Imagine, Raven in public school, grade 1, age 7.
I volunteered all the time at the Public School. The kids knew me well, and I can honestly say, I loved all of them, I can see why teachers do what they do. In first grade I began volunteering every day at the school, I came right after lunch for language arts and helped the kids with reading and to catch up on their assignments. For privacy, let us call the girl in the story Jade and the boy in the story George.
I was in my group when Jade came up to me. She proceeded to tell me that George, at lunch recesses, called Raven fat. Jade told me that she told him that Raven was not fat and Raven was nice and she loved Raven. I thanked Jade, but of course, because I love Raven so much, I was mad. Very mad. How dare this little boy do that to my daughter?
In this class there were different table groups that represented the children's learning level. There was usually five per group. I switched groups and went to Raven and asked her what happened. She told me the story, and she could see that I was mad. I told her I could tell the teacher and do something, but she told me no. She said her feelings weren't hurt......BESIDES....He was probably just having a bad day. She told me that she forgave him and that I should forgive him...because again...he was just having a bad day.
Well, I listened to her, and I didn't do anything, but I thought, I am going to tell his mother, that little boy needs to learn that it is not okay to bully.
The school bell rang, my time was up. When the last bell rang I went to talk to the boy's mother. I waited outside with Raven, holding her hand, and wondering how I was going to talk to this boy's mom without her knowing, because she, unlike me, had moved past it, she had even smiled at him and said good-bye. That is when I saw it. The boy was being picked up by his older brothers who were...yes you guessed it..picking on him. I took pause in this moment. I felt bad for him, and though I was fired up, I walked home with Raven and reflected on what it was I had just watched.
The next few days at school were strange. My daughter and her friend were nicer to the boy and I saw a real change in him and I understood that my daughter, though young, knew that this boy was hurting and he only lashed out on her because so many people liked her.
Now is all this true? Yes. Is my interpretation of the events correct? Maybe. What I took away from this was: Listen to my child, sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong, but you will never know if you don't listen. I also learned that sometimes assholes are assholes for no reason, but sometimes, just sometimes they are just acting like the way they are taught.
WARNING: This does not mean that you should bend over backwards to be nice to bullies. This does not mean that you should give and give and give until you are broken, because let's face it...most bullies will leave you broken. This means that you should try to think about everything. You can be nice...but know that being nice also means you must be on your guard. That is why Raven and I balance each other out. She allows me to take pause, to think, and to hope for the best...and I am there in case the best does not happen. ;-) We are better as a team.
As always, thanks for joining me. I will catch you on the flip side.