Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Tackling child bullies

Oh it's tough this one... Fine lines, fine lines

"Tell him to stop, you don't like it," I told my son. The lad didn't stop, so yesterday afternoon I made an appointment with his teacher.

"I'm surprised," she said. "He comes across as such as mild-mannered gentle boy."

I could only nod in the affirmative, he does. Though I've seen him pile onto his friends, though I didn't mention that, so many young boys do that. Fine lines...fine lines....

She asked me if I got on with the boy's mother and I said "NO, no no no! I don't trust her. She denied she had a meeting with you for goodness sake. No."

Did I think my son might be exaggerating, because he knows I don't like Ugly, so wants to make something up.

I paused. Would you believe I paused. It's those fine lines... you've got to be able to walk it. I believe it to be one the greatest challenges of parenting but then my child is 8 and I feel I'm only at the beginning.

So I told the teacher about the day in the park, how I failed my son when he came over to me crying and how Ugly only reprimanded my child, not her own.. "So maybe he thinks he can get away with it."

I mentioned what happened in Reception, but with hindsight, it was my opportunity to tell the teacher what MY SON HAD ACHIEVED with his pals then, which then went wrong when I shared that with Ugly. I didn't take that opportunity.. so long ago you know... and the crap with the parents isn't over at all; not my concern but the children feel it....

"I told my son long ago," I said to the teacher, "that no matter how awful, no matter how bad he's been, he has always got to tell me the truth. If he doesn't tell me the truth, how can I defend him? He knows that, he learnt that in Reception when that woman called him a liar."

I have to admit to you reader, that I did tell teacher I wasn't looking forward to talking to her because she'd allegedly said I blow things out of proportion. I made no accusation and it was an opportunity for her to discover, if she didn't already know, that my son is a "Child in Need" on the social services books (for fucks sake).

She's going to talk to the boy, gently, about his friendship with my son
She's going to have both boys closely monitored in the playground (she told me when she's been on duty the two don't play together....I could only say I don't know because I don't know)
My child has free reign to tell whoever is on duty that Ugly's son has strangled him or grabbed him round the neck.

I can't ask for more really. I do wish my child had been accorded the same treatment when Ugly told the story of the one off pulling chair away incident which led my boy to spending a whole day in detention. On a par, I think repeatedly strangling a child is worse but it would be wrong for the boy to get punished just on my hearsay.

We rounded off the meeting with his teacher telling me how well my boy is doing. He writes incredible stories and he's reading one of them out today at his class assembly, on the stage, on his own (I'm so proud, so so proud of him!)

I dropped my son off at Kung Fu then went for a walk afterwards. Sat by the pond at the Heath. Watched the swans, noticed the magpies, tried to let go.

This morning my son I remind my son they're going to be monitored and to tell a member of staff if it happens again and my son says:

"It hasn't happened for ages mummy."
"WHAT?" I feel my heckles rise. "You tell me to go talk to your teacher and it's not 'happened for ages???????"
"The last time was Monday mummy and I told him to stop and he hasn't done it since."
My brain shifted and fell back into gear.
"It's Wednesday morning son. That means he didn't hurt you yesterday. Still, if he has stopped at least you know you can deal with these things yourself, do you hear me? You can do it! In the meantime, it's good I've said something, so we'll just have to see, ok..."

We'll have to see
We'll have to see
Walking fine lines
It helps if you can see

Very best of luck to any parent going through something similar with their child. I do not wish any such thing upon you or your children, ever.

At some point I may write what my son achieved in Reception, but not today if that's ok.
I have not enjoyed writing this post and must now go outside and have a cigarette moment!

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