tl;dr? see bold items...
We take my kid to a library reading every week and afterwards all the kids play with toys. He doesn't get a lot of social interaction with kids his age and can be a little shy.
My son is 1.5 years old and there is another kid who is about 3 (and resembles a fat Justin Guarini). My son has one toy he really likes to play with there which is a pickup truck. He almost always gets it right away, but then the 3 yr old comes over and rips it from his hands. The mom of the 3 year old sees this usually, but says nothing. My wife used to tell our son "it's ok you should share" but I don't feel like this is a good response.
My concerns with this approach are:
- He shouldn't share with a bully
- He got the toy first and has had it for MAYBE 30 seconds so he has the right to play with it for a little bit before giving it up
- This is encouraging him to not stand up for himself and possibly to be pushed around his whole life
She doesn't say this anymore, btw.
Today the 3 year old got the truck first, and after about 15 minutes, he set it down to play with another toy (but kinda within his reach still). My son walked up and grabbed it and ran to my wife with a big smile on his face. Note, he didn't take it out of the other childs hands at all, and the other kid was seemingly done with it. The other kid came up ripped it away again and set it back down to play with the other toy. My wife finally got upset and said something to the kid and the 3 year old's mom came up to her and said "well your son did steal it from my son".
The 3 year old's mom is now setting a precedence that
- It's the 3 year old's toy (by saying it was his and my kid stole it), but it's the libraries not his (see below)
- She obviously doesn't care to encourage good social behavior with her kid
- She has some social issues of her own
Funny thing was the kid started crying when they left because he had to leave the truck. He obviously has this mindset that the truck is his, and I'm sure the mom is part of the problem there. I couldn't help but to laugh a little ... just loud enough for the other mom to hear.
Note, my son has taken these encounters like a champ. Never shed a tear, I'm super proud of him for that. But I also don't want him thinking this is ok.
My questions are:
Does anyone have advice for dealing with a bully who doesn't share toys (even when he's done playing with them), who will rip toys from my sons arms, and who has a parent that seemingly encourage these anti-social (and downright mean) behaviors?
Are my concerns above correct/valid?