I am sitting here on a Saturday afternoon taking a coffee/blog break while Simon naps. Paul is mowing, and Declan, being the social butterfly that he is, ran across the street to see if the neighbor kids that live there want to play. SCORE. Until Declan brings his friend back to the house.
I have no problem with his friends being over, and we are lucky to live on a street with some cool kids that live here or come visit often. I encourage him to bring them over because playing tag makes me want to poke things in my eye. But it never fails that within 15 minutes of his playing, my sweet little guy has abandoned his friend and wants to do the exact opposite of what they want to do. Or he wants to play on some electronic device. Or he wants to watch TV. Basically anything that he can do by himself that will leave his friend staring at me like “Um, this SUCKS.”
I know a 4-year-old doesn’t have a heaping helping of social graces. If I can keep him from farting during dinner, I celebrate with champagne. So I try over and over again to explain the concept of being a gracious host and doing what our guests want to do, etc. You know, the law of the South. But it doesn’t seem to be sticking and it makes me NUTS.
There are a lot of behaviors that are just kids being kids, and you either learn to ignore it or you teach them better. But seeing your kid being an asshole is the WORST. And that is exactly what he’s acting like.
Go ahead, think that I’m awful for saying that. I’ll wait…
Done? Good. So yea, I don’t know what to do about this. Probably nothing but wait for him to grow up some. But I can’t. Nothing mortifies me worse than hearing Declan say to a guest “I don’t want to play with you any more, go home” because I told him that he has to do what his friend wants. Especially because in general, he is SUCH a sweet kid. He just doesn’t have a filter yet (I’m still waiting on mine to kick in, too), and I know that, but I hate it.
I honestly think the best thing that will teach him is when one of those kids that he is dying to play with and then subsequently insults tells him they don’t want to play with HIM any more. I certainly don’t want to see him hurt, but I think that is what will stick. Then I’ll complain about THAT child being an asshole to my little sweet boy. And that, my friends, is the circle of life.