Do you step in when you see your kid being bullied? And not physically hurt type bullied, just left out or treated meanly?
So I am having this major dilemma. Our very best friends that we have known forever--before any of us had any kids--have 3 kids, a 6 yo girl, 3 yo boy and 1 yo boy. The 6 yo and 3 yo are both a year older than Kaitlyn and weston, almost to the day. So the girl will be 7 oct 12th and kaitlyn will be 6 on the 13th. same with her boy and weston.
So when we first had kids and joseph and their daughter emma were toddlers they played really well. then kaitlyn got old enough to play with them, and the girls were best little friends, as they started moving into more "boy" and "girl" interests. So the girls would dress up, dolls, etc. The last little while, every time we get together, emma is just mean to kaitlyn. Her mom has admitted that she does mean things to her brother because she loves the reaction he gives. Which kaitlyn does overreact a bit, though she is getting better now. Joseph still plays more on his own when we get together with them, preferring boy stuff, but still emma is mean.
So last night we went to their house for father's day dinner. There was another family there as well, with a just turned 4 yo girl and a baby. I thought for sure maybe emma would keep the 4 yo out of their play--thinking that usually the youngest in a group is left out. NOPE! One example, Weston was riding a trike on their deck, kaitlyn asked for a turn, so emma RUNS up and lines up behind weston on the bike and tells kaitlyn "no, you have to stand in line", so kaitlyn gets in line behind emma, and the 4 yo got in line behind kaityn. emma took a turn, then after her turn was over, she blocked kaitlyn from getting on the trike and said it was this other girls turn. Kaitlyn was upset, but didn't tantrum or yell or anything, handled it really well considering, and then took a turn after the other girl. Same thing happened with a ball, kaitlyn asked if she could use a ball she was using, she told her no, then went over to joseph and said "do you want to use this ball?", when he said no, she kept it herself. Over and over, I saw this happening, but I felt like maybe kaitlyn needed to know how to deal with kids doing this sort of thing? We did talk about it on the way home and complimented her for how she handled it (we had talked before that emma's behavior was to get a reaction out of kaitlyn, so if she didn't give that to her, then she should eventually stop). During this convo on the way home, Joseph said "yeah, emma gave me 4 pennies and said 'give one to everyone in your family...EXCEPT Kaitlyn'" GRRRR..... Dunno what she had against kaitlyn right now.
Weston also was getting a bit bullied by the brother--he would have a toy, the other kid would try pulling it out of his hand, and cause weston to squeal. I, seeing how it started, would say "weston was playing with that and doesn't want you to take it away", to which he immediately took a pillow and began pushing weston to the ground with it. Later weston was sitting on the bed. the kid came up behind him and smacked him with a shirt or jacket that was on the bed. He didn't know I was in the doorway watching. I said "weston doesn't like to be hit" so the big sister pipes up--Weston was hitting him first! Um, NO I saw what happened.
We just love our friends and think they are wonderful and sweet--but lately their kids are making me crazy! I think its mostly what my friend said, her daughter likes the reaction--but now her brother is picking up on it. Don't know what to do besides just keep close watch on the kids when they are together, but our friends really notice their kids are doing these things. And their kids are classified as "shy"--when they get in a group, especially a larger group, they are very quiet and reserved, and hardly say a word. So for that reason too, I think they just are not picking up on what is happening. *sigh*
Sorry, more of a vent than anything because I really don't know if I'll step in, and unless it gets really bad, I won't say anything to my friend about it.