PITA has been telling me I need to let him stretch his boundary a bit. Instead of confining him to only the front yard, I should let him be free to play all around our house, as he needs to "spread his wings." I am working on this slowly, but let me tell you why I'm not comfortable with this.....
It seems, that as soon as they are out of ear shot, the older children start running their mouths to the littles. Yesterday I let him go to a friend's house with another boy to play Xbox. They came back and informed me that the kid got mad at them and called them both the R-word!!!! To say I was livid was an understatement. I quickly called this boy over. On his way, he apologized to Liam and the other boy, but I still gave the lecture. "Do you know what that is? Do you know how hurtful that is? You know Liam has Autism, and many think that kids with Autism are the R-word. You do know that's wrong???" He did, he agreed, he had utter guilt on his face. (He is a good kid, but like all of us, we're not perfect.) He apologized to me, and both boys again, and I asked him to never say it again. Off they went into the yard.....the back yard.
Now, we can see these kids from the window in our living room, but we can't hear them. I am ok as long as I can sort of see what it going down.....Well it wasn't 15 minutes later and Liam comes back to tell me that another boy (12) called him queer.
Okay, now I am seething with rage. My child is 6, NO ONE calls him that!!!! I went out front and asked the kids to have this boy come over here. In the mean time, PITA speaks up and says, "what are you doing? Are you always going to be there to run defense for him?" I stopped, and just glared at him. "Yep, I will be. He is 6, I will NOT put up with this!"
PITA goes on....he is mad at how stubborn I am being. "You won't always be there. You have to let him grow a thick skin. You have to let him learn how to deal with this on his own."
Okay, I get this, I do. Part of me knows he is right. (and oh how I HATE to admit that!) I won't always be there to run defense. But he is SIX!!!!!!! I am here now....Isn't my job to set these other children straight now.....teach them to be more caring, more tolerant, and do my best to make them aware of other with special needs? If their parents aren't doing it, then who will? Liam is my baby, and he is still young. I feel it's my job to protect him......
Am I wrong??? Am I over stepping??? Should I step back and let him handle it???
original pic credited too: Dr. Blondie