Today I had my first real experience dealing with a bully child who's parent was about as effective as a spotlight at high noon on a cloudless day.
It started with this little boy grabbing a toy from Connor at the library. My mom and I both addressed the little boy, in front of his dad, saying he needed to share the toys and give that toy back to Connor because he had it first. The boy ignored us. His dad repeatedly threatened to take him home if he didn't play nicely. The boy put the toy in his mouth and then threw it on the floor. Not cool, but whatever. We dropped it and moved on, the boys continued to play while I supervised and my mom went upstairs to grab an audio book for herself.
Not 5 minutes later, the same little boy took a toy right out of Kylar's hands. Kylar is saying "no no no" over and over, the dad is sitting there doing very little ("give it back, or we'll have to go home" I f*cking wish). The boy ran around and won't give the toy back. I comforted Kylar and accepted that this dad wasn't going to handle his shit and mentally prepared to stop the next incident, knowing that there would be another one if we don't leave. It wouldn't be fair to my kids to leave because this dad can't control his kid, so we stayed and they kept playing, trying to just stay away from this little boy.
At this point, the dad was really irritating me. He kept shrugging these incidents off, saying "he's 2" like that's an excuse for this kinda bullying behavior. No. Kylar is 2. He's not a bully. Connor was 2. He was never a bully.
Third and final incident: the bully child attempted to grab a toy from Connor. I grab his arm, not hard, just enough to stop him and take the toy back and give it to Connor. This got his dad up, in my face, threatening to call the cops if I touched his kid again. Wtf?? While he's threatening me, his child took ANOTHER toy from Connor, threw it at me, missed and hit Kylar in the head. So now Connor is looking thoroughly confused and a tad nervous, Kylar is crying and asking to be held, I've got a handful of books in my other arm and this asshat has the balls to threaten me? I went off a little.
I told him that I wouldn't have had to touch his child if he would stop him from stealing toys from my kids. He responded with excuses about how this little boy is only 2. I pointed to both of my kids and said "I've had two year olds. Neither of them were ever bullies. Neither of them took toys from other kids like this. Neither of them ever threw toys at adults or other kids." That shut him up for a minute.
He took his kid and sat on one of the chairs, literally about 3 feet away. His kid is kicking and screaming and throwing one of the most impressive fits I've seen in awhile. When he finally calmed down, the dad pointed to Kylar and asked me how old he is. I look him dead in the eyes and told him, "he's 2". He didn't say much for awhile after that.
He tried to explain later that his kid isn't normally like this. He goes to school and he's never like this at school. So I replied, as pointedly as humanly possible, "well he's definitely having some issues now. If he's not like this at school, maybe you should think about what's different here, because it's CLEARLY not working." Aka: it's you, dumbass. You're the reason your kid is being a shit. For the last 20 minutes, you've been threatening to take him home if he's mean. He's been nothing but mean. He's 2 and he knows these are empty threats.
Being 2 doesn't excuse bad behavior. I've had 2 year olds. They've never taken multiple toys from other kids. They've never thrown a toy at another kid and absolutely never at an adult. My kids know how to play nicely because Mike and I have been an active parents and have worked hard to teach them what is and isn't ok. Parent your kids!! Your kids will never learn what is appropriate and what is not if you don't teach them. They'll go out into the world and be giant asshats and bullies because their parents never taught them better. Be better. Teach your kids to be better.
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