Monday, October 27, 2008

The Good with the Bad

In spite of the fact that I am completely exhausted, I find myself still awake in the early hours of a new day. I'm afraid it's the old culprit of the mind not wanting to slow down long enough for sleep to overtake it.

The truth is, I think it's due to the occurrence of a minor disturbance earlier this evening. The Artist was out playing with some kids (a regular happening after the evening Church service) when a 12-year-old boy decided he would have a little fun (for lack of a better explanation). He roughed up my son a bit, including picking him up and dropping him several times on the ground in true bully form. I should state that as much as he likes to point out his growing biceps, my son is a small little guy, and a bit on the slight side. He managed to get a punch in (that's my boy:) and raced inside. But he turned out to be so shook up, and I think a little embarrassed, that he was a bit of a crying mess.

Now, I won't say this is the first time my son has had a tussle or disagreement with another boy. Working with kids in one way or another for the last 20 years, I have found that's an occasional occurrence with the male breed; even the best-mannered ones;)

But it's a little hard for me to wrap my mind around a 12-year-old roughing up a 9 year old (in a mean way), just for the fun of it.

Now I know what you're thinking (mind-reading is one of my many talents;). Yes, my children are homeschooled. No, they have not had to deal with this sort of thing through public school or riding a bus like many children do. And yes, in the larger scheme of life, this is just a blip on the radar. I understand all that.

What puzzles me is this: If that bully had been my child, I most certainly would want to be informed of the situation, so that I could take appropriate action. And if you're wondering what that would be, I'll just say that my father believed in consequences to actions, and to this day I strictly adhere even to the speed limit (which the majority of people driving out on the highway do not seem to do; sorry, it's one of my pet peeves;)

After arriving home, while hubby spent a little time with the Artist, I made a call to an older and wiser woman. You see, I knew these particular parents would not receive a discussion on the subject well at all. And while I'm by no means a chicken, I also didn't want to make adversaries of someone who I will be interacting with on a regular basis.

So I received some good advise, and feel quite certain that I have the matter well in hand. That's not what has my mind still going at this late (or rather early) hour.

It's rather the pondering of different types of parenting. While I feel a great deal of irritation at this other boy (to put it mildly), I can't help but pity him.

And, again, I know what you're thinking... well, maybe a few of you. He doesn't come from a single-parent home. Nor is he disadvantaged in any way. He attends a private school, and has both a mother and father in the home.

Rather, I suspect it's a case of his parents believing he can do no wrong. Thus, there are no consequences to actions that could not have possibly occurred. Regardless of how much reputation he may have for similar behavior. Which, end result, makes it very hard to prepare him for life. Who will teach him that, eventually, there are consequences in life?

As this post title says, there is some good with the bad. As much as this mama bear hates to admit it, things like this are a part of growing up for a boy (at least that's what the wise woman said:) His father discussed with him the best way to handle it if the situation should again arise. I won't give those details here, but let's just say there are certain areas of the body that even bigger kids are susceptible to being kicked in. Enough said.

And the Professor was so upset that a big kid had picked on his little brother, that he was fighting mad. To truly appreciate that, you would have to know how incredibly mellow the Professor is. Fearing he would take it out on this boy the next time he saw him, I gave him a little talk on how anger can consume us.

Then I told him that if he happened upon such a situation in progress again, I thought that between the two of them they could whip him..;)

I'm joking of course. Maybe.

Parenting is an adventure which sometimes has bumps in the road. I'm truly not meaning to be harsh on others. Nor do I claim to be the model parent; far from it. So just chalk this post up to the midnight ramblings of a sleep-deprived mom.:)


Gwendolyn said...

My oldest boy is almost eight, and we have had situations like this happen with my next