Monday, 18 June 2012
***Readers beware: I am quite sarcastic, less then perfect, foul-mouthed, ill-tempered, and very rarely politically correct. ***
One of the issues we’ve had with the boys is, hitting. We have a very strict “NO HITTING" rule. Realistically.... they fight everyday at some point in time. Gabe is the morning fighter and Zeke is the evening fighter. Thankfully we have nice afternoons. Earlier this year Gabe had hurt two homeschoolers because he thought they were hitting him, but they were just playing tag with him. Sure that sounds sorta suspicious, but I was watching the other kids as well. One was a little boy that he had hurt his hand, and the other was a little girl that he had socked in the eye. *shakes head* I know I know. The poor things didn’t know what was coming, and I was too far away to react to Gabe. So Gabe got a lecture about hitting, and NOT to hit girls under any circumstance. (I soon took that back) He felt so bad for such a long time, he didn't want me to tell his dad or anyone else what he had done.
It was bullying that led us to homeschool. Gabe was in kindergarten, and Zeke in pre-k. They were being tormented on the bus by 5th graders. They would tie things to their bellies so tight they couldn’t walk, shoving the boys on the bus, and one day Gabe came home with a busted lip. When I went to the school, they pretty much said Gabe was lying because they didn’t see it. When Gabe told them who it was, the boy wasn’t suspended and I couldn’t have a meeting with the kids parents. I am not the most graceful of mothers. Let’s just say that day wasn’t my better moments. You know I get kids picking on each other and I get that kids fight. What bothers me is that it was 5th grader who was tormenting a 5yr old & a 4yr old. And the school was more worried that I would know the identity of this kid then solving the problem. It made me utterly sick. Poor little shit-head might get his feelings hurt if he has to have a meeting with the parents. When I was a kid, you better believe our parents were brought in. There was no hiding behind anti-bulling codes. Parents, teachers, staff, and student a like had to sit down and solve their problems, not sweep it under a rug, like nothing happened.
I know the whole anti-bullying mantra is to go get an adult, ignore them, be nice to them.. blah bah blah. Sure that may help in the moment. Bullying rarely stops because you told an adult, and in a lot of times, it makes the bullying worse. And very rarely does being nice help. What it comes down to, is people will get away with what they can. This applies to everyone and in almost every situation. You can see this in government, at work, in the home, and in children. In an way it’s pretty instinctual. And I would bet dollars to doughnuts, that the parent’s of these bullies, aren’t even aware of their kids behavior. I am pretty sure, most of them would be rather upset by it.
One of the big issues we face today in regards to parenting; is a fear that if we correct a child that is not our own, then we’ll upset their parents, or we are seen as overstepping our social boundaries. That mindset, is rubbish! Frankly, that is what we need more of. In away we are teaching our children apathy. There is nothing worse then an apathetic society. We are teaching our kids to take the abuse, pretend like no one notices, if we all stay quite it will all go away, and we teaching that bad behavior is quite alright, no one is going to do anything anyways.
So long as your not being cruel to my kid. I expect the adults in their lives or even out in public to say something to them if they are being awful. I remember I was correcting the boys in the store, I was obviously flustered. An elderly lady told my boys that they were upsetting me, and that they should listen to their mother. They were pretty embarrassed and stopped. It was a good teaching moment and a good moment to insight good amount paranoia. Fear of what other see and think has it's place. So I told them. “See, I am not the only one who is watching you. You’ve upset a lot of people here.”
That being said, I gave my boys some pretty mean advice the other week... well it was rather shitty of me to say what I had said. One of my less perfect moments, one I will not apologize for either.
It started off with this little girl, who is about 12, at my mother’s apartment complex who they often played with. I suspect she had been picking on them awhile, and things were slowly escalating. She called Gabe a littler f@*&ker one afternoon. He came and told me. I went outside and corrected her. I told her she was not to use that language in front of my kids and she was not to call either of them any names. She turned beet red. I made the boys pick up their toys, and told them that they are not allowed to play with mean kids. So of course things escalated. A few days later Zeke was playing outside and she shoved him face first in the mud and thought it was a good time to taunt and laugh at him. I was livid! Of course, I went outside to find her, but she was gone. It’s a good thing because I probably would’ve grabbed her by her ear and took her to her mother. I asked Zeke if he was ok. He said it made him cry, but he loved girls so it was ok. I told my boys, that no matter if it is a girl, a boy or an adult. If ANYONE is to hurt them like that again they should: punch them like they’ve punched each other, kick their legs like they have kicked each other, bite like they have bitten mommy, spit in their faces like they have spit mommy's, and pull their hair like they had pulled eachothers. Two things will happen when you fight back and defend yourself. You will either get into another fight or you will standing your ground and the bullying stops.
I am rather anti-fighting, anti-violence, most of the time. Most being the opportune word. If we could live in a a world of nothing but rainbows, dancing fairies, and unicorns, I would. But we don’t. I don’t want my kids to believe that it’s ok to treat people like shit, just because you can. That means, they not only have to do right by others and they have to do right by themselves. Defending the weak and defending themselves. Learning to when to fight and when to lay down your arms. Speaking up for someone else when they have no voice to speak and for themselves. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but a lesson none the less.