It seems as if I’m raising a pint-sized Godfather. Yes, he is the Don Corleone of kindergarten.
His life as a wiseguy began when he put a hit on one of his classmates. The victim was a girl in his class who aggravated him daily. N always complained that the girl was mean to him – she grabbed his shirt, called him names, and tackled him on the playground. He was fed up with the abuse and wanted to retaliate. Fortunately, I intervened and I explained to him that it was unacceptable for him to hit a girl.
N agreed, but he couldn’t bear to allow the little girl to get the better of him on the playground so he devised an evil plan.
Since he couldn’t hit the girl, N found someone who would – his friend Adrian. N arranged the hit for the next day. Adrian would sneak up on the girl, hit her, then run away. And N’s hands would be clean. The perfect caper.
Unfortunately, N’s plan unraveled when his sister, Nee, snitched on him.
When I asked N about his plot, he told me that he was tired of the girl’s bothering him and only wanted to get even.
“You told me never to hit girls,” he explained. “That’s why I made Adrian do it.”
“Listen, son,” I said as I squeezed his shoulder. “Resolving your problems with violence is wrong. Now tell me a better way that you could have handled the situation.”
He thought for a minute and then said, “Get Meghan to hit her?”
“Try again,” I said.
“Tell the teacher?” he said.
“Yes,” I said. “Tell the teacher and let her handle it.”
“But what if the girl keeps bothering me after I tell the teacher?” he asked.
“If telling the teacher doesn’t work,” I said. “Do you best to avoid the girl, but don’t hit her.”
“Okay, Daddy,” he said.
“And, N,” I said.
“Don’t ask anyone else to hit her,” I said.
“Okay,” he said as he ran off to watch TV with his sister.
I hope this lesson sticks. I’m not looking forward to getting a call about N’s placing a horse’s head in that little girl’s bed.
Question: How do you teach your children to deal with violence?