Tuesday, September 23, 2008

heart hurt.

My little Sam started Kindergarten this year. It's been a pretty smooth transition so far, but lately he has been telling all of us that we "have BAD breath"... including our little baby. So of course, that made me suspect that someone has been telling him that. So I asked him tonight if someone at school was telling him that. He says, "yeah, they tell me that everyday." Come to find that it's several of the boys in his class that he speaks about admiringly everyday and really wants to be friends with them. I asked him if they are mean to him and he said, "only sometimes". Of course then we talked about the importance of brushing teeth 2x a day, etc.

You know, he really seems pretty unaffected by it-- when he told me about it there were no tears or anything. But tonight my heart feels really heavy. He's my first off to School-- he's away from me everyday for the full day- and I can't protect him anymore--I can't fight his battles. And it just hurts my heart.


Kirsten said...

I DREAD sending Kendall to kindergarten for the same reason. I don't know why because she goes to primary and has preschool twice a week. Kindergarten just seems like a lot of time with a lot of kids I don't know. As it is a little boy kissed her in preschool and I'm not exactly thrilled with that. The idea of someone making her feel badly breaks my heart.

I bet his breath smells lovely.

Jamie said...

That story made my heart hurt too! Why do kids find power in being mean?

Robyn said...

I'm on the other side of the spectrum, where I'm afraid to send my daughter to kindergarten, not because she'll get her feelings hurt, but because she'll be hurting others' feelings. I'm pretty sure she'll be the bully, and I can't protect other kids from her while she's at school!

And I can tell you one reason why kids are mean (since I've got a meany). She likes to see the reaction. She's a bully to my middle daughter because my middle daughter reacts so dramatically. Being nice to her doesn't get nearly the reaction being mean to her does, so it's more fun to be mean. It has bigger pay-offs. The feelings of the other person don't register in her little brain for even one second. She can only see what she gets out of it.

My middle daughter is too young to understand that the more poorly she reacts, the more she'll get treated poorly. So all I can do is give my oldest a negative consequence, but that never quite outweighs the perks of being mean, no matter what the consequence is. It just makes her more eager to do her mean things when I'm not around. She's a bit incorrigible. I'm actually hoping she runs into someone who's a bigger bully than she is so she can learn some empathy. Or maybe that would teach her how to be a more effective meany. It sure seems like I can't win.

knitaholic310 said...

I feel for your child and you. I think that some defensive mechanisms might be in order. Whenever someone says something mean to one of my kids they say, "SO?" and repeat that if the person keeps saying mean stuff. There isn't really anything you can say to get the person to stop saying so, so it gets really annoying and eventually the bully leaves because they aren't getting the big reaction they were hoping for. This technique was taught to my daughter by one of her elementary school counselors because . . . HER BROTHER kept teasing her! Anyway, now all my kids use it and actually it works pretty good because the bully ends up on the other side of what they started.

Grammy A said...

Sometimes I hate school! Kids can be crushed by what other kids say and do. I know "It's part of life" or "It's human nature," but it still makes me feel bad.

The fact is... some children are thoughtful, caring, and sensitive and they just don't understand why other kids would be intentionally hurtful.

The reason why it's different than at home is because in spite of how mean older siblings can be... there IS still love. Even when the older sibling picks on the younger ones... there are other times when they are thoughtful, caring and sweet. Again, there is still love... even though sometimes it's hard to believe. You don't get that at school!

The Mother Bear in me gets REALLY crazy when I think of someone picking on my children or grandchildren!

Grammy A said...

p.s. Give Sam a BIG hug for me!