Letum' Toughin' Him Up

>> Thursday, November 11, 2010

I love getting advice from mothers. It's a great network for reality testing and guilt reduction and having a feeling of comradery. I was at a function two summers ago and was able to meet a lot of people. One particular mother was dressed so sheik and had the nack for mingling with everyone. I was able to spend some time talking to her as my two sons were playing on the playground. She has a great job and was well educated. She was married with three older children, two of which are boys. I found her a bit intimidating but there was something very nice about her.

As we were talking I told her about myself and my boys which lead into this question I had about how to get them to stop fighting, arguing, and especially to get the older one to be more gentle to his younger brother. Well I got the surprise of my life when she stated, "I think you should leave them alone". I repeated her and said, "but they will kill each other". She said "No they won't". I repeated what she said again and continued, "but my oldest can be so aggressive and my youngest is so non-aggressive". That's when she said, "That's his role in life. His job is to toughi' him up." I then said, "but he tends to hit and push him." Again she stressed, "Step back and leave him."

I was then put to the test. I heard crying from the youngest as the older one pushed the younger off of the miniature marry-go-round. I had failed as I tried to implement what she just told me and I waited until I could not wait anymore. This woman on the other hand did not flinch and I stared thinking it's probably because it is not your kid. I ran over, reprimanded the oldest that what he did was not okay. (Mind you he would not hurt another child except his brother). I checked on the youngest and sent him back to play. The lady and I continued talking but I was still making sense of what she said.

Now almost two years later I understand that I shouldn't let them kill each other but understand that they both play a roll in each other's life and I don't always need to step in. My youngest is not the same sweet child I knew. He is sweet but a little "rough around the edges". He was able to get on a school bus for the first time without crying. He made friends with some older children as he is able to handle their interactions. He is not as innocent, as I see the little troublemaker my older son saw, but was unable to tell me. He doesn't wine anymore either, but he still likes to cuddle and give tons of kisses which he tries on my oldest son, to whom runs away and that makes the youngest chases more.

So that woman two summers ago was right, she discovered something and shared it with me. I'm thankful. Too bad I do not know her name. Hopefully I could be a mysterious mother with good advice that will help someone else. Turns out she toughin'ed me up as well.


Jenn November 12, 2010 at 9:04 AM  

Great advice....my son is very sensitive, and one of the boys in his class was bullying. School intervention stopped the physical abuse, but he still struggles with name calling.

Its a tough situation to find balance...I don't like him being called a "stupid idiot" (when he's not but he is taking it to heart) but he also need to learn to ignore, or give a little back.

Lovely post!

The Adviser November 16, 2010 at 1:17 PM  

Thank you for your comment Jenn. I'm happy to hear his school intervened. I like that you said it is all about balance. Your attention and love to the matter is the best thing you can and have been doing.

Love your site as well.