My daughter, 17 month old then, usually never gets into any kind of tangle with other kids in the play area. Most of the kids take such behaviour as an advantage and snatch her toys from her. She looks at them, bewildered and continues to play with a pole of the slide, or with the steps. She never went in pursuit of her belongings. We, especially my wife, was worried seeing such behaviour. We tried to push her and asked her to go and get her toyd, but, she was disinterested in the toys.

The play area is filled with kids of varying ages. The older kids run around and take the major share of slides, see-saws and other paraphernalia meant for kids. Toddlers are usually left behind and out of all the toddlers, what I see is my little angel looking around agape at the kids creating mayhem.

One day, my wife was excited to narrate me a story as soon as I returned from work. It was late, almost midnight, she is usually asleep by then, but today she was evidently happy. “Do you know what happened today at the play area?”

 I shrugged. “What happened?”

“There is that little boy, you remember, who always takes our daughter’s ball?”

“Yes, Irritating fellow, as soon as he sees her, he will be after her ball!”

“Today, he was pulling her hair, playing with the butterfly like figure on her shoes and never letting her walk”

I was very angry. “You should have talked to his parents, he never lets her play peacefully and is always after something or other. What did our princess do? As usual, did she look at him confused!?”

“No. She started to walk backwards, but that boy was still messing around with her. She gave him a harsh look and moved away. The boy followed. I did not wanted to intervene, for the first time, I was seeing a reaction from her”

“Then, what happened?”

“That’s the most interesting part, our little angel, I never thought in my dreams, she could do it” My wife has this uncanny ability to create mystery and suspense.

“She struck him hard on his face, that boy went running to his mother”

“What!? Unbelievable. She seemed to lost her patience with this guy, haha, brilliant”

“His mother came complaining to me, my kid never struck others like this, you need to teach your kid not to hit others”

“To hell with her; what about those days, when he pulled the ball from our child. We have a girl child, and we need to teach her that she need not tolerate someone who misbehaves with her. She should teach such people a lesson that they can never forget!!” I said.

That guy did not come close to her since then.

Bullying is the most common worry parents go through. Either our kids are the victims or guilty. My take on bullying is that we need to teach our kids to be independent and be able to react when something puts their safety into jeopardy. What’s your take on this?