He wasn’t. He was a little shit who needed to respect other children’s space.
As I understand it from following my niece’s progress through her daycare/preschool this is an issue that teacher’s and parents alike are addressing from the beginning. Kids are taught to use their words, give each other space, ask before taking something etc.
This is so so important to me as someone who didn’t get that lesson that other’s should respect my space and who also has a really big bubble. Seriously don’t touch me even to give me change or hand me something just leave it on the counter and I’ll deal with it.
I would have thought that antiquated nursery rhymes wouldn’t represent a modern standard of behavior but I guess I was wrong in this instance. A young parent, younger even than me was laughing about how her son literally kisses the girls and makes them cry.
I don’t don’t find this funny in the slightest. Sure it might seem like harmless behavior in a three year old but from the parent’s response I was extremely uneasy. She found it cute, not a problem at all that he had brought his friend to tears. I felt like the conversation was one step away from “boys will boys” but I didn’t push it because I’m not a parent and the child involved wasn’t even my niece.
However it’s plagued me ever since. Just how young does this disrespect of the space of women and girls start? If you don’t curb it now when exactly do you plan to do so? In this case the answer is probably never but the question still remains when do we talk to our kids about consent?
Consent isn’t just for adults.
It’s everything from asking before you borrow a toy to getting someone’s permission before you touch them. I think kids need to know that their space is theirs and that asking first is just as important as sharing because sharing is something we might over-emphasize.
I also think that the official methodology coming from the professionals in my niece’s life support that claim. Thank the Gods!
Here is a great article from a guy who has spent a long time examining toxic masculinity from the inside and I think what he has to say is invaluable. Moreover reading it made me realize that this post I had sitting in my drafts was relevant whether people wanted to hear it or not.