Last night Tanya and I witnessed two small boys doing something they shouldn’t have been doing. It was horrible. Neither of us could sleep a wink last night. Every time we closed our eyes we saw the “picture”. However, I am so thankful we did witness it. What we both originally thought was boys being boys turned into something horrible so quickly. At least we were there to stop it. The boys ran and “laughed”. We found the parents and let them know what happened.
The boys were “friends”, though we later learned that one said something like, “If you don’t let me do it, I’ll take away my lego and we won’t be friends”. We also learned that one said something like, “My parents said I can’t do that”, but we don’t know what that was in reference to. It’s obvious both boys will need some help, that’s beyond my control, but what I can do is get out a message to parents.
I feel for both boys
I’m not a parent, but I was a kid. As a kid I was terrified of sharing anything with my parents. I was terrified of them. Actually I was terrified of all adults. Period. I worry that these boys may be in the same shoes. I feel if we hadn’t seen this happen and let the one set of parents know they never would have known. More importantly the kids would never have had the opportunity to talk about it or attempt to understand it.
Obviously something initiated this
I hope to god that the one boy simply saw something somewhere and decided to try it out. Maybe he was confused and trying to reach out to his friend for help in the only way he knew how. Of course, I fear the worst that maybe something happened to him and he was manipulated with fear to do something in the same way he used fear to manipulate this other boy. I really hope that whatever initiated this act gets discovered and resolved no matter what needs to happen.
My plea to parents
Kids begin to mimic at the earliest stages of development. They mimic faces and expressions but they very quickly begin to mimic behaviours and actions. In order to create an environment for your kids (and even for your kids’ friends) please start sharing with them at the earliest time possible. Share with them your fears, your sadness, your weakness. Share with them your happy times, your celebrations, your triumphs. Only by sharing with them will they ever learn to share with you. Maybe, just maybe if something like this ever happens (which I don’t wish upon any child) at least they’ll feel comfortable enough to share it with you and you can take the appropriate action.
One of the best ways to create a trusting and respectful environment for any relationship in our life is to show vulnerability. By showing vulnerability, we allow someone inside, we allow someone to see who we really are. This will typically generate respect and let the other person in the relationship know that they can feel comfortable doing the same thing. This is the only way to grow any relationship, whether it’s with your kids, your friends, your parents or your partner.
So please, share with your kids and hopefully they’ll grow up sharing EVERYTHING with you.