Monday, January 10, 2011

Bully Blues, and a Blue Scarf

Throughout this and last school year I have had several meetings with my youngest's preschool teacher about my son. We've decided to keep in preschool for 3 years because of his age cut off, realizing having him as the youngest in the class for his whole school career would always put him at a disadvantage as far as maturity and size. Already in preschool-where the rest of the kids were 6 months of older than him, he had the least attention span, and some of the worst letters last year. Super great decision, as far as I'm concerned. This year he really fits with his age group, and in a lot of cases, exceeds them. Happy with all that.

But, there is this one kid in the class that bullies Hunter and others. Yes, in preschool. Now, I am first to admit that my son is capable of anything! Anything. He is not innocent in this situation, but if he's guilty of anything serious, it's that he keeps trying to be friends with this boy. The boy, who shall remain nameless, has an attitude like you would not believe. Very saucy. Saucier than my kids on a bad day- and my kids are down right gravy sometimes. I got to see this boy speaking to his mother this last weekend, and I was appalled. So, I zoomed in for a closer look, and did some chatting with others, and really figured out what has been going on.

This boy controls another friend whom my son loves to play with. Explains why Hunter keeps trying to get into their little duo, because the bully is hogging the other friend. There have been incidents at school where the bully has done something, like hitting, or pulling his pants down, and Hunter has copied him been the one to get caught. Others back the bully up because they are afraid of him. I am almost afraid of him! I heard him commanding other kids, and his voice is mean for a 5 year old. And you know how you can tell when you kid is lying? I believe Hunter, and I know the other kid did it first. Doesn't make it okay, that's not what I'm saying... but all along I've been thinking my kid is acting out alone, the stand out clown in the class, when in fact, I think he's been more trying to fit in and make other kids like him as much as they appear to like (fear) the bully.

This morning the kids brought pictures of birds they drew. I was about to walk away when I saw this child come up, and make a disgusted face when he saw Hunter's bird. I intercepted what he was about to say (critical, I'm sure), and said, "Isn't Hunter's bird great!" He firmly said, "Where's it's eyes?" I said, "Right here, by his cool hair. And these are his awesome wings!" The bully looked at me like I was nuts, but backed off, and non-chalantly (sp?) agreed with me. So glad I was there to keep Hunter from being shattered, and potentially having a day where he didn't feel good enough.

Beside Hunter's was the bully's bird-clearly drawn by his mother or older sister, and possibly colored in by him. Not the intent of the project, as the teacher pointed out to me quietly.
Two things: The bully's mom is not around on school days. Grandma is. And she very passive about it all, think its no big deal. Hunter has said things to this boys grandma, and she been like, "Oh, hehe, yeah, he does that sometimes." The teacher has talked to the grandma, too. No change. Another time Hunter marched right up to this boy's mom at church and said, "Your son is not nice to me." And she? Looked shocked, and smiled, did a little giggle. .

If someone said that to you, someone who is 4 years old and dead serious, wouldn't you inquire about it? I would follow up. I'd be horrified is someone thought that of my child. She was like, whatevs.

So I had a super great talk with the teacher this morning. I just wanted to make sure she sees what I see. She does. And then some. I feel more equipped with how to handle Hunter. Previous strategies have included working on being a good friend, and sharing, and not being upset when he doesn't get what he wants. As well, keeping his hands to himself. No hitting. (This other boy does hit, and not only my son, others, too).

Specifically I am going to be begin steering Hunter away from this boy indefinitely, even if it means he doesn't get to play with his other friend. I will also begin to teach him about being friends with good people, v. bad people. Examples like, "hanging out with someone who says nice things, and is good to you is a better choice."

I may try and contact his mom... still stewing on this idea.

On a completely unrelated note, I made this last night, and it rocks. For sale HERE in my Etsy shop:

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