The Ender Wiggin approach to…
I’m sitting in the car, waiting to pick up the almost two year old from playgroup. I’m feeling a bit apprehensive.
Yesterday she pushed another kid (who was trying to take her sheep-beanie) and then, not content to leave it at that, jumped on the offender and mauled them. [As a point of pride this kid was almost a year older]
The teacher showed me the photos. *Joey sucks air through his teeth* Ouch! My daughter clearly has a set of jaws on her. Apparently the victims mom is… let’s go with… unhappy (despite it being her progeny that poked the bear)
My four year old was also a vicious apex-predator in her playgroup, you messed with her playdough creation and you’d (probably) live to regret it. Which… suggests some sort of homegrown pathology. I lost count of the number of ‘incident reports’ we had to complete.
I blame my wife. (Obviously)
She’s from the other side of the tracks. Born of Rhodesian farmers. Which is also why my kids have such an aversion towards wearing shoes I muse. (things I am too scared to say to her face)
I’m conflicted. On the one hand I’m glad they stand up for themselves. On the flipside there’s the violence. Which … in at least a lip-service kinda way… I say I don’t condone… but I’m also (maybe morbidly) fascinated in the way toddlers problem solve slights and perceived slights.
At some point we stop swinging and start becoming more accepting of those that aggrieve us. Which… I wonder if that’s always a ‘good’ thing. Some days I’m a proponent of the concept that kids that are bullied should always fight back. In the moment I mean. Seeking vengeance days later feels problematic to me. But some kid takes your lunch and you clock them in the mouth… and then you eat a couple punches for it… *shrug*, you’ll heal, at least you stood your ground.
That might be the boxer in me talking I realize and that, psychologically (and maybe physically) at least, this is not a one size fits all policy for resolving the playground interactions that crop up.
Also, I wonder how much of my supposed ‘parenting’ and ‘life-lessons’ stuff come from reading Orson Scott Cards, Enders Game at an impressionable age. (Still one of my all time favorite books, top five at least). The comic is also REALLY good.
Admittedly, Stilson, the ‘first’ bully that Ender takes on, dies from his injuries. So there’s that.
Ender makes up for it by saving the human race… and… eh… going genocidal on a planet of aliens. But you know minor issues in the overall philosophy.
Of course, if your kid is the bully… then… well. That is one minor niggle with the modus operandi. Those who champion violence often do so because they feel they’re (always) on the side of righteousness and good… and have the moral high ground, from which to smite the troglodytes beneath them.
So really, I have no idea.
Post-script. If I had sired boy children I would have advocated incredibly hard for either Ender or Tiberius as potential names. Fortunately I sired girls and they ended up with D&D character names. Ha ha.