Well yes another blog is here. My son is such a gentle giant. He has a huge heart for others and I am noticing that as he is getting older the questions that he asks are getting deeper. Well as parents we don’t proclaim to know it all. We had our first “bully” talk yesterday.
So when I was growing up, bullying wasn’t a word that was used often. I remember and I don’t mean to throw my mom and dad under the bus, but if someone started a fight with me or my twin at the time we fought. I was never one to start a physical fight but I was taught how to end one. I also remember being told that since I was a twin that my twin and I was all we got. We later added the little brother in that but for a long time it was me and her. So if you started a fight with a McGinnis twin please understand you definitely was getting the business. No one was backing down. I can’t say I got into many but the ones I got into I didn’t get my ass whooped that’s for sure. My mom didn’t play that. I assume she was taught to defend herself too. Now also with those same regards fights were fights then. It wasn’t a situation where girls jumped in with 5 girls and more and whooped ass. There wasn’t weapons outside of hands, feet, and maybe spitting. Now a days, girls got gang of other girls ready to intervene. Boys don’t even square up these days. They grab guns and they come ready. So what does a parent in this age tell a young boy?
Well you tell them to do the right thing. To speak up to the teacher. To defuse the situation. You tell them to take the high road. However, when you come from that notion of defending yourself, then what? My husband and I are in hard place with that conversation. We are attempting to show our son how to handle things properly however we live in Philly and I’m not saying its rough, but fights are going to happen. So as we take the peace maker way, I feel a sense of upset. I will not be around my son all the time. As a boy he feels compelled to protect himself if he is hit. He feels the need to protect his sisters. He is doing everything right in camp.
He tells the teacher, we talk, we go to the school make them aware, but now he doesn’t think its enough and wants to hit back. He says the boys are hitting him in his chest and he tells them to stop. I see it in my son’s eyes. He wants to get them back. He has a way of holding his shirt when he’s mad to silence his anger. I know that look. My son is a 4 but looks like he is 7. He’s taller than most boys his age. He’s going to probably surpass my 6 foot 2 husband. So that look scares me. I do not want him to snap. I see he’s at the brink. I took him to school today and allowed him to watch me in action as I spoke to his teachers and let them know what MY expectations and what MY follow through is going to be. He smiled and told me he got this. He said the boys will respect him because he gives them respect. I told him I will call him at lunch. I am proud of what he is doing. I pray he doesn’t have to hit back. That’s not the lesson we want to push. However he’s not going to be in a corner being anyone’s punching bag. As parents we will do all that we can to support him in those regards. I wan him to feel safe where he is and to feel like his voice is being heard.
I told him of a situation that I had where I wanted to hit someone back even as an adult. I told him I had the same look I saw him have. He asked me how I dealt with it. I told him I simply was more witty than the other person. I told him I spoke up for myself. I told him that I didn’t allow anyone to disrespect me verbally and I choose to take the high road before it could have escalated into a fight. I told him sometimes that he would feel good about it and times he would feel bad about it. I told him I would prefer him to take the high road first every time but that he didn’t have to allow anyone to just hit him. At 4 that’s about as much as I can do. I know the conversations and the situations will get more heightened. I hope that he can protect himself in a healthy way. I want him to know that he matters and as parent we support him. Until then we will be at the school. We will be making sure they are on the same page as we are. We will make sure that a no touch policy is being upheld. I really wished that all parents taught their kids the same thing, but the reality is that’s not the case. We will always teach our children to do better and to be careful of themselves and others. We have given him the words to say. We have tried to show him in more than one way how to let it go when necessary but we know that won’t work in every situation.
Some other things we are doing with him. Getting him in karate. I want him to learn the art of discipline. We want him to channel that pent-up energy into positivity. My husband took karate as a kid. I want him to be able to use that energy for what’s right for him. We also have him do a lot of running around. My son is one that you can’t simply take him on an outing. He needs to run and interact and that’s what works for him. Its our job to teach him how to be aware of the things he needs.