Having spent spring break doing local things with my boys, we visited our share of parks. There was the park at the library, the park in our subdivision and the play area at the zoo.
My approach to the park experience, especially since the boys have mastered them in a physical sense, is to step back and let the social politics of parkdom unfold without intervening.
This is so much easier said than done.
Since the boys are older, they handle themselves well for the most part. There is less threat of spontaneous smack-downs so I can relax a little.
The part that I have to watch myself is if any of the other kids attempt to be mean to my boys. I find that sometimes even the quiet girls holed up in the cubby at the top of the slide use words that cut like daggers.
Here’s what one such little girl said to T.Puzzle when he tried to use the slide. “You can’t come up here. You can never be here while we are here. You have to go away forever!”
I heard some defensive words start to creep up my throat and as they almost toppled from my mouth, I bit my tongue and took a step back. As much as I was longing to intervene, I wanted T.Puzzle to handle it. j
He did. He sort stepped over the girl and her unfortunate minions, and slid away. T.Puzzle and Full Speed continued to ignore the girls and their ridiculous demands.
I learned a lot watching them.
The best way to handle mean people is to ignore them and live your life.
Spend time with the people who support you and slide away as fast as you can from the ones who don’t.