I had taken the boys to the pool and sat back and watched as they energetically tackled the slide and sprinklers. At the top of the slide are two attached water cannons. When the slide gets crowded these cannons become quite popular. A boy a good head taller approached T.Puzzle and attempted to yank the cannon from T.Puzzle’s grip. I had to coach myself to stay put and let it unfold. As much as I wanted to leap to his rescue I decided to see how T.Puzzle would handle it. Turns out years of assertiveness training from his older brother paid off. T.Puzzle stood his ground and as the older boy continued to try to intimidate him with words and a few swings of his arms, T.Puzzle didn’t budge.
I learned a valuable lesson. The minute you stop trying to control something, especially the behavior or circumstances of your children, these are the moments when they begin to show you who they really are. If you are really lucky they may show you something unexpected. They may show you that bullies are only as powerful as you allow them to be and sometimes a four year old can handle a confrontation without hesitation. That’s when you realize maybe you need to start taking notes from your kids instead of always insisting on being the one who is teaching.