Life lessons from my son
My son “S”, all of 7 yrs and 7 months old (he is very particular of the months added to his age!), is an extremely talkative, curious & mischievous boy…. as all boys probably are at this age. He is also, in my quite biased view, a rather considerate, kind and sensible kid who manages to surprise me from time to time with his thoughtfulness….
Last year, in Grade 1, S was being regularly bullied by a boy in his class. This child would hit him, and others, whenever their teachers were not around; and S, being of the ridiculously non violent type (the Mahatma could have taken lessons from him!!) failed to defend himself. Every day, after tears and complaints, I would tell him to fight back or push him away or just avoid being around the bully…but nothing worked. It got bad enough that at a PTM, when this boy came over to greet S, my son hid behind me. That’s when I decided I should bring this up with their teacher.
When I spoke to the teacher about S getting bullied, without taking the other child’s name, she immediately knew who I was talking about. She informed me that the boy had impulse control issues that they (the teachers) were also struggling with; he would often scream out or laugh out loud in class disrupting lessons, lash out at others, etc. His parents had been informed and were aware of his challenges. So then, I had a talk with S, explaining that his classmate needed a bit of extra care and could not manage his emotions. He was still learning to control his reactions to them, and so it might be best to avoid him for now. I also told him that I had spoken to their teacher and she would take care that he did not hurt S again.
About a fortnight or so later, in our regular after school conversations, I asked S how things were with this boy, as he hadn’t said anything in a while. His answer was a lesson for me…one I can hopefully apply to my life at every turn.
S said after I had talked to him about his classmate’s challenges, he realized the boy needed help, so he set about making friends with him. He said “it took me a few days, I chose to sit next to him and share my stuff with him, else how could I become friends? He did pinch me a few times, but I didn’t complain, I just talked to him. And now, I am his best friend 🙂 !! He even defends me when someone else in the class teases me about anything. AND he doesn’t hit me anymore.”
Now, a year later, they are still best of friends. That boy, one time S’s bully, now calls him “Papa” 🙂 …. a fact that my son finds very funny, and is also very proud of (I can tell 🙂 ). He has now made a few more friends. There are still complaints about him now and then, but overall his behavior in class is much better. He is now a lot more involved in class programs and even invited a bunch of his new friends, including his “Papa” to his birthday party a few months ago.
Makes me proud that his “Papa” calls me Mumma!!!