I was in the park the other day with my two year old daughter and she was running around playing with her ball, kicking it with a lot of gusto, something that delighted my mother’s heart since I’d like her to be an outdoor girl and I hugely discourage playing with barbies or any such disturbing habits!
Anyway, it was a nice evening, till a little toddler came and snatched her ball and almost punched her in the face. She recoiled and gave up her prized possession and ran to me. I asked her why she had allowed someone so much younger to bully her. She looked up at me, blinked and said :” Mama I was sharing”
I was dumbfounded. It’s something I’d been teaching her – to share and be nice and all that “values” stuff we like to teach our children. But at that moment I wondered if I was making her too soft. Not that I want to teach her to bully, but by telling her that she should always be nice to people, esp to kids, had I made her an easy target for other kids?
I am not sure how I feel. I mean, I certainly do not want her to be scared of kids and run away from situations, but neither do I want her to be aggressive just because the world around her is. So, I told her that it’s nice to share, but when someone snatches or tries to hurt her, she should not allow it and push if need be. But I am not sure she understood.
It made me think. What should one teach one’s children? If I bring her up to be honest, upright and caring – the values my parents taught us – will that lead to her being disillusioned later in life? It’s possible that I may be making too much of one small incident, but it was something that led me to think about parenting issues and the warped, violent world that our children are going to grow up in.