Caidin has been having a particularly challenging first half of the school year. Friday was a really hard day for him and he was in tears by the time we left the school. I could tell he’d been holding back the tears until we got outside.
I gave him a hug, let him cry, which turned to sobbing and then asked him why he was so upset. It was a variation on the same thing – there are two kids who keep doing things and then blaming it on Caidin. For Caidin this is the worst thing in the world. He’s a somewhat righteous child. He has a strong moral code and if he does something he knows he shouldn’t have done, he will tell me. He actually tells on himself. So the notion that someone would accuse him of doing something that he didn’t do is beyond upsetting for him.
We seem to have things in hand with his primary teacher; she is aware of what is going on and is paying attention to the dynamics. We’ve had to have the same information shared with the teachers who run the special classes like art and P.E and music.
I wrote about this last year. He was having a similar problem. There were a few kids who liked to poke at him during class or do things that disturbed him and when Caidin would yell out ‘stop that,’ or ‘don’t,’ he would end up in trouble for disrupting the class. (How The Vocal Get In Trouble)
As we drove home on Friday, in addition to the tears, it was clear from our conversation that this had reached a level of intolerability for him. He told me that he talked to one of his friends, who interestingly is similar in nature to Caidin and is having the same type of problems and Caidin has tried to help him, from his own experiences. He said that he asked this boy ‘why are they so mean to me?’ and this broke my heart. I said to him ‘do you think they are intentionally mean to you?’ And he said ‘no, but I wanted to see if maybe I was doing something that would make them act this way toward me.’ Great awareness!
When I was in fourth grade the boys used to tease me until I cried. It became great sport and they would do it every day. I know what it feels like. So as a mom I try to find a balance between hearing him, supporting him, helping him look for patterns and life lessons and helping him come up with strategies to manage what is going on.
As parents we want to say ‘that shouldn’t happen’ but the truth is, it does. It happens in pre-K, it happens in 2nd grade, it happens in high school and it happens in the work place and in our personal relationships as we get older. Figuring out what exactly we are working on, and what we need to do to change our reality, is the life lesson at hand.
We continued to talk on the entire drive home and into the house. When we got inside I said to Caidin ‘what do you think you are trying to learn with all of this?’ He responded ‘Don’t ever let anyone make you smaller.’ Wow, if only had that kind of awareness when I was 8 years old.
My husband and I talked about the situation once Caidin went to bed and we decided we would ask him if he wanted us to talk to the school about moving him out of the class he was in. When Chuck asked Caidin the next day, his answer was wonderful. He said ‘why would I leave my class? I have good friends in that class and if I moved to another class, I might have to deal with someone else doing the same thing.’ Points go to Caidin for having such clarity.
I think one of the most important pieces of information to come out of this for Caidin had to do with why he reacts the way he does. We asked him what makes him get so upset and at first he really didn’t know. We asked if he was afraid to get in trouble and what he thought would happen if he did. Eventually he came to realize that there really wasn’t anything to be afraid of. We would support him and stand by him. The teachers weren’t going to think less of him, the school was going to work with him. I think that one piece in-and-of-itself made him feel much better. It took some unspoken pressure off of him.
Last night I asked him if he had a strategy and he said ‘no, I think I’ll just see what happens tomorrow.’
So today, he happily headed off into school determined to not let anyone make him feel smaller.
© 2012 Christine Agro
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Christine Agro is a clairvoyant, naturopath, Master Herbalist, conscious mom and author of 50 Ways to Live Life Consciously as well as of The Conscious Living Wisdom Cards (Special Moms’ Edition). Christine is founder of The Conscious Mom’s Guide , a membership site where she helps support you on your own journey of living life consciously and on your journey of being a Conscious parent. You can also join Christine on Facebook. To contact Christine, invite her to speak or to schedule an appointment with her please email her.