Thursday, April 24, 2008

Learning to Stick Up for Himself

An ongoing concern that I've had with Lucas is in regards to sticking up for himself. He reminds me very much of myself when I was little - a heart of gold that wouldn't hurt a flea. That's generally a good thing, except for one little problem - not everyone else is like that. In fact most? little boys are just the opposite.

Maybe I'm being a little dramatic by saying this, but the world as a whole (as well as little boys) likes to play rough and tries to push you around. Well Lucas' normal reaction (as was mine) to a challenge or rough playing is to be scared, shy away and/or cry.

A recent example is when a visiting little boy tossed our big red exercise ball at Lucas, which he said hit him on the head. While it's a big ball, it's also rubber and filled with air. So while I didn't actually see it happen, I don't think it actually hurt him. He cried though for a while, probably out of fear and intimidation of the other boy.

Well, I've tried only once or twice since then to teach Lucas to stand up for himself and for his sister by making a mad face and saying forcefully "YOU LEAVE ME (OR MY SISTER) ALONE!" Then I also tried to teach him to give them a push if that doesn't work. We then practiced this a little bit, but certainly not enough for me to be convinced that it had sunk in or been absorbed into his behavior at all.

Then a friend of Amanda's came over with her kids on Friday. Her son is a few months younger than Lucas, but about the same size as him. They were both in our plastic backyard playhouse when I heard Lucas say very loudly "DON'T HIT ME ON THE HEAD! I DON'T LIKE THAT!". Then there was a brief pause, followed by "SAY O.K. LUCAS!" Then the other little boy obediently complied and said "O.K. Lucas."

Wow! I don't think I could have handled it better myself. He stuck up for himself, didn't have to resort to violence, and even got the other kid to acknowledge his request. I was surprised and proud of him, and later that evening I made sure to let him know it.

2 comments:

Amanda Lomonaco said...

This is an awesome story of how you are teaching our son. He is an eager student. Cool when the lessons work!

Susan said...

Yeah! I am glad that worked.

I wish it could work on my 14 year old son. He doesn't seem to grasp that concept. He does get picked on a lot due to the fact that he is small for his age and is at a lower maturity level. I know he has a hard time with the kids and how to deal with it properly because he has Asperger's Disorder and ADHD. Even though I am his step mom I still love him and wish I could help him through this. Maybe some remedial training is in order.

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