There are times when your kid growing up and discovering truths about life isn’t so bad.
Ace recently asked me to be honest with him and tell him if I was in fact the tooth fairy. After some back and forth, I eventually told him the truth. He was happy to hear that all his teeth had not actually been magically taken away and were instead safely stored at home where he could see them. He thought that was cool.
Then there are times when your kid growing up and discovering truths about life is not so good.
Ace reported that a boy had been physically hurting him at his after school program. Hitting him and punching him. According to Ace, it had been happening for about a week. He first notified the staff who spoke to the boy about his behavior and sent a note home to his parents but the abuse continued. That’s when Ace told us about it.
(We were never notified by the staff that there was an issue. I am as upset about this whole thing as you would expect me to be. As far as the after school program goes, that’s been handled and Ace says he hasn’t been attacked lately.)
As much as I hate that we have had to deal with this, it has forced CC and I to have conversations with Ace about meanness and bullying – and that’s a good thing. We talked about what makes people do bad things or be mean to other people. We told Ace that sometimes the bullies themselves are having a hard time at home or other people are mean to them but that there is no excuse for someone putting their hands on him. We said over and over that we were glad he told the teacher right away and that when he didn’t see results, he told us. We told him that he didn’t have to wait to tell us though and should have told us after the first incident. We told him that he can always come to us and that we will always do whatever is necessary to keep him safe. We reiterated that his safety is important and that he should never feel threatened by anyone.
It’s not easy to talk about these things with Ace because the concept of one person intentionally hurting another is totally foreign to him. The idea of purposely doing something to hurt another person just does not compute in his brain. He’s still very sweet and innocent and in some ways naïve. He’d rather show me his latest dance moves or dress up in his new Ninja Turtle costume than talk about bullying. Even though he frequently gets in trouble, the kid, never, EVER, has bad intentions.
He’s starting to learn though that not all people are that way and he (with our help) will need to start learning how to handle situations like this when they come up.
This isn’t a one-time conversation. We will keep the lines open and make sure that he knows that there is NOTHING that he cannot tell us. No matter what “IT” is.
I’d rather if we only needed to talk about the likes of the tooth fairy, but these “bullying” conversations do need to happen. It went pretty well. Ace is fine now and felt better after talking to us. I believe that he’ll come to us should there be any other issues.
Then automatically my mind turns to Jay. I can’t have these talks with him. If he was being punched in the belly by another kid at school and the staff didn’t tell us about it – we would never know.
And now I have a headache from that worry.