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Old 12-16-2008, 06:19 AM
 
11,642 posts, read 23,897,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytotwo View Post
This came up too. My DH told him that if someone hits him, he should hit back, then go tell a teacher everything. I don't know if that is the advice I'd like him to go by, but at this point I don't have anything better to offer him when it comes to the physical stuff. I guess I don't expect any other advice to come from a dad (at least his dad)
Violence is not always the answer. However, there are times that a child, especially a boy, needs to stand up for himself with physical violence. I know my opinion is in the minority, but I think that schools "zero tolerance" for bullying has led to MORE bullying.

These policies that require any physical violence to result in a severe punishment (suspension) take away a tool from our kids. The kids who bully don't really care about getting in trouble but the kids who are the victims are being taught to CONTINUE to be the victim out of fear of getting in trouble.

I suspect that if you tell your son to stand up for himself even if he gets in trouble at school that his problems will go away. I had this issue with two of my three sons (my oldest and youngest). Both dealt with the bully in a way the bully understood.

In one case we had sent emails to the 5th grade teacher, met with the teacher and still the bullying continued. I had informed the teacher that the incidents ALWAYS occurred when the kids were changing classes so there was no teacher around. I also told her that I was going to tell my son to defend himself, physically if necessary. This went on for a while before he laid a hand on the other child (who was sort of friendly with my son). It ended.

In another case a boy was starting in on another child and my youngest stepped in to defend his friend. He received a deferred suspension from the school. That was ok with me. I am raising a MAN, not a 2nd grader and I was happy that he stepped in to defend the helpless. I did not fight his deferred suspension. He is not a kid who is in trouble all the time so the deferred suspension expired.
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:23 AM
 
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 7,347,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LetterLady View Post
I sympathize with your problem.
When my eldest son was in 8th grade, he and a friend were rollerblading home from school. They got to the house and all was well until an irate mother called MY phone (the SCHOOL gave her my number!!!) and informed me that the 2 boys had rollerbladed up to a group of little kids, one of which was her son and cussed and dropped the F bomb on them. Two other mothers called me and told me the same story. Know what I did? I made my son call each mother and apologize. I told his friend's mom what happened and she did nothing. I held my kid accountable for his disgusting behavior, while she let her's slide. Oh, well...
I have 3 boys - I told each one that if someone hits you, put 'em on the floor and ask questions later. None of them ended up being bullies, but the little posers left them alone. I never spoke to little kids...then they depend on mommy's assistance and their peers will call them names...mama's boys...LOL!
thanks for your post, it's good to get your perspective since you have three boys, and they are older. He's my only boy and the oldest child.

I guess we didn't prepare him for these types of situations. We did a little role playing yesterday so he knows what to do or say now if anyone tries to tease or taunt him. So hopefully he can handle it himself and won't ask me to intervene again if something comes up. It is much better for him to be able to handle it on his own.

I just worry about kids these days, really w/all the crap that has been going on in school. Kids can be really really terrible and I don't want my son to be like that or subjected to other kids being like that. It's a two way street.
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytotwo View Post
I just am not happy that:

a.) a kid made my son cry
b.) he then *allegedly* teased him about it
c.) the mother could not have cared less
I understand your feelings. Nobody likes to see their young child hurt in any way. While the other mother sounds like a b--ch I think you are teaching your son that you will solve all his problems and that can be a problem for boys (my boys are 14, 12, 9).

He is a boy. Boys who have their mothers fight their battles for them are setting themselves up to be victims of other boys as they get older.

Perhaps the WAY you teach your son to deal with these problems can be changed so that he feels empowered to handle them on his own after talking with you, as opposed to having you try to handle them for him.

It is a subtle distinction but it makes a difference. You always want your kids to be comfortable coming to you for help, especially as they get into middle/high school. However, the type of help you offer can change slightly. You can help him think of options that HE can implement. You can communicate with teachers with his input. I just caution you about approaching other parents to solve problems FOR your child as opposed to having him try to solve the problem on his own.

