I don’t think I’d be making myself out as being terribly unique if I shared that I struggle with abusive behavior. We all do, right? No one likes people who are mean, duplicitous or unpredictable. It’s tough to know when to let it roll off your back and when to stand your ground. Which idiot has a gun in their glove box, what response will elicit a physical response?
I am struggling because I can’t see this person, I can’t protect the person being hurt and honestly, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how the hell to cope with a 7 year old telling my daughter he’ll kill her if she tells on him. I wrote to the teacher* and have her assurance she’ll keep my daughter safe, but the thing is, how do you believe that? How do you believe that after a threat to kill her she has ever really been safe.
Now I know that it can be said that the child probably doesn’t really mean that, but when words like “attack” and “bullying” really become commonplace in how a day at school is described, what do you do? What if he does mean it? Or what if he doesn’t, but then he gets backed into a corner by taunting and dares? My primal response to these things is equal parts mom and child.
I am scared.
I am angry.
I am shaking.
I am angry.
Mostly though, I am heartbroken. I don’t understand what is happening to our society. Little girls being made to look like women; little boys being conditioned to fight; parents perpetuating, ignoring or simply freezing.
I don’t want to freeze, but I am at a loss as to how to navigate this space of teaching my girls how to stand up for themselves and how to know when to ask for help.
*This is not an indictment of the teacher or the school. My concern shared with the teacher via email was met with an immediate response which cc’d the principal. I feel heard, but I believe this problem is much larger than my daughter’s experience. My questioning is about how we as parents cope with a generation of students who live in a world where school shootings and student suicides seem to exists as palpable threats all over the country.
It is all so terrifying, in a rock you to your core kind of way. Please give our love to those precious little ones, because if nothing else at a time like this maybe one extra hug or smile can take away just a sliver of the pain.
Consider them loved on 🙂
Oh my gosh Amanda. I’m sorry you are going through this. I don’t know what to say. I know a little bit of how you feel though. My 8 yo son, second grade, came home a month ago and a girl had given him a note that said “Nate, I want to have sex with you.”
It’s not nearly as bad as a death threat and we actually know the family so we were able to talk to them about it, but my son was really upset.
So many things go through your mind. “Am I making too big of a deal about this?” “Should we homeschool?”
So hard. Hang in there. xo
Thanks, I am still trying to figure out how to move forward.
Don’t even have the words. But completely echo your sentiments, both with anger (ugh, really world?) and fear (where is the sand, and who is drawing the line in it?). It bleeds into everything, frankly, and there isn’t a day I don’t long for a simpler time.
If that makes me sound old, good. 🙂
But as a mom, I can’t even imagine the quaking. I do, however, have 100% confidence no matter what is thrown at you, you’ll handle it with grace and compassion.
You are such a dear. Thank you, seriously.
Wow, this is heartbreaking. It absolutely goes beyond this single experience and signifies a terribly shift in society where kids are raised in homes where forms of abuse happen daily. I pray that your family and especially your daughter are able to get beyond this horrible episode.
That’s such a shame. I’m sure he doesn’t mean it, but still.
Love to you and her.
Thanks. I don’t think we can afford to not take these episodes seriously.
First of all I am SO sorry you are dealing with this. It’s awful. My son goes to a Waldorf school and even there I have seen bullying. I think maybe authority doesn’t have such an authority or maybe kids have too much autonomy or maybe there is too much violence in the world. Whatever the reason it IS heartbreaking.
I am so grateful to be talking about it. Finding your way even without these sorts of things is hard enough. I am so grateful to all of you other parents who are reading and taking the time to consider this.
Is a program that seeks to help students and their families understand how behaviors impact others. You could follow-up with the principal and teacher to see if they are familiar with this program. Unfortunately, this problem is growing and a different approach must be taken.
I am so grateful for teachers and parents like you. Thank you.
At least she’s sharing this bullying with you. I grew up in the 50s/60s being bullied and harassed as a little girl, but never felt I could share it with my parents – or ANYONE. Unfortunately, some of this taunting/abusive behavior is considered ‘normal’ – ‘boys/girls-will-be-boys/girls’ stuff. Actually, now I’m recalling sharing a sliver of these ‘assaults’ w/ a teacher, and my mother – and the response was: “boys act like that if they ‘like’ you.” As dated as this response is, I fear it may still be true! Boys who either feel threatened by female peers, or who may have a suppressed ‘crush’ on them, often express their feelings in an aggressive way. So sorry, Amanda – this doesn’t ease your fears in any way – and I don’t want to minimize its importance – and, kids today are exposed to so many more negative influences. Just know that this stuff has been going on for decades. It doesn’t make it right – or acceptable. Keep the communication channels open – with your girls.
Thank you Peggy. I completely agree it’s been going on for decades. I also think that social media make it easier to share and journalism, at the same time, has gotten ever hungrier for negative stories. All that said, we have to be assertive when it comes to our children’s safety.
First and foremost my prayers are with you and the family. Secondly, with your permission I would like to use your story in my sermon this Sunday. I will not make mention of your name or anything that would draw any unwanted attention to you or your family. I am speaking on Ephesians 6 verse 10-18. Our enemy is not against flesh and blood but against the evil principalities of the spiritual realm. I think having a story such as this right off the heels of the Ohio shooting will hopefully wake people up to their true authority in Christ and maybe help in saving children, like your daughter from tragedy.
Thank you for your consideration.
My grandfather was a minister. He used to take very of-the-moment things, sometimes a song, other times a political tide, and weave them into his sermons. If my narrative helps educate or empower, I’ll have more than accomplished what I hoped for. So yes, and thank you.
Thank you! I will do it as much justice as I can and allow the Holy Spirit to do the rest!
I hate to say that we were dealing with a bullying issue in Kindergarten. In KINDERGARTEN!!! It was shocking and absolutely unbelievable to me that a kid could be an actual bully at 5/6. I mean… all kids can have moments of being mean. All of them. But I never thought I’d have to navigate an actual bully at age 5.