My ES has been teasing MS mercilessly. It picked up momentum over spring break and I assumed that he merely had too much unstructured time on his hands. However, it persists. It is really offensive to me. I have tried various methods of dealing with this (he has always had a propensity for pinching the little boys' cheeks - and sometimes I handle it with humor, asking him how he would like it if I gave him pokes constantly and then poking him repeatedly throughout that day).
Tomorrow, he is grounded for the afternoon and evening because he responded with laughter when my MS got hurt. He has started this annoying habit of laughing and then saying "OWNED! NYAAA! NYAAA!" I've been very clear on why this is unacceptable to me. It is equally disturbing because he is passing on behavior to the other boys. Today, at lunch, my YS bit his tongue and I was shocked when the MS started to snicker. Of course, we had a long discussion about this.
In fact, tonight, my MS turned to my ES and asked "Do you love me? Do you love S----- (my YS)?" He was thrilled when the answer was yes, but then asked, "So, why are you mean to us sometimes?" It was sweet, sobering and sad, all at the same time.
When my husband heard about ES's grounding, he informed me that ES was casually explaining how he annoys a boy at school by doing the same thing. I don't want to raise a son who bullies or picks on weaker individuals. I don't want a son who fails to show empathy or compassion.
I believe that we teach a great deal by our example. However, I would say that our parental example has been compassionate and empathetic. I want to address this character issue this summer. I've been tossing around ideas like spending time volunteering at a nursing home or something.
I would love any feedback on this subject. How do you nurture and encourage compassion in your children? How do you help a self-centered boy reach outside of himself to look at how another person feels?