You are a concerned parent and that will serve your son well as he gets older.
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Finally back "home" in Ohio
620 posts, read 1,950,575 times
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First, I am a teacher ( taking a year off) and a parent of three boys. I will give you just my opinion on the situation. Take it for what its worth .

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytotwo View Post
I told him that he must never put a hand on another child. He is to keep his hands to himself at all times. If another child suggests such an idiotic game again that is going to involve them touching each other, then he needs to tell the other kid that he is not playing that kind of game. And to stop fooling around in the hallway.
You did a great thing here by going over the school rules and reminding your son to keep his hands to himself. Many students need this reminder over and over again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytotwo View Post
"You scratched my friend", and my son said he didn't, and the kid said The teacher told this boy to stop, that he had been very bad this week, and if he was bad again she was going to have a talk with his mother because she "knows his mother".
This is where it gets a little one sided. You are hearing your son's version of the story. It bothers me because I really doubt a teacher would say,
" You have been bad to a student. " I think there was probably more to the story. Doesn't the teacher know all parents especially by this time of year? To me it sounds like , you already got upset with your son for touching another child and he was adding some stuff to save face.




Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytotwo View Post
Anyway, I approached the lady very nicely, introducing myself, then my son and I told her the story.
Its sounds like you came up to the lady at dance. She was probably embarrassed about the situation, especially if others were around and heard. Also, she might have felt this was a "school" matter and you were at dance confronting her. I know you might have not thought that way, but she might have been thrown off guard. Possibly,she felt that she had to defend her son because she didn't even know about it especially if the TEACHER didn't tell her about the situation.




Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytotwo View Post
Anyway, I was really pissed at this woman's apparent lack of concern about her son's bratty behavior.
Its possible that the parent was thinking that the teacher didn't contact her so it wasn't something to be concerned about.


I don't think you did the "right" or "wrong" thing. You did what you felt what was best during that particular moment. Sometimes, when we step back we can see there is a bigger picture. Just so you know, this wont be the last time you will probably deal with situations like this. I have three boys 17,13, and 2.

As a teacher and parent, I personally think you should have talked to the TEACHER directly. Even if you sent a note to acknowledge that you spoke to YOUR son about playing that game. He is very very lucky that he did not get into more trouble at school and that the child's parent that was injured didn't CONFRONT you. I do know though...kids do silly things like this especially at that age. ( I did my student teaching with second graders.)

I know you do not want your child playing with this other child, but I want to tell you ...its difficult to instill this in kids. Usually, its parents that stay mad and not the kids. Kids blow things off quicker than adults. They could be best friends next week and not even think about the incident. I have seen this in my classroom and with my own boys time and time again.

I wouldn't pursue this any further with the parent. You see that she is not handling it the way you would want her to. You might have put her on the defense. Personally, I would make an appointment with the TEACHER and ask for her OWN opinion about the situation. I would let her know what happened. You will get the FACTS of the situation from an adult instead of all the kids involved.

You will make it through this stage with your son. It can be tough at times, I know.

Just make sure your son, knows how to get out of certain situations with others. Personally, I believe in role play and setting up scenarios. Ask him what would he do in situations. This helps kids gain confidence!

Good luck!
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:05 AM
 
11,642 posts, read 23,897,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raising3boys View Post
Personally, I believe in role play and setting up scenarios. Ask him what would he do in situations. This helps kids gain confidence!
Great Idea!!
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:51 PM
 
3,086 posts, read 7,611,753 times
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You've gotten some good insight here. I just want to add some food for thought, based on my own experiences with schoolers in child care and my own 4 kids.

Let's say for a moment that your son was the second boy. What if a friend of his had been scratched and he had come to you upset that it had happened?

Most likely you would have told him to talk to the other boy he was upset with about it and let him know how he felt about it.

Then if he had started with 'You scratched A', and the boy denied any wrongdoing, he probably would have replied along the same line of 'Yes you did...." and so on it would go.

Perhaps that boy might also cry, for any number of reasons. (shame that he had done what he had, anger that this boy is accusing him, sadness this boy was angry with him, etc)

Being 7 - 8, they are still developing tools to cope with emotions and words to convey such. So, for a young child that age to go down the road of crybaby it's normal and natural.

