So, while Jamie was sick a couple of weekends ago he mentioned the following, out of the blue:
J: I like to hurt babies
J: because they are so soft
K: um.. why does that mean you like to hurt them?
J: I like the bumping noise they make (as they fall down and hit the floor)
Obviously the conversation went on with a little chat from me about babies being people, and how they feel hurt, and kindness... you get the idea.
In actual fact he doesn't like to hurt babies. Really he quite likes softly patting the heads of the small offspring of friends and is always gentle in this. He does occasionally seem to have a strange compulsion to push Noah over backwards, when often indeed there is a 'bumping noise'. He always says sorry and seems genuinely to be so, but it does tend to happen again.
See, I detest aggression and worry about it, particularly in boys. I have started to write several posts about it but can never seem to finish, worried that I am portraying Jamie as some psychopathic little bruiser.
I think I know this is just a 3-year-old phase, him testing words, impacts, feelings and boundaries. I also know having Noah has been hard on him, but that things are getting better.
So I'm not worried. Except that I am a little.
I am suffering from the curse of the professional versus personal - I am over read for parenting. Its my job and I am mostly successful in putting all in sensible perspective, but occasionally I make myself crazy. Research shows us that developing empathy is key in personal, emotional and social development, and especially in counteracting bullying and aggression toward others.
So, I'd value your input on this one...what do you think, what do you do?