Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bullies

A couple days ago Brian came home and he suddenly started crying and wanted a hug. Eventually we got out of him that a girl was very mean with him and told him he was too little to be in 1st grade and called him a baby. I, admittedly, got furious. They are the youngest in their grade and they are little but who the *bleep* does she think she is, right? Someone would teach her a lesson. I reflexively wanted to tell him to tell her “I’m in the highest reading level in our class and you’re not. Maybe you’re too stupid to be in 1st grade”, but, of course, I didn’t :-).

It was a chance to learn a sad lesson about people for Brian, though, and we talked about it quite a bit.

He is such a sweet kid and doesn’t have anything near that kind of cruelty in him, neither of our boys do. They’ll fight over toys and tease each other for laughs, but I can’t remember them saying things just to be mean like that. What to do?

I did some research and found out that the child has problems at home, and at mother’s visiting day yesterday I watched her (I wrote more about Mother’s Visiting day at the isocrat blog). I can see what the problem is, the mother understands, and it’s not just with Brian, but he’s more likely to take it personally; Alan is so much more carefree with his feelings. So my plan is to bring it to the attention of the teacher and ask her to keep an eye out for now. I want to protect him, but know part of learning in school is social learning about how to manage these situations.

It does cause worry though, specific to us. When I first heard him say a girl was mean, I immediately thought she may have picked on him because our family is different. I can only hope other parents will do their part to make the learning environment civil and inclusive for all children or there will be a situation. I have to hope we can continue to keep the outwardly benevolent hostility nurtured here by our predominant culture out of our home and school. But people who vote to bully us out of equal protections have children too, I'm sure they pass on their bias, and we will interact. Maybe we can do it civilly. If not, though, I feel I’ve got armies of potential waiting to deal with that moment, and we will.

All that aside though, yesterday at Mother’s Visiting Day was wonderful. I learned about vertebrates with Brian, I sang a song, played dodge ball, and wrote a fairy tale with Alan about a talking leaf and the sun. We are so lucky to have the school administrators, teachers, and parents there that we do.

8 comments:

Kengo Biddles said...

So, do you and Rob alternate being the mommy, or...?

And bullies suck.

Scot said...

Usually Rob goes because he's the homemaker and I take father's day. But as he was busy helping the school with mother's day as the "Room Mom" I went :-).

Queers United said...

ugh I hate bullies but sadly he needs to learn that life isn't just fun and games and that meanies exist.

Java said...

It's SO HARD to raise kids! We have had our share of bully stories. I suspect my kids have done a bit of bullying, themselves. They aren't nearly as sweet as your boys are. ;) But when they get upset because someone says or does something mean I try my best to do the right thing. Sometimes my kids need to not take things so personally. Sometimes the bully is way over the line. A lot of times it's hard to tell which is which.

Good luck!

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

I jus tknow I would freak out if one of my kids was being bullied.

I was bullied all through out school (I was really small, quiet and gay), and I know how terrible that is.

I would just lose it.

Scot said...

qu, Java: That is the tough part, isn't it? Finding the line between protecting too much and not enough.

Craig: That's another tough part; you want to go to war, but you can't. Not just yet :-).

chosha said...

A boy told me once not long after I got glasses (I was seven) that no-one would be able to kiss me. I got really upset about it, but my dad said, 'come on. you know better than that. Don't I kiss your mum all the time? Yes. And I wear glasses, don't I?' Even at seven I was amazed I had gotten so upset that I couldn't see that what he was saying was stupid.

It would have been so cool if Brian could just have said, 'well obviously I'm not too little, because I'm IN the 1st grade. Duh.' But of course hindsight is 20/20 and it's hard not to care what others say, especially at that age.

Scot said...

I hope he can have a come back next time; I think he was surprised, having never been treated that way, even by his brother.

"A boy told me once not long after I got glasses (I was seven) that no-one would be able to kiss me. "

Makes you wonder how he imagined people kissed so that glasses would get in the way :-).