I have a three-year-old son, and unlike most boys his age, he’s a little delicate. He’d rather play with dolls and host tea parties than play in the dirt.
My best friend has a four-year-old son, and he’s all boy — toy cars, water guns, you name it. He’s also a little, um, violent towards my son. When they play together, I often catch him hitting, pinching, or biting my son.
This behavior always makes my son cry, and he’s even told me that he doesn’t like playing with the other boy. I’m not an overly protective mom, but I don’t like seeing my son abused by his peers. If he’s not happy playing with my friend’s son, I don’t want to force him.
Unfortunately, my friend loves bringing her son over to play, and I don’t have the heart to break it to her that my son doesn’t like her son. She seems oblivious to her son’s violent behavior. What should I do?
— Worried Mom
Tough as it may be, you’re going to have to have a heart-to-heart with your friend. Her son’s violent behavior needs to be stopped before he enters school.
I doubt she hasn’t noticed that he’s hitting, pinching, and biting other kids, but some moms aren’t very good at discipline. Take for example those annoying moms that let their screaming, obnoxious kids run loose in grocery stores. Nothing grates on my nerves more than an uncontrolled child.
The next time your friend suggests a play date, calmly tell her that your son has expressed some fear of playing with her son. Explain that you’ve witnessed her son’s violent behavior. Offer to help her research and develop a system of discipline to prevent future situations.
I’m no expert in child development, but I’m sure it’s important for kids to learn to respect their elders at an early age. If her son is allowed to continue his unruly behavior, he may end up causing many more problems later in life.
After your heart-to-heart, your pal may be angry with you, but eventually she’ll realize that your concern was in her and her son’s best interest.
Got a problem? E-mail Bianca at firstname.lastname@example.org.