Playground Battles

I’m all jumpy right now cause Chris told me a story about Justin getting picked on at the school drop-off this morning. Apparently a couple kids from his class pushed him down, and every time he tried to get up they would grab his hood and push him down again. This went on and on and on, so finally Chris intervened (and one of the other kids’ moms had a word with him too). I guess Justin didn’t seem particularly upset, but when Chris asked how this made him feel he said it made him angry. But he didn’t act angry, and that’s part of the problem: he needs to learn what he can do to show kids he doesn’t like what they’re doing, and he needs to understand that “playing” with other kids doesn’t have to mean being their punching bag.

I’ve always struggled with how to handle situations like this, cause I don’t feel comfortable disciplining someone else’s kid and I’m not really sure what my role should be. I don’t want to be the overprotective mom who never lets her kids experience real life, but I also don’t want Justin to become a victim because he doesn’t really understand the group dynamic — when he gets to school and the kids yell “Justin!” and run off to play, are they happy to see him because they like him, or because he’s an easy target? He would never know the difference, and that scares me. Argh.