Today as I was picking my kids up from school, Kid2’s kindergarten teacher walked up to the car. Now, this teacher takes professionalism to the extreme and would never come up to my car just to chat or say have a good night. If she gives you more than a passing wave and actually walks your kid over, you know that she is about to tell you a story that you probably don’t want to hear.
Speaking at the pace of a professional auctioneer, she explained to me that at some point during the school day there was a child pushing my child, and that my child essentially did nothing to defend himself. She explained how she intervened, and told my child that if another child is hurting him, and does not stop after being asked, that it is acceptable to defend himself. The teacher assured me that the “pusher” was being appropriately punished as this story was being told. The teacher then went on to offer me a lesson in how to help my kid boost his confidence, and before I could blink, four kids were in my car ready for carpool and she was off to deliver news to some other unsuspecting parent.
Obviously my mother bear instinct was awakened and I wanted to turn my car around and find the little punk that was harassing my child. However, common sense kicked in, along with four car pool kids asking for snacks and play dates prevailed. I was left to drive home in the chaos wondering what is the best way to handle this?
It has always been my philosophy that it is not ok for my kids to use violence to resolve a situation. EVER. I have always believed that my kids would be able to problem solve using appropriate language, rather than brute force. I feel equally strong that children of each of opposite genders should never be physically or verbally inappropriate with each other. Obviously I am living on a cloud in lala land because the kindergarten teacher had essentially just given my kid permission to sock another kid with no consequence.
When we got home I asked Kid2 about what happened, and his story perfectly matched up with his kindergarten teacher’s rapidly shared version of events. I asked him if he liked being pushed around, and why he didn’t respond. He explained very clearly:
1. He didn’t enjoy being hurt.
2. He knew it was wrong to be pushed.
3. He didn’t want to be a tattle tale.
4. Hurting other kids was wrong.
It seems that my message had been clearly received and understood by Kid2. I have been teaching him how to survive in the land of the Care Bears. Shit. We talked some more and then I did the only other thing I knew to do. I went to Amazon.com and ordered age appropriate books about bullying. What would you do?
Update:After some Momsearch I learned the “pusher” has two older brothers and is known to be a bit rough around the edges, but a generally good kid. A generally good kid that pushes other kids, but a good kid none the less. We’ll see….