Witnessing Aggression

In general I do a really great job of limiting my time and eliminating negative people and situations out of my life. I know that if I continue to put myself in an environment where negativity is, that it only takes me down with it, and I’m entirely too sensitive for all of that.

Lately I have been struggling though, and it’s with a situation that seems to happy with every encounter and I am having a hard time breaking from it. The situation is a little more delicate I think, but perhaps I think that because I am so close to it and I don’t know truly what she is going through. It has to do with a mum and a bub who my bub and I have spent a considerable amount of time with for the last year. Her bub is super high energy, and aggressive. Before it was all about helicopter parenting to keep an eye on them and ensure that he wasn’t biting my bub. Now it’s full grown into pushing and biting for no apparent reason. My friend is at her wits end as to what to do and has started giving a smack on his hand with an explanation of why he’s getting it. The last time this happened, we all took a break of about a week after her bub was consistently aggressive towards my bub and I could see that my bub was showing signs of fear from him, which is not okay.

In that break, my bub and I were socialising with another bub who is also a pretty easy going toddler and they played just fine for a couple of hours and it was great. I felt so much more relaxed and at ease, my bub was happy, everyone was happy and easy going. I noted how it felt so different when my friend and I met back up to take a walk and talk and it hurt her. I didn’t mean for that to happen, but truly there is a marked difference when her child isn’t around and I feel really bad that this is the case, but from my perspective, it really is. So I’ve just started to notice at social events if there is a difference and surely there is. Even when I have other bubs over to play, it’s not intense like it is when they are here, and I honestly feel really bad about this.

Why do I feel bad? I feel bad because I really like the mom and I like the child, but I love myself and love my child more and know that we have to come first. When we did get together for a play time, sure enough it was intense and we had to be like hawks over them. I even noticed that my bub was acting wilder than normal around her bub. Then came the aggression from her bub to my bub and what ensued has stayed with me since. I know the mum has the best intention and is really trying to sort it all out, I know this. She quickly pulled him aside and told him why that action wasn’t acceptable, and said he was going to get a smack, and then she did it, and put him down on the floor, where he wailed for a few minutes, until he got back up and was almost back at it again.

The thing is that this time I saw my child watching closely at what was happening, he was actually witnessing violence in some form from an adult to a child. I cannot shake it out of my mind and it makes my stomach hurt when I think about it. So now the situation as it stands is that my child becomes fearful of her child because her child is aggressive to mine. I am tense throughout it all. She is tense. She reprimands him physically and verbally, and my child AND I are witnesses to this and have to feel that energy in our space. I am not okay with this, and it doesn’t feel good at all. In fact if a friend were telling me about this I would advise her that she needed to take a very long break away from them. The truth is that my child, myself, and my husband are the most important in our world, period. I am so particular about what I consume mentally, who I am around, what I experience, and all of a sudden I have a parenting style that I am not okay with, right in my nest, in the home that is to be our sanctuary, our oasis, our retreat and safety place. This must not continue.

Maybe we can play when we are out as a group, but I really don’t want to be a part of that nor be affected by it any further. It’s really hard because I care about them but I really care about us more and this is my own, my very own family and I will do whatever I possibly can to make us the best and to protect us as I can.