Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another Parenting Pickle: Bullies/Child Isolated

Hello, there. It's me again. I know you thought I only got on here to post reviews anymore, due to my lack of posting. But, no! I AM alive. I promise I will get to posting trivial nonsense blog posts again, as well as the humor. For now, I ask you to put yourself in this lovely parenting pickle that I find myself in:
  • Imagine yourself living on a street filled with kids who are within 1-2 years of your own.

  • Imagine having friends who like doing the same things as you on that street.

  • Now, imagine if there was a boy on this street who was mean. His parents divorced and that made him even more mean. And, you knew he didn't like you at all for some reason, but you did not know why.

  • Picture if this boy decided to target you. He decided to call you names, and get all the other kids to not play with you.

  • Let's say this went on for several years in a row...some times being worse than others.

  • Imagine trying to deal with this, and learning to ignore him, but feeling like you can't get away from him. First, he was in your class, then he got assigned to sit by you on the bus, then he was in your various social groups.

  • Now, let's say you finally got to where you just tried to stay away from the boy. You didn't go out to play if he was around, you rode your bike to school because of his harassment on the bus. Your father spoke with his about the torment. You feel like you were getting a handle on it. You got to where you didn't care that he didn't like you, you just didn't want to deal with him anymore.

  • Imagine how you would feel if suddenly a few other kids started to shun you now. "Go away," they'd say to you when you came out to play with the other kids. "You can't come in to play," they would say as they lead the other kids into their home to play without you.

  • Think about how it would feel to have the bully that you've dealt with for many years, actually being nicer to you than some of the kids you thought were your friends...and you don't know why. Why don't they want to play with you? Why don't they like you? Are you a bad person?

  • Imagine watching your parents struggle with this, obviously upset and wanting to help you, but frustrated too because you come home and take it out on them, you don't stand up for yourself, you do things that make yourself more of a target, etc.

Did you get a clear picture of that in your head?

This boy is my son. And, I love him. He gets along great with peers in school. Has great friends in his scout troop, sports teams, and in his classes. When we walk places at school, kids yell out hello to him. Most of what I get back from the teachers is that he is very well-liked, just not into doing his school work. (He never has been!)

Last night, my son told me he really wants to move far away from this street. And, in my desperation of watching him struggle with these kids for years, I have to admit, I even considered it a possibility.

I don't know how to handle this anymore. I will keep him busy after school and hope he doesn't feel it a punishment that he isn't out playing in the street. I have to give him some distance from these kids and hope that they forget they've made him a target. I have to allow him space so he can get some time to think and try to handle them in a better way than he has. He has brought more on himself by not handling his emotions well--either by showing tears or hurt too often (and getting called a baby), or by being too pushy.
  • Imagine you were this parent, who sees this beautiful child who has a huge heart and so much to give struggling and so sad.

  • Imagine if you saw your own flaws in your child, ones that you desperately struggle to get rid of yourself, magnified and making your own son miserable.

  • Imagine if your heart was breaking because his frustration is making him lash out at home at you, his family, etc. and you go from sympathy to frustration because he just acts so hateful to you at times.

  • Imagine worrying that if you don't get a handle on this before the teen years, you're in deep trouble and so is he. He's only eight years old. What will 16 be like?

  • Imagine if you just felt like you didn't know what to do anymore...and you didn't know if you could handle this with all of your own emotional baggage. You just wanted your son to be happy. Have some friends. Have a normal little life.
Yeah, you got it. You just imagined me...



Blogger LadyBugCrossing said...

I'd do what I did... Child Psychiatrist.
Helps a ton.

11:02 AM, December 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I agree with LBC, maybe counseling is the answer. Good luck.


8:09 AM, December 13, 2007  
Blogger Aunt Vanessa said...

That's exactly what I was thinking. You need a seek therapy for your precious boy so he can learn how to deal with his feelings and his situation. I'm so sorry you're having to experience this. I'm here if you need to vent, anytime. Really.

6:44 PM, December 13, 2007  
Blogger Angela said...

This makes me want to cry. WHY are kids so mean??

I have to agree with everyone else, particularly if this kind of thing continues into his adolescence. Also, perhaps if you start him in therapy at a younger age, he won't be so averse to it when he gets into his teens.

I am just so sorry. This is the thing that scares me the most about having children...

1:55 PM, December 14, 2007  

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