Corbin has been at a great camp all summer, but I am ready for it to wrap up this week. We signed up for it with two boys who were in his class last year (but left mid-year due to horrid first grade teacher that I will tell you about later). It has worked out great, but in the past week Corbin kept telling me that one of these boys was being mean to him. Just little kid stuff, like saying he wasn't his friend or he wouldn't be his friend anymore if he didn't give him a potato chip (or whatever).
This boy has been his best friend since preschool, so I think it really hurt Corbin's feelings. Corbin was asking me if I could do anything, but since camp was getting ready to end, I just decided to let it go.
Of course, the first instinct is to step in and say something to the camp counselor and the kid's mom, but I feel like these are situations that he will have to face over and over as he grows up. I certainly remember going through issues with my friends growing up, and you get through them. And I feel like it teaches you humility, sensitivity and compassion. Plus, while what this boy was saying was hurtful, it wasn't over the top or physically threatening. And I've known the kid and his parents for years, and they are good people. They were preparing to move to a different country this week, so I tried to explain to Corbin that maybe this kid was nervous about moving and this was how he dealt with it.
So now that kid has moved and another boy (who had hung out with the kid and I guess was mean too) wants to hang out with Corbin at camp. Corbin told me this morning, "Now that L is gone, C wants to be my friend." It took every ounce of control for me not to respond with something like, "Well, tell him to bite it." Yes, very mature, mom. :)
I have to say that one of the hardest parts of parenthood is to let your children handle these tough situations on their own. It is a different story when the situation is ongoing (I would have reacted differently if it was happening at school for a prolonged period of time) or if it became a threatening situation. But I truly feel like going through these times teaches a valuable lesson growing up. If parents always jump in to make life perfect for their children, they will never learn that, well, life isn't perfect.
I feel like I made the right decision by not stepping in. I talked to him about situations that I had growing up when my friends weren't nice to me. We talked about working things out with friends, but also when to decide that someone who is mean to you doesn't deserve to be your friend. Hopefully, this will be one of those growing experiences for him, but it is hard not to get ticked off when someone hurts your baby's feelings. Even when he is seven.
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