“Mom.” Peggy’s seven-year-old son said, “Can you come down to the garden and tell Philip to leave me alone?”
“What does he do?” she asked.
“He kicks me and smacks me on the head. You know, Mom; he doesn’t let me play in peace with my friends.”
Peggy could easily go down to the communal garden – where they lived in Geneva in a range of apartment buildings – and tell Philip off. However, she decided against it. Peggy did not believe in being an overprotective mother. Although, this happened ages earlier, she still has the same belief. She thinks children have to learn to defend themselves. Then, she claims, when they grow up, they will turn into capable personalities.
So that day, Peggy told her son, “No, I won’t go down and tell Philip off.”
“Oh, Mom. Why?” he protested, “All other mothers help their children.”
“I could do the same; but, don’t you think Philip and his friends will laugh at you and call you, ‘Mommy’s boy?’”
“OK.” He said, looking convinced, and continued, “Then tell me what I should do to have Philip and his friends off my back?”
Peggy hugged him hard and answered, “Next time they hurt you, try to hit them back. You can even kick them and run away fast before they find time to figure out what you did.”
Her son immediately left the house smiling mischievously. Then, within half an hour, he returned with a red cheek and his shirt sleeve hanging.
Peggy smiled; looking at him admiringly, and said, “It seems you had a rough time with those nasty boys, am I right?”
He beamed proudly and answered, “Yes, Mom. I really kicked them all hard.”
“Oh. You did?”
“Yes. When I kicked them as hard as I could, they rubbed their legs, sat down, and almost cried with pain. Then, one of the boys in the group called, Pascal chased me. When he caught up with me, he slapped my face and tore off my sleeve.”
She said, “No wonder your cheek is red… Pascal slapped you.”
That did it. Soon, the boys accepted him in their group. Indeed, he was the only little fellow hanging out with older boys.
Peggy claim that, that specific incident boosted her son’s self- confidence. What’s more, she also believes the reason for him for having a successful career later in life is due to his childhood experiences.
True. She was the kind of mother who taught her two children to look up for themselves. However, there were also times when she stood by them. Indeed, Peggy was supportive of her son and daughter whenever necessary.
Now, concerning Peggy’s treatment of her kids; there is one more story.
In their communal garden, there was a boy, whose mother never left him alone or unsupervised. And, if any child dared to bother her son, she was there to shield him; totally the opposite of Peggy.
One afternoon, their doorbell rang. When Peggy opened the door, the boy’s mother was standing behind it, holding a stick in her hand. She waved it at Peggy and said, “Your daughter is a very naughty girl.”
“What has she done?” Peggy asked.
“She annoys my son by calling him, ‘Mommy’s boy. You have to punish her.”
“Ok,” she said, before slamming the door to the woman’s face. “Leave her to me.”
As soon as she closed the door, her eight-year-old daughter looked at her mother bashfully, feeling guilty.
“Don’t worry, sweetie,” Peggy told her. “I know what type of a boy he is. I don’t blame you for calling him, ‘Mommy’s boy; but I will appreciate it if you left him alone from now on.”
She gave Peggy a blissful smile and nodded, “Yes, Mommy. I won’t bother him anymore.”
Conclusion: Don ‘t be overprotective of your children. Meanwhile, be supportive and understand their small world if you wish to help them grow up into nice and confident characters later in life.