“Look at my tower, Mommy! It’s so tall! Take a picture please!” My little girl exclaimed, and then swat! A little boy who has the tendency to display aggression knocked down my little girl’s lego masterpiece with a grin on his face. With a disappointed look on her face and sound in her voice, she said, “Mommy, he knocked down my tower!” I tried to console her letting her know that she can rebuild it again, but each time she would the little boy would knock it down and even throw some of the lego pieces. She even moved a few times to avoid the demolition of her tower, but as soon as she started smiling and admiring her work, he’d swoop in and knock it down. His grandmother, abashed, made abortive attempts to get him to say sorry, but he refused and even tore down the tower as his grandmother helped Quinn to put it back together.
This was not the first time my soon-to-be three year old experienced a child being aggressive towards her; nevertheless, each time it happens, I feel like it’s happening to me. I feel my heart beating faster and sinking to the pit of my stomach as my little girl turns to me and inquires, “Why does he keep doing that? Why is he being mean to me, Mommy?” Quinn is sensitive and a genuinely sweet child who rarely is mean or aggressive towards other children, just like I was as a child, so when I observe a kid doing something mean to her it is difficult for me to step back and give her a chance to handle it. She’s currently not in school, so she really does not know how to take it when kids are mean towards her for what usually is no apparent reason.
While these experiences do conjure up some negative emotions and cause me to reflect on the struggle I had as a child dealing with aggressive children, I know it is necessary for Quinn to occasionally face adversity as it will help her be a well-rounded individual who is able to problem-solve and communicate effectively even when someone else is not. Though I do not miss having kids be aggressive and mean towards me, I know it helped to make me stronger. Also, knowing that I had the support of family and friends helped too. As my little girl gets older and will have to face various levels of adversity, including aggressive children and possibly bullies, I hope that I and our entire family are able to give her the proper support so that she too may grow into a well-rounded, strong person who can find the positive in people and situations and then learn from them.
All the best,