Randy and I brought Raviv and Yoona to DreamPlay. It’s part of Raviv’s 6th birthday treat. Ü
I promise I’ll blog about it in detail later. For the meantime, I just want to let something off my chest. Because honestly, it’s a gray area to me. And should something similar happen in the future, I want to know what to do.
Anyway, one of the attractions in DreamPlay was this station where a child writes his name on a piece of paper with punched holes. The child uses that paper as a sail for a boat, then the child lets his boat sail on water.
Ever the competitive boy, Raviv excitedly put his sailboat with the “Raviv” sail on water and followed his boat with a huge smile on his face. His boat was the fastest sailing in the batch, and that made Raviv prouder and even more determined to get to the finish line first. We eagerly cheered him on. 🤗
But halfway through, there was a boy with a gun-like gadget that shoots blasts of air. Upon seeing Raviv’s sailboat (because it was the first one), the boy mischievously shot the “Raviv” with a blast of air.
The “Raviv” toppled down.
Blood drained from Raviv’s unbelieving face. I rushed to him and I accidentally felt his heart–it was wildly beating. I asked him whether his feelings were hurt. He no longer hid his pain–he nodded and buried his face on my body to hide the fat tears that rolled to his cheeks.
Meanwhile, the boy was still happily shooting blasts of air to other boats; his mom was tinkering with her phone; Randy was convincing Raviv to make another boat, but he was still disillusioned and depressed so he repeatedly refused.
I, on the other hand, was fuming. I kept telling myself, “Bata ‘yan, bata ‘yan!” Yet the boy’s mischievous smile and his mother’s deadma attitude were getting into my nerves. It took every ounce of my common sense not to tell the boy to apologize to Raviv or to at least pretend to feel sorry that he hurt someone else’s feelings. Or to tell the boy’s mom to rein her child. But I didn’t want a scene, and I acknowledged that I was probably just emotional. I also rationalized that perhaps the purpose of the “air gun” was to really topple boats. So I just hugged Raviv, told him to make another boat and I swore to him that this time, his boat will reach the finish line even if I had to guard it with my life. He still refused.
Then, the boy made his boat. Since the “air gun” was left behind by the boy, we told Raviv that it was his time to shoot down the boy’s boat. That cheered Raviv up and we all eagerly awaited the boy’s boat. As the boy’s boat sailed, the boy’s mom excitedly followed her son’s boat. When it reached us, Raviv shot it with the very air gun that was used on his boat. In my mind, I was gunning for Raviv to topple it down. And he did. I felt victorious, but not after seeing the mom’s disappointed face.
At that time, I felt shame. Shame that I also wanted to make a boy and his mother feel disappointed. Shame that I taught my child revenge. But to mask my shame, I rationalized that that’s the way it is, that the purpose of the air gun was to topple boats (although I think it’s supposed to help your own boats move). That it was their fault, sila ang nauna! And they didn’t even apologize! Yet I still felt the shame.
Tonight as I try to sleep, the events that took place earlier flashed before me, especially my son’s shocked, sad face. Then the mom’s sad face.
I have conflicting feelings–I feel my son’s pain a thousand times and it lingers even when he’s no longer hurting. Yet because I’m a mom, I also never wish for any mother to feel hurt because her child is hurt. Because I know the feeling!
I couldn’t say this is a case of bullying, but once and for all I hope to know the answer to this question: If your child is hurt on purpose by another child–whether emotionally or physically–and the aggressor’s parent is apathetic, what should the affected child’s parent say or do? Deadma ba talaga dapat kasi bata naman?
Because in my case when Raviv hurts another child–accidentally or otherwise–my SOP is to make amends on his behalf. But of course, that’s just I.
I’m all for raising my son to have voice, balls and backbone, but never a bully or basagulero. So what to do? And how do I prepare my child to face such without being a doormat a tattletale or a basagulero? 😩
Hay, sailing through parenting is definitely not a walk in the park!