"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." --Anais Nin
Last night, Mo and I were talking about some boys in the neighborhood that are giving Robotson some difficulties when he's out in the neighborhood. There are five or six of them, and most are older than he is, although Robotson looks older than his age. He has tried a couple of times to befriend them, but so far it's mostly been name-calling and insults on their end. Being a new situation for him, Robotson didn't handle it well at first and resorted to retaliating. Then it got to the point where he'd just come home upset. He's tried his luck a dozen times or so over the last few months to no avail. We've talked about it many times and his usual response now is to ignore them, but he still comes home upset. The last time he was around them though there was some pushing and kicking involved.
Here is my perspective. I look out the window and I see these boys in their bikes, circling my driveway or my son. I can see them talking to him, and he's usually not talking back. He only wants to go down the street either to visit a friend, or just to walk on his own. The way they swoop in and circle him reminds me of vultures. My instinct is to keep talking to him, but also tell him not to go outside if the boys are around. Mo wasn't as sure about that idea :) We both agree that learning how to deal with confrontation is a valuable skill that neither of us really has now. She thinks it would be better if I work with Robotson on how to handle these situations, but let him ultimately decide how to handle it. He needs to determine what sort of people he wants to hang out with on his own. It's not that I don't agree with her, but he's my little boy, ya know?
I *know* I should talk to the parents. My dislike for confrontations is a huge driving force behind my not doing so up to this point. In addition, B is not convinced it will do it any good, and is actually completely unhelpful (in an angry sort of way) when I try to talk to him about the situation.
Have you ever experienced anything like this? How did or would you handle it? I'd love any and all advice right about now!
Update from this afternoon
I just had a knock on the door from the mom of one of the kids. She told me that Robotson was causing problems. I pointed out that there have been several kids down around my house, several times, also causing problems. I am at a loss here.