Everyday, I get to walk home with my son. We walk hand in hand and talk about his day at school before the conversation switches to Minecraft. During our walk, I learned that there was a substitute and that the students didn’t act the same way that they usually act. I heard about computer lab and a bit about the current read aloud.
When we got home, I was disappointed to see that my son had hardly touched his lunch. In the past, hunger severely impacted my TBP’s behavior and problem solving abilities. In a slightly frustrated voice, I asked him about his lunch. He apologized and said that he was too distracted by the boy who was teasing him.
Instantly, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. “Teasing you about what?”
“He continued to sing a song that I hated and I asked him to stop and he wouldn’t!” He added, “I even told the lunchroom assistant and he STILL wouldn’t stop!”
I wasn’t sure that I wanted to know what the song was but…”What was the song?” My TBP said that he was singing about a girl who my son likes. You know the ol’ k-i-s-s-i-n-g song about first comes love and then comes marriage.
At this point, I got a bit suspicious about my son’s response. An action like this earlier would have been a declaration of war in my son’s eyes. In fact, this same boy received some scratches on his arms because he teased my son and my son wanted to “teach him a lesson.” I wrote a post about this called The Taunter.
This is where the discussion took a surprising turn.
“Did you touch him after he wouldn’t stop?”
“No. I told him to stop and he didn’t and it was frustrating but I didn’t scratch him or hit him.”
I felt a mix of emotions at this point. I was so proud of him for keeping calm and not escalating the problem so that HE wound up in the principal’s office; however, I was also frustrated that he had asked for help and nothing was done. At this point, I suggested that I email the school counselor to see if she could help. My son was relieved about the idea and I sent my message right away.
Not long after, I received a glowing email from the counselor about how proud she was of his actions and that she would certainly help him. I also got an email from the principal saying that he would get to the bottom of this with the other student. I read my son both emails and a visible sense of relief came over him.
This is giant progress, my friends! I am proud of his restraint and that he shared this with me so that we could problem solve together. In a time where kids are consistently bullied at school, I think it is so important that my son feels that he can talk to me and that I will listen and try to help.
Honestly, there is a part of me that would completely understand if my son scratched this boy again. Today, my son showed more restraint than I might have shown! 🙂
What an incredibly proud moment for you and an amazing milestone for your son!
Thank you!! We would have had a very different outcome in the fall. I was very proud and only hope that he continues to make these good decisions 🙂
I am very glad his school had taken action. Although it was a relatively minor affair (compared to what it could have become)…it is what it becomes through repetition (torture) and the resulting escalation of actions (war) which then frequently become so serious. In general, the evil of bullying lies in the delight of the bully seeing his intended result effected relentlessly upon the victim, and of the silence from all bystanders, which I find especially disturbing. It is the antithesis of all which is honorable. It all lies in the general lack of morals and structure in which a child is raised.
A child must feel that his school is a safe place for learning…and that adults have the will, and the means, to regulate negative behavior in a school. It is when it is “understood” by the students that bullying is not taken seriously that it really gets out of hand…and the bad students start running the school…instead of the teachers.
I liked it when you had read the responses from the school staff to your son. He followed the rules…and the rules had protected him. That is the way it should work.
I was happy to hear that the school counselor followed up and my son felt better about that adult follow through 🙂
Wow, congratulations! That’s awesome. My son is only three but we’re working on the whole restraint thing now – which sucks. When he sees a real or perceived “threat” to his space, he loses the little language he has and lashes out. I know it’s his way of communicating but it’s scary and awful and well blah. So glad to know that your son restrained himself after being teased! And yay you for emailing the counselor!
This has been a recent accomplishment but a HUGE one! Yes…I am happy because it was a long time coming…not to say he won’t go back to his old ways but hoping!
In terms of emailing the counselor, it was a bit for selfish reasons. I needed the school adults to hear about his restraint because sometimes the focus has been on the negative.
BTW…I saw the counselor today and she made a point if seeking me out to tell me how proud she was of him 🙂