bit on, their own including throwing sand and hitting the playground equipment with their large spades - one of them even managed to accidentally throw sand into the other's face. Later I caught my boys throwing sand at one of them and told them off. The two boys then proceeded to aggressively tell my boys off for throwing sand at them. I pointed out that my boys were only copying them. ds1 tried to get them to play with him on a "plane". He wanted to be a driver but they said they were the drivers; later he said the plane was broken and they said it wasn't, etc. I know boys are like this but it is heartbreaking to see ds1 constantly being dominated. Is this how it is always going to be? Is there anything I can do? I don't want him to be like them but I don't want him to be dominated all the time either sad

lizinthesticks Fri 18-Jul-08 20:01:38

That is NOT just boys. Seriously. I had something almost exactly the same happen the other week, but with girls (slightly younger, however).

ProfessorGrammaticus Fri 18-Jul-08 20:05:29

I agree - it's not a boy thing, it's a kid thing (a life thing?!)

GreatGooglyMoogly Fri 18-Jul-08 20:05:53

Really? Any advice?

ChasingSquirrels Fri 18-Jul-08 20:09:18

they were older than him and there were 2 of them - it was pretty likely he was going to be dominated.
Does he go to playschool, how does he relate to his peers?

chankins Fri 18-Jul-08 20:10:10

Agree its all kids, girls are just as bad, and can be very competitive too. I have learnt to sit back and let my dcs fend for themselves as much as possible, as they have to learn to deal with children who get like this. Obviously intervene if you have to, and keep watching them just in case you have to step in or say anything. In time I think they learn to stay away from children who won't let them play nicely.

GreatGooglyMoogly Fri 18-Jul-08 20:15:17

He does go to playschool and he gets along well with the children and the teachers and has a best friend too (also a boy). There are 2 teachers and only about 10 children though so the teachers keep a close eye on all interaction. I am worried about what school will be like with so many more children.

lizinthesticks Fri 18-Jul-08 20:17:57

"Any advice?"

I intervene if it looks truculent - I tell the other kids what I think in no uncertain terms. I've no truck with the notion that you can't tell other people's kids off. Sod that for a laugh. I'll give 'em both barrels without any qualms - tell 'em they're idiots (I am moderating my language here). Normally one of my hideously vile stares is enough to wither a small child though. At least, one that doesn't know me better. wink

OrmIrian Fri 18-Jul-08 20:20:57

I think I wasn't cut out to be the mother of girls. I really struggle with DD's friends. Boys are a doddle really.

chankins Fri 18-Jul-08 20:23:48

Yes I think being mother of girls is going to be tough - my 5 yr old dd2 is coming out with stuff like 'I don't like my hair' 'my face is rubbish' and 'I wish I looked like so and so' WTF ? she is 5 !
Can't see me hearing the same worries come out of ds's mouth when he is at school somehow.

BasementBear Fri 18-Jul-08 20:59:59

IME girls can be worse than boys! Ok, boys can be rough and rowdy but generally they are simple creatures who like to run around in gangs. Girls get into all that "best friend" business and seem to have to "fit in" more than boys do.

HonoriaGlossop Fri 18-Jul-08 21:27:31

greatgoogly, what you describe is kids of this age playing, I'm afraid

I have had to learn that yes, to a large degree you have to let them fight their own corners. I do agree with liz though that sometimes if it's just gone too far then step in - I have had to do this when other parents aren't there/aren't watching/don't care.

But basically what i've seen is that most interactions ds has with other kids at school are very negative/competitive. It is hard to watch. I want them to be NICE to eachother! But then I remember it wasn't till junior school that I got a little group of friends where our interactions were based on actually being friendly to each other. And there were still plenty of kids who wanted to be bitchy/nasty. Until then basically kids SAY they're friends but this does not at any point mean they will be NICE to each other IME!

GreatGooglyMoogly Sun 20-Jul-08 15:48:29


HonoriaGlossop Sun 20-Jul-08 18:28:04

Oh so that was no use at all from me then, clearly!


Janni Sun 20-Jul-08 18:40:35

It's hard when you realise you can't control their world for them, however much you want to and you do have to develop a bit of a thicker skin so that you intervene when things are dangerous, but help them sort things out for themselves when it's verbal/relational.

My lovely DS2, then 6, who is a really sweet, sociable boy, went up to some older boys on a swing-boat and asked them if he could play on it with them. One of the boys said to the other 'D'you wanna smack him or shall I?'. They then noticed me walking towards them and sloped off. DS just shrugged and went to play with someone else...

