Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What to do...

My heart broke tonight. It wasn't because Brandon got upset at my computer, screeched at it, and put it onto the floor in an... shall I say... unfriendly manner. And it wasn't because he slammed the door when I sent him to his room.

It was when I went in to talk to him, my voice kinda loud, explaining to him how much he should not treat my computer that way and how he should not slam the door. He nodded through understanding tears, and as he was wiping his eyes, he cried "It's just been such a frustrating day."

This is the part where my heart broke into a million tiny pieces... My little Bubba explained to me that as he was walking to the teacher's desk a boy in class stuck out his foot and tripped him. Then as he was walking back to his desk the same boy stuck out his foot and tripped him again, this time causing him to fall and hit his head on the floor. At recess, a bunch of boys were tackling each other and one of them told the others to all tackle Brandon at once, which they did.

I understood that desks would be moved and cards were turned to red, but that seemed to be about it. He explained that he plays alone at recess, making up games to play by himself. He also explained that he really doesn't have any good friends at school. I've heard stories of one boy in particular who enjoys taunting him, and nothing seems to be happening to stop it. Knowing it's gotten physical is making me sad, very angry, and very protective of my little guy.

As he was explaining this tears were streaming down my cheeks. While he does have random emotional meltdowns (read: crybaby), he is a very happy, kind, loving, compassionate little boy. He is very respectful, uses his manners, and is an all-around good kid. I can only imagine the frustration he feels.

I tried to explain to him that while fighting back needs to be a last resort to bullying, if it needs to be done then do it. Protect yourself and don't back down. He shook his head in protest..."No, I don't want to get in trouble!!"

So we decided that for two weeks he's going to try an experiment. When he is picked on, he is not going to react. I explained that bullies do what they do because of how it makes him react. So if he stops reacting, there is nothing left to feed the bullying. (God I hope I'm right.) If kids are talking to him in class when they aren't supposed to, trying to get him in trouble, he's going to pretend they aren't there. After the two weeks we'll see how it worked and go from there.

I know this is like asking a six-year-old to fly to the moon in a cardboard box, but I want him to try. God I want him to try, to be able to take care of problems on his own so that he knows he has what he needs right there within himself. He's my baby and believe me I'd love to take matters into my own hands. But more importantly he needs to know how to take care of himself.

I won't be able to meet with his teacher until my days off next week, as I begin another week of fun tomorrow. So until then I'm hoping that Brandon will have the confidence to do whatever it takes to stop the teasing and tormenting. Also, if there are any readers out there who have any advice for me, please don't hesitate to put your two cents in. I'm willing to listen if it will help.


Anonymous said...

As a mother who has been in your shoes many times, five kids to be exact. Your advice to him was spot on. Our first instinct is to protect, but you cannot always be there 24 7. Meeting with the teacher is great it will help to sort out the culprits. One hates to resort to telling their children to be aggresive but sometimes self-defense is all you have. Hang in there your support is the best healing he can have. grandma

Amanda said...

Oh that breaks my heart. Having just registered for Kindergarten yesterday, this kind of stuff is already on my mind. I would love to hear others' advice, too, and how your experiment turns out. Good luck.

Unfortunate Actress said...

Are there any play dates or something you can do to get him a school buddy? Bullies seem less mean when you have a friend to stand with you. In the meantime, I'm so Brandon's recess friend in spirit! He is a way cool kid, and I would have wanted to play at recess with him if I was in elementary school.