Monday, November 19, 2012

Bullying: to jump the gun or not

One night last week, when I was tucking Big M in for the night, he mentioned of an incident in the bus from that morning. He said a kid twisted his arm and that it hurt. The kid then started poking him around the neck while saying, "pressure point". It didn't bother me at first, but I did want to know more about it and the more I heard, the more it sounded like bullying to me. Big M said he had to put his jacked up to cover his face in hopes of shield himself from the pressure point attacks. Then another kid joined in with "meteorite" punches to his back.

Suffice it to say that tuck-in session lasted longer than it should. I also told him to never ever take being hurt without telling the person to stop. "You look the person in the eye, and with a big voice you say, 'Stop it or I will go to the bus driver and tell on you.'" As much as I want to tell him to defend himself, I don't want his first response to be to hurt the other person back, in case it's only rough play. I just don't ever want any of my kids to just hold up their hands to cover their heads and stay there and take the beating they were getting. No child of mine will ever get beaten up without putting up a fight.

As Daddy and I discussed the incident, I told him that I don't want to raise a fuss at school just in case this is just an isolated incident, but Daddy didn't feel comfortable about that course of action. I thought about it more in bed, and finally decided to go ahead and go to school the next day and talk to the principal. But before I did, I was going to write down all the details I could, so I talked to Big M again to get my fact straight. As it turned out, it sounded more and more like just a bunch of rough, high-energy kids so I decided to let it go, and that Daddy and I bought agreed with. We will keep a listen and check on Big M to see if it happens again, and if it does I will be marching to school, probably while exercising self-restraint from wanting to hop on the bus in the morning and meet the culprit eye to eye and give him the scare of his life.

I was bullied as a Kindergartener in the Philippines. A boy I ride to school with routinely dropped his bag on the ground and expected me to carry it around the school for him and the first few times that I refused, he pinched my arm just above the sleeve line. I remember having numerous pinch marks, but the boy has scared me so much I never told. Until one day, my grandmother saw my arm and asked what it was. I don't remember exactly what happened, but I do remember telling her about it. The next day, she rode with us to school and she sat in between the boy and I. I don't remember what my grandmother told the boy, but I do vividly remember my  her hand rising up and coming down to slap the boy's thigh. The boy was wearing shorts, so the smack sounded like a square slap. My grandmother's hand probably left a hand print. I don't ever recall associating with that boy after that day, until one day I saw him in the hallway in 1st grade. He was walking towards me and as soon as he saw me he turned right around and walked away. I never heard from and seen him again.

The mortal of the story? That day my grandmother taught me that she believed me no matter what. I don't want to run to the defense of my children every time they get hurt, I want them to learn to deal with different situations, but I will be there to listen and to step in whenever necessary.

I miss my Lola.

No comments:

Post a Comment