Thirty days ago, Dylan started school. Thirty days ago, Dylan left the comforts of his old school and friends. Thirty days ago, Dylan stepped onto a school bus. Thirty days ago, Dylan met his first “bully”- or at least that is what he now sees this other child as.
What a sad day that was for me. As a mom, my heart broke for Dylan when he told me what was happening to him.
He had told me he was playing with some boys, and one of them threw him to the ground, tackled him, and then twisted his arm. I asked him how many times this had happened, and if he knew how to handle situations like this, and more importantly- how to avoid situations like this.
Everyday after school, I check in with Dylan to see how the day went. See who he played with , what he bought for lunch, how he felt about the vibe of his day. One day, about a week ago, I was trying to talk to him about his day but he wasn’t saying very much. I watched him in the rearview mirror as he passed on every question and went silent in the back seat. Figuring he was being grumpy and over tired, I left him alone.
A short time later, Dylan came from his room and looked at me with a deep sadness in his eyes. He told me he had another problem with that boy again- I could tell he looked very upset, so I stopped what I was doing and sat down to show him he had my undivided attention.
He told me he was playing with some children, and for reasons unknown to him, the same boy who was playing too rough the week before had been really inappropriate again. He told me the other child pulled his pants down in front of a group of children.
This time my heart didn’t break… MY TEMPER ROSE! Before I reacted, I let him finish the story. I asked him if he had provoked this other boy. I asked him if he went for help. I asked him if he was O.K!
I promptly went to the phone and contacted the persons necessary to see to it that my son STOP being the victim to this other child! I thought about how Dylan must have felt when this happened. (I thought about finding this kid’s mother and kicking her ass!) I thought about how horrible it was for that other boy to be known as a bully. I thought about how sad I would be if I was that mother. But most of all, I just felt sadness.
Life can be so cruel. We have to allow our children to fall, in order to teach them how to get back up. We have to support them in their journey, which involves standing back and guiding from a distance. If we don’t allow our children to be challenged socially, how will they learn to handle conflict, how will they learn to problem solve?
Dylan received the confirmation he needed to move on and move past this situation. I, however, am watching from a distance and educating myself on how to coach him appropriately. Knowing when to step in and when to stay back is difficult for me. However, one thing is for sure, Dylan knows he can trust me, and he knows he can share even the most embarrassing moments with me. As much as I wish this had not happened, I know it is just a mark on the wall, and it is making his skin a little tougher. However, it doesn’t mean I will tolerate it.
So to you Mrs. Mother to the “bully”, put your smartphone down, slow your roll, and connect with your son because he clearly is screaming for attention…