He and I encountered a mean boy at the library. He was about three or four years old and accompanied by his grandma. When we arrived, he started playing with the blocks. The mean boy says, “Who’s that?”
And the grandma says, “I don’t know, why don’t you ask him?” So the boy says, “Who are you?”
“This is my son,” I responded. “What’s your name?”
Silence. Okay, whatever.
Then the mean boy says, “That’s mine!” and grabs the yellow block from his hand. In the background, the grandma admonishes the boy but doesn’t really do anything about it. “You have to share, blah blah,” she said.
I was still hands-off, because I want him to practice his social skills. At this age, he still doesn’t care much about possessions, so he just crawled away and grabbed another block.
“That’s mine!” the mean boy says again, but this time he didn’t grab the block away from him. Still, I couldn’t help myself and reminded him, “No, this is the library’s.”
The boy continued to act like a little brat to his grandma, at one point even taking a block and throwing it at her (they were soft, but still). The grandma displayed her passive care-giving and said, “Okay that’s it, we’re going home.” But twenty seconds later, she calls him over to look at some books. Talk about empty threats. No wonder this kid’s a brat; he knows how to work his way around adults.
I’m not sure what his personality will be like in social situations like this, but I’m hoping that he learns to defend what he truly wants. I even told him later, “If you really want that block, find ways to keep it, as long as you don’t hurt anyone.” So far he seems like the type that could care less if other people are up in arms and acting like brats around him.