The teacher at this point stepped in and stopped it. That effectively should have ended it.

However, perhaps the other boy, after having time to digest it all and think about it now that the sudden incident was over, decided to tell his mom about it and ask her to get involved.

Then imagine you are sitting somewhere and are approached by the boy's mother wanting to talk to you. You thought this was a short lived thing at school that the teacher took care of. You had simply advised your son to talk to the other child about it and thought that was the end of it.

While most might not have replied in the same manner as that mom did, most would have likely said the first thing that came to mind without having much time to truly filter their thoughts.

I'd say, give her the benefit of the doubt and let it go.

Then work with your son on his end for whatever his contributions to his own experience are going to be....including keeping his hands to himself right along with talking to his friends about his feelings. He is quite capable of handling his own issues for the most part, and given the right tools and preparation, these things that he is dealing with now will be readily resolved and become a non issue.

Last edited by hypocore; 12-16-2008 at 01:55 PM..
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:15 PM
 
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 7,347,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
I understand your feelings. Nobody likes to see their young child hurt in any way. While the other mother sounds like a b--ch I think you are teaching your son that you will solve all his problems and that can be a problem for boys (my boys are 14, 12, 9).

Perhaps the WAY you teach your son to deal with these problems can be changed so that he feels empowered to handle them on his own after talking with you, as opposed to having you try to handle them for him.

It is a subtle distinction but it makes a difference. You always want your kids to be comfortable coming to you for help, especially as they get into middle/high school. However, the type of help you offer can change slightly. You can help him think of options that HE can implement. You can communicate with teachers with his input. I just caution you about approaching other parents to solve problems FOR your child as opposed to having him try to solve the problem on his own.

You are a concerned parent and that will serve your son well as he gets older.
I told him how to take care of it on his own, but he refused and insisted I step in. Only after the other mother refused to do anything and said her son takes care of these things did my son agree to take care of it on his own. Which was good, because that is what I wanted him to do in the first place.

To be perfectly honest, I hadn't taught him anything about how to handle these situations. I just didn't expect this kind of thing to happen so soon. (Stupid of me really, considering that there are plenty of 2nd graders w/older siblings that would have already picked up on this behavior.

I think he's good now. We did the role playing, told him how to handle situations, arming him with the knowledge of how to manage this type of thing on his own now.

I certainly don't want him to think I am going to take care of everything for him, and that is why i made him speak up to the mother, which I think took courage on his part. I am not going to step in whenever he has a complaint about someone, but I do want him to know that when push comes to shove I will stand up for him...

Believe me I will definitely skip the parent and just call the teacher if there is an issue again. I suppose if it happens at school, they are going to have to deal with it, not me.

Thanks Mommabear for your advice.
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:16 PM
 
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 7,347,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raising3boys View Post
You did a great thing here by going over the school rules and reminding your son to keep his hands to himself. Many students need this reminder over and over again!
He does!
Quote:
Originally Posted by raising3boys View Post
This is where it gets a little one sided. You are hearing your son's version of the story. It bothers me because I really doubt a teacher would say,
" You have been bad to a student. " I think there was probably more to the story. Doesn't the teacher know all parents especially by this time of year? To me it sounds like , you already got upset with your son for touching another child and he was adding some stuff to save face.

