September 6, 2012

Both of the kids are still struggling to adjust to school and the daunting task of making new friends. The bully issue for Noah was nipped in the bud last week, but he revealed tonight at dinner that his desire to protect other kids from bullying is now becoming pretty intense and physical. Today he shoved a much bigger kid to protect a classmate who has been the target of some recent bullying. That revelation led to a long night of discussions with Noah and later without him. We admire his desire to protect other kids, especially those with special needs, but we don't want it become a physical or all-consuming task. 

It is heartbreaking to see him grappling with all of this. He is truly stunned and disappointed to see how cruel kids can be to each other. He's also feeling a bit uneasy about this niggling realization that adults can't always keep everyone safe every second of the day. That's not the lesson we wanted him to bring home in his first few days of school, but there it is. Weighing heavy on all of us. Trying to navigate the weedy territory of being the new kid, trying to build friendships, trying to find his way, while also fighting off bullies. That's a heavy load to carry...much heavier than any homework assignment or special school project. And there's no way around it. This just sucks.
Dana said...

Sorry :(
I have a sensitive kid, too...and it is often tough to watch her navigate through life. But let me share a story....just recently she and a good friend who attends another school were in the back seat of my car talking freely about what goes on at their schools during recess. The friend talked about this classmate that "nobody likes," and revealed that she likes this kid, a lot, but has to pretend she doesn't because of the peer pressure. They are 8. My sensitive girl was appalled that her friend didn't stand up for her classmate, especially if she liked her so much. I just sat quietly, knowing this is the cause of many conflicts my girl faces. She is fighting the good fight already...and I'm sorry, but I would rather her be on that side of this ridiculous issue, even if it is so hard for all of us.
Just my 2 cents... but know that my heart wrenches for her pain.

Corinne said...

How my heart is aching for you. It is so hard to send your child off into the world every day knowing the types of challenges he is going to have to face. I am so hopeful that it resolves into a peaceful place soon. Can't wait to see you :)

Anonymous said...

This makes me sad. Having kids a little younger than he is, I am curious -- is it the age, the school culture, being new, the place? I was bullied in 3rd grade. What a difficult time.

likeschocolate said...

You may want to have a talk with the someone at the school and let them know what is going. It seems to me they need to have some discussions with the children.

Lou said...

I moved back to the U.S. as a child after 4 years overseas, and experienced similar issues as your children are. Overseas the kids have all moved around a lot and are not cemented with kids they have grown up with, they are also used to more diversity as the kids come from all over. They have all been the new kid, and they know they only have a few years to make and keep friends. It's completely different in northeast suburbs in the U. S. It's just difficult to break in, and they will feel like outsiders for a while, but it will get easier. I really admire Noah's principles, and I think his upbringing has had a lot to do with his feelings. He knows right from wrong, and he's disturbed by the cruelty of these kids. I wish you all luck!

okijeepgirl said...

I am sorry he's having to deal with this.... I wanted to let you know that at Ella's school I started up and have begun coaching for an organization called Girls on the Run which inspires girls to be strong, healthy and believe in themselves. Its such a great program that addresses bullying, choosing your friends, how your behavior affects others..like gossiping and stuff. This is woven into a running program and at the end, the girls in the program from all the schools around run together in a 5k race. Anyway, I know this is only for girls, but I did some research after reading about Noah's school troubles and found the "Let me Run" program. I think the founder of this program was a coach or participated somehow in girls on the run and wanted to develop something similar for boys. I see that it is in the DC area. They have a website if you just do a search for Let Me Run. It might be something you could start up at Noah's school or maybe its already in place. I thought it was a good way to bring a group of girls together who aren't ordinarily together and make new connections and strengthen all their sense of self. Email me if you have any questions...sorry this is sooooo long! :-)

aimee said...

welcome back to the states! i am so sorry to hear about your son's struggles. it takes great presence of mind and self at that age to recognize that other kids are being bullied and to stand up to them. that takes some serious moxie! i admire him!

Johanna said...

I had this issue when we can back to stateside schools after living overseas! It took me and my siblings a few months to adjust.

My students know I don't tolerate bullying or rude speak of any sort...but I also don't do large scale tattle tale-ing (meaning yelling out when someone is doing something wrong across the room!) I try my very best to make every bullying issues a teachable moment and use it as a time to unite the class. It can be really rough though! I hope Noah's teacher has reached out and is asking you for ways to help combat bullying and helping come up with a way where Noah can stand up for those being bullied, without getting physical. I have my student pass me notes to tell me about bullying.
I hope things get better! :)

Jan and Randy said...

5You know, my family moved a lot when we were growing up. I always thought everyone should have to move at least once to see how it feels to be the new kid.

Good for Noah for standing up for those who cannot. It's a tough line to know when and what to do. I have had the same discussions with Judson. He is not faced with it as much since we home school but it is still there.

I hope he meets many new friends and starts to enjoy it more.


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