Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What should we do?

We have a problem. One that I didn't think we'd have at least until grade school started. Little Elvis is being bullied by our neighbors' kids and I have no idea what to do about it.

Normally he cries when their oldest boy taunts him through the fence, or the girls scream and run from him. But today the girls told him they didn't want to play with him because they didn't like him.
They told my 3 1/2 year old little boy that they didn't like him. And he seemed to understand. I have never, ever heard him bawl like he did after they told him they didn't like him. And I've heard him cry a lot.
We were so excited when we moved here. Yes, we had very good neighbors in Virginia. One little boy was his age and two others were older, but so patient and kind to him. They played ball with him, jumped on the trampoline with him and were just such nice kids.

But when we were looking at our house, there were toys in the yards of the houses behind us and we were thrilled that the boys would have kids to play with that were close to their ages. At first the kids were nice, but then something changed. The oldest, a boy, started taunting Little Elvis and telling him he couldn't come to play. He would stand at the fence between our yards and stare at Little Elvis for several minutes until Little Elvis noticed him. Of course, Little Elvis would ask to come over and play, and the boy would scratch his chin and say, "Ummm. No. I have to go eat dinner." Or, "No, I have somewhere to go." He would wait until Little Elvis started crying and then go inside. He's done this for several months now, and I got to the point where I kept the boys inside whenever the other kids were outside.

It's beautiful outside right now. I'm not keeping them inside just because the kids behind us are brats, but I've been timing our excursions for when I think they'll be in school. But tonight, Bob took Little Elvis out late. He thought the kids would be nice because he was there. He was wrong.

What do I do? I know my child is younger than the older kids. I also know that he's very active and the last time they played, he didn't seem to understand any game but chase. But that doesn't merit them telling him they don't like him. He's 3. Three.

The parents are never outside, so they don't witness this. The mothers are not friendly, and at first, I figured they didn't really like us, so they weren't letting their kids play with Little Elvis.

I want to do nothing. I feel like the boy will get tired of girls in a year or two and then he'll want to play with Little Elvis. I also know what Santa is getting the boys for Christmas, and I have a strong feeling those kids will have an interest in playing with our boys come December 26th.

Though I don't like this little boy, I understand that kids can be very mean. He might be a fun playmate next year, even though I have a strong feeling that I will never like any of them and will always see them as hateful brats.

I would love any advice or words of wisdom.


Blogger lisa said...

I think I would just try to teach him to not care. No matter what there are going to be bullies. I would probably try to talk to him about how it makes him feel and why we should be nice so we don’t make other people feel that way. I made sure before we started preschool that we talked about what to do if someone pushes or hits you. I try to teach that if they do you yell back, “Hey! Don’t push me! It’s not nice!” In my experience, if someone is trying to bully you physically they will back down if you stand up for yourself. And at this age, someone of authority will be sure to hear it before it gets too far.

I remember reading a post a while back that I thought was an awesome take on getting kids to play together. It was from Kirstencan but there is no search feature so I couldn’t find it. I think she has trouble with neighbor kids not wanting to play with her sons. She devised a game that was something like blowing bubbles and then shooting them down calling them droids or clones or something. She said there were lots of laughing and Star Wars words drifting down the street, and eventually the neighbor kids heard all the fun and wanted to come play. I thought that was a neat idea.

12:36 AM  
Blogger Jeni said...

Sounds pretty much like our newest neighbors. The house is a rental and the neighbors previous were awesome. Their kiddos were atleast three years older than Skyler but were so patient and engaging with him. And they loved the baby, Mason. The new neighbors have two boys a little closer to Skyler's age but still a year or so older. Skyler loves to say hello to the neighbors and whenever he sees these boys outside he asks to play with them. Time and again they reject him, outright telling him no or just ignoring his "please can I try, can I play?". I have just stopped letting him go out when they are there, saying they are just playing with their friends or that we have something else to do. It breaks my heart, though I know it is just the age difference or hopefully just a phase. Wish I had an answer, but at least you know it's not just Little Elvis :(

2:22 AM  
Blogger mpotter said...

oooh tough one for sure.
i guess i would just begin to try to teach how to ignore them. discuss the hurtful insults, (and not to do it) and explain that the big kids want to play by themselves.

not easy, of course.
and as for thinking of the future--maybe little elvis won't want the big kids around once he gets the hang of the ignoring thing. then you don't have to worry about trying to play nice with some meanies.

good luck.
and here it begins.....

12:27 PM  

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