A couple of weeks ago, I described instances where my son can be a little more outgoing than I would like or feel comfortable with.
He has tried to tone it down for me a bit since then … even reminding me, “Mommy, remember don’t say hi.”
But Shari, a Hiccups reader, offered me some perspective on it. Her daughter, Penelope, was also a chatty one growing up. She tried methods I’m pretty familiar with … no eye contact, directing my responses only my child, trying to hurry in stores. Not only because she didn’t feel like talking (much like me) but also for her daughter’s safety.
Growing up, Penelope continued to be social, meeting interesting people and being able to share interesting stories.
Her advice: Watch my son closely, but allow him the joy of being friendly. She said he’ll go far in life with an outgoing personality.
Thank you, Shari. I sincerely hope I’m not stifling my little boy. Maybe I just need to relax a little and be more willing to sacrifice my own quiet time to let him be himself.
-Erica Smith, Copy Editor
It’s a hard concept to grasp, but seemingly it can be true.
Objectively, I would have to say my 2-year-old son’s demeanor is very mild. He is affectionate and already demonstrates a certain compassion for others, as simple as it is. I have been very lucky that he has never taken out frustration or anger in a physical way – never a biter or a hitter.
These qualities also may make him a target of bullying. In his class, he has a friend who is bigger than him (my son is small for his age), more outspoken and a bit aggressive. I’m going by what I’ve seen myself and what other parents have said. The interaction between the two boys is starting to worry me though, because my son is now reenacting his negative encounters with this child, over and over again.
I’ll pick him up from daycare and about 5 minutes into the ride home, I’ll hear him in the back seat reliving the day’s events. “No No! No push Hunter! Be nice, (child’s name), be nice!” or “No hit Hunter – go time out, (child’s name)!” At first I thought it was an idle situation, but lately this is an everyday occurrence. I’m worried that it can scar him in a way that may, in turn, make him aggressive, or set him up for a lifetime of being a target of bullies.
One thing I can’t really do is talk to this child’s mom. We are friends, and I don’t want to see a friendship go sour over this and there is no real delicate way to bring it up. The daycare teachers are giving the boy time outs so I can’t say they’re not doing their part.
I’m not sure where to go from here. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know. I would love to hear some!