Z had always been a really good brother. He was known in school to be very nice and giving too.
It surprised me when he took over a toy from X.
X had been playing with a toy when it slipped out of his grasp. Z immediately picked it up and played. X flew into a mad temper because Z had taken over just like that. Z, on the other hand, felt that X had stopped playing with the toy.
While I did not expect my firstborn to always give in to X, I would not want him to be seen as a bully in the eyes of his brother. To placate X, I asked Z to return the toy to X.
Of course, I knew Z would be upset.
I explained to him that I was not forcing him to give in to X in this instance. He had read the situation wrongly and X had still wanted to play.
1. Z was leveraging on the fact that he was older, faster and stronger to take over the toy. It was a case of ‘bullying’. I asked him if Superheroes used their powers to help others or to help themselves first. The strong should protect the weak and not take the chance to walk over the weak.
2. If Z continually did this, jumping on the toy as though it was free game when it fell, X would do this to him in future. Was this what Z want to teach X?
3. Ownership of toys – who ultimately paid for all the toys at home? In name, most of the toys were under Z. If Z really wanted to lay claim to the toys as ‘his toys’, it was unfair that X, the latecomer, would have lesser toys to his name. To balance that, it meant Mr & I would need to buy more toys for X to adjust the equation. Did it make sense to have duplicates of everything or the potential to have new, interesting toys?
Z understood the concept vaguely, and it was for us to remind him constantly.