Children can be cruel.

Today Bambi and Cinderella were here for a couple of hours. A couple of days ago I had created a very personalised handwriting practice sheet for Bambi, from the website handwritingpractice.net with sentences about his various likes. For example having the sentences “Yellow is my favourite colour. I love my family. I like cars and trains”. He had only completed one sentence and started the second when he put his head on the table and said “I can’t do it”. My mum and I tried to encourage him to continue but he walked away into the hallway.

I went after him and asked him what was wrong to which he told me people laugh at him. I picked him up carried him back to the living room and asked him to tell me who laughed at him. Bambi said everyone, and knowing that this wasn’t true asked him further “Tell me someone who has laughed you”. Bambi mentioned a name of another child who is in his nursery class who has picked on him before. I asked did (well let’s call the child O) O laugh at you because you can’t do letters well and after his confirming this my mum and I consoled him explaining that not everyone is good at everything, reinforcing his strengths of things like Lego construction and ability to use computers/tablets etc. We also reminded him that what O did was not nice and kind and we shouldn’t laugh at others when they can’t do things. I also comforted him by telling him that for a long time I couldn’t do letters.
In fact to this day my handwriting can be appalling, you be better off trying to decipher a doctor’s signature. Although I didn’t tell him as we tried to highlight that the more you do something you will get better and didn’t want to discourage him by the fact my handwriting hasn’t improved much.

My question is was O being cruel by laughing by nature? Or has he learned this behaviour by people close to him being cruel over his failings? I think it is horrible to see children this young behaving in this manner. In fact anyone being cruel like this is horrible, but where did O learn it from? As annoyed as I am for his upsetting my nephew, I am also concerned for him. What if he is growing up in a cruel environment? What kind of adult will he become? As adults we have to be very careful with how we behave around children, as they will imitate us. It is our responsibility to teach children. What are your actions teaching the children around you? To be cruel or kind?

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