No, this was on another day completely, two separate incidents. He was not embellishing to get himself out of trouble or save face(not that he would not be above that, but just didn't happen this time) I am sure the teacher didn't use the word "bad" but the point is that the boy was reprimanded for misbehaving prior to the situation w/my son.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raising3boys View Post
Its sounds like you came up to the lady at dance. She was probably embarrassed about the situation, especially if others were around and heard. Also, she might have felt this was a "school" matter and you were at dance confronting her. I know you might have not thought that way, but she might have been thrown off guard. Possibly,she felt that she had to defend her son because she didn't even know about it especially if the TEACHER didn't tell her about the situation.
No one heard our conversation. Sure, I'm sure she was thrown off guard. And I don't think she was aware of the situation. It didn't sound from my son like anything more was done beyond separating the boys.
Quote:
Originally Posted by raising3boys View Post
As a teacher and parent, I personally think you should have talked to the TEACHER directly. Even if you sent a note to acknowledge that you spoke to YOUR son about playing that game. He is very very lucky that he did not get into more trouble at school and that the child's parent that was injured didn't CONFRONT you. I do know though...kids do silly things like this especially at that age. ( I did my student teaching with second graders.)
I would not have had a problem w/the other parent confronting me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by raising3boys View Post
I know you do not want your child playing with this other child, but I want to tell you ...its difficult to instill this in kids. Usually, its parents that stay mad and not the kids. Kids blow things off quicker than adults. They could be best friends next week and not even think about the incident. I have seen this in my classroom and with my own boys time and time again.
It's not that I don't want him to play w/him, I actually do because all the boys at dance school play while they are waiting for their sisters. I would never make my son sit out because I didn't want him playing with the other kid. But do I want them to be best friends? Nope. The mother rubbed me the wrong way, and at this point, I still have a lot of control over who my child is friends with, and I don't need him to be friends with someone with a mother like that. I don't want to deal with it. That's just the way I feel. Just as in love, there are other fish in the sea.
Quote:
Originally Posted by raising3boys View Post
I wouldn't pursue this any further with the parent. You see that she is not handling it the way you would want her to. You might have put her on the defense. Personally, I would make an appointment with the TEACHER and ask for her OWN opinion about the situation. I would let her know what happened. You will get the FACTS of the situation from an adult instead of all the kids involved.
I certainly won't be pursuing this with the mother. I stopped pursuing it with her as soon as she said she couldn't get involved. What was there to talk about at this point.
I don't believe the teacher has the facts. She wasn't there, as this happened at recess and the recess aide was there. But maybe I will speak to her. Perhaps I should have called her right when I got the note about the scratching......
Quote:
Originally Posted by raising3boys View Post
Just make sure your son, knows how to get out of certain situations with others. Personally, I believe in role play and setting up scenarios. Ask him what would he do in situations. This helps kids gain confidence! Good luck!
We did this last night, and I think it did help him. We went through a bunch of scenarios and it definitely did seem to empower him.

Thanks for your insight. I never quite know when to call the teacher.
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:18 PM
 
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 7,347,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypocore View Post
Then work with your son on his end for whatever his contributions to his own experience are going to be....including keeping his hands to himself right along with talking to his friends about his feelings. He is quite capable of handling his own issues for the most part, and given the right tools and preparation, these things that he is dealing with now will be readily resolved and become a non issue.
It's true that you should always put yourself in others shoes, however, your scenario is giving this mother too much credit. It was clear from our conversation that she did not advise her son to talk to mine because the whole story looked like news to her (news she did not want to hear about, no less). If she had, I expect she would have said as much.

But that is a very good way to look at the situation.
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:30 PM
 
901 posts, read 2,986,784 times
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Dear MommytoTwo:

First, I want to say that in my opinion, you didn't do the wrong thing. However, things could have been handled better. The fact that you are emotionally tied to the situation (it's your son after all), makes you biased.

In some of your other posts you said that the mother was not thrown off or embarrassed. How do you know? She was at dance class and you approached her about something that happened at school. There is no reason for her to be expecting to be approached at dance class about something that happened earlier at school. I actually feel that confronting her at dance class was inappropriate. You should have waited until you were at school or requested a meeting at the school.

Secondly, even if you were nice about the situation, it is still kind of embarrassing for her to hear that her child may be a bully. The embarrassment would be there regardless of whether others overheard it or not.

Now, about the situation with your son: I would not worry too much. Children are super fickle at that age. They are just learning how to really be a friend. There will be some kinks to work out. If the boy approaches your son in a menacing way, I would contact the school, not the parent.

P.S. At my school, the children are never unsupervised. I would try and see what an adult actually witnessed. Children can be the WORST witnesses. This is not an attack against your son. I just know from experience how children at that age are
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