You just have to focus on raising your kids to be nice and hope for the best.

ll31 Mon 21-Jul-08 02:37:38

boys can be hugely competitive - - -and I think there is nothing u can do - - other than teach ur kids what u want them to know. .

cory Mon 21-Jul-08 09:45:25

I am not sure I get the problem:

three little boys all wanted to be the driver of a plane. Yours does not get his wish. This breaks your heart. Would it equally have broken your heart if it had been one of the other little boys? If not, why not?

Your son then wants to change the game and says the plane is broken, they prefer carrying on. So you think they ought to stop their plane-flying game just because one person says so? Why?

Two boys are throwing sand at inanimate objects but one accidentally hits the other. Your ds deliberately throws sand at them. They tell him off aggressively and you get angry. Why? If they had been throwing sand deliberately at your son and his brother, would they not have been allowed to shout at them? (or do you expect these boys to be adult enough to understand that they have to leave the parenting to you? hmm)

I think your problem is that you see these slightly older boys as almost grown-ups who ought to play in a mature way with your ds; i.d. let him call the shots in the game etc. That is totally unreasonable. To them he is another potential playmate who has to join in on equal terms. And that means (for one thing) accepting a majority vote on plane-flying. They can't be expected to see that he is specially precious to you.

I think you should make a deliberate effort to see other boys as little children with equal needs and rights. When he goes to school, his friends will need to feel that you are not exclusively looking out for his interests. An overprotective Mum is not a social asset.

I also think bumping a thread without acknowledging replies from other posters is rather rude. It is good advice, they should have been thanked.

TotalChaos Mon 21-Jul-08 09:50:35

do you have bad memories of bullying from your own childhood - just I'm a bit puzzled at the "heartbreaking" comments.

I agree with other posters, in particular Chankins. Most of the time at the playground DS rubs along nicely with other kids - but occasionally I need to intervene. I don't feel that a little bit of bossing around like the plane incident is harmful or concerning.

AbbeyA Mon 21-Jul-08 10:05:01

I agree with cory, I don't think that the situation was heartbreaking. Some days you can go to a playground and have a wonderful play with other children, sometimes you can't.
Some go with unrealistic expectations. I remember once going with a couple of friends and about 6 children between us, they were running around letting off steam after a day in school. A woman with younger children got upset with them and told them to grow up. They were infant age!! If you can't run around a playground and shout where are you supposed to do it?! They were not interfering or interacting with her children at all.
It is the same on here, I can come on and people are lovely and agree with me or they can be quite hostile!!!

keevamum Mon 21-Jul-08 10:06:13

I have girls and I must say i think I am more suited to being the mother of girls. They aren,t quite so aggressive or at least as overt about it. Think I'd much prefer boys when they get to their teenage years though!

MsDemeanor Mon 21-Jul-08 10:09:32

What was wrong with the boys in the playground? What did they do that was so bad? I don't get it.

Pannacotta Mon 21-Jul-08 10:11:52

Have two boys (3 and 1) but dont think this is a boy/girl thing, as HG says its just the way they play at that kind of age, esp if they are not pulled up by parents/carers if they go too far.

We were at a friend's house recently - her DD is the same age as my DS1 (3.5). She tried to push him down their very steep stairs for no reason at all, DS1 wouldn't ever try anything like this...
Girls are not sweetness and light.

scattyspice Mon 21-Jul-08 10:13:15

I agree with those who say kids are kids (boys or girls), they fall out all the time, but rarely bare grudges (which is why it can over complicate things if adults intervene too much).

The thing with boys is the rough and tumble play fighting that goes on. I was a bit shock at this at first, but DH feels that boys have to do this it is important (a guy thing hmm). Having watched my peviously timid Ds survive (and thrive) his reception yr at school I tend to agree.

MsDemeanor Mon 21-Jul-08 10:15:07

To be honest, the only children who did anything overtly 'aggressive' (ie throw sand at someone deliberately) were the OP's sons! They are all just kids. They are pretty territorial to be honest. If I really think children are being verbally mean to mine ('you can't play here. This is our game. You are just a baby' type stuff), which they are sometimes, I say, 'come on, he's just playing, be nice' and pep talk mine to say 'Aren't they being silly. Just ignore them', and quite often they do end up playing together.

cory Mon 21-Jul-08 10:15:19

Pannacotta on Mon 21-Jul-08 10:11:52
"She tried to push him down their very steep stairs for no reason at all, DS1 wouldn't ever try anything like this..."

You may even find that one day this sentence sorts under the heading of famous last words. wink

I had a long list of things that I "knew" ds would never do. He has gradually worked his way through them.wink

He was the sweetest and gentlest child at age 3, but there are a number of testosterone surges after that age, noticeable at 4 and 6. So never be sure...

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