I'm not sure that what is happening is technically bullying. I get it that my kids are hanging out with 5 and 6 year old kids. They are barely capable of putting on their socks let alone masterminding a plot to psychologically hurt another child so I'm not trying to blow this out of proportion. I know this is just part of life and kids learning how to socialize. But it does suck when your child feels hurt due to someone else's actions.
Sometimes it's hard to know if there really was a problem. One kid was "pushed" which turned out to just be a bunch of kids knocking into each other on the playground according to a teacher. One kid was laughed at because of a face he made and the teacher said it was simply one kid laughing and others laughing at the laughing which then was misconstrued and blown out of proportion. There are times when I believe you just have to learn to walk away, shake it off or ignore it.
My boys are sensitive, though. Some of it, I believe, is nature and some is nurture. I think they happen to be sweet and Derek and I encourage that kind of behavior. Neither Derek or I believe that they should "man up" or only play with guns and tanks because that's what boys do. They like cartoons that are more about relationships than beating bad guys.
I, personally, have been told that I needed to relax and stop worrying about other people when I was planning a party and I was so worried about making sure that no one would be friendless and everyone would know at least one other person at the party. I do worry about things like that. I have a bad temper and no patience at times but I also constantly wonder if others are OK. I just googled empathetic people and found several memes that I identify with...
- If you see someone fall over you always wince rather than laugh.
- If someone wears inappropriate clothing you feel compelled to ask them if they're the right temperature.
- You can tell when you're boring someone and it makes you feel awful.
- You expect other people to be as empathetic as you and you get angry when they can't tell that you're upset.
So when my boys are excluded from playing a game or called a name it hurts and there's not much I can really do but be supportive and tell them I love them and will always be their friend. There's one boy in particular who seems to be the leader of the "mean boys" (as my boys call them) and believe me I want to call his mother and tell her to teach her boy some manners. My boys, with their big hearts, invited him to their birthday party anyway. He's not coming and, to be honest, I'm a little bit grateful. If he did come I'm not saying the cake might not "accidentally" wind up on his head.