We were at our friends’ home on Friday, for their son Nicholas’s 3rd birthday. Two other families were there, with 2 children each. Three of the girls were around 5 years, 1 boy was 2, and then there was Nick and his sister, Anna, and our 2 little ones.
Nik ran out to the backyard almost right away, to play with the older children, and I was busy making sure Anju was okay…she always thinks that I am going to leave her somewhere and disappear. So she needs constant reassurances!
I vaguely remember Pete going to check on Nik, and then coming back with him and saying that he had sand in his hair. I shrugged it off, saying, oh, the girls probably poured some on him. Pete got a wierd look on his face, but I ignored it, and the moment passed.
The chaotic evening being done, we drive home and Pete told me that he had gone into the backyard, and walked in on the older girls dumping sand on Nik’s head, and he was covered. Also, Nik just looked miserable, and was not saying anything. So Pete told him to say, Stop it, which he then did. But the girls stopped because they saw Pete.
I felt so bad for him. I hate seeing him get picked on, and he does because he is so happy to be playing with kids, that he lets them do whatever they want to him just so that he can continue playing with them. I have to teach him boundaries, since he doesn’t seem to have any.
It is a fine balance between standing back and letting your child falter and learn, and rushing in to teach and/or protect him.