the boy and i were at the park the other day. he had brought one of his race cars to play with. well a group of older boys, probably about 6-ish, saw that car and wanted it. and so the taunting began. the older boys took his car and proceeded to play with it. my boy chased them all over the playground, and you could tell he just really wanted to play with them. the whole situation turned into a giant game of "keep the car away from the little kid".
watching this all happen made me very anxious. i sat on the edge of the bench ready to pounce on the first one to lay a hand on my son. i was having an internal moral dilemma. "should i just jump in and put a stop to the whole thing and remove the boy and his car?" the boy didn't seem to mind that the older kids were playing with his car, he just wanted to be a part of the action. "do i let the boy figure it out on his own?" would this teach him the importance of problem solving. i kept having mental images of the boy as a teenager running to me to fight all his battles, and god knows that's not what i want to happen.
so what do you think? how would/do you deal with taunting and bullies? how do you walk the fine line of parenting and over-protecting? how do you create a son that knows how to stand up for himself without creating a bully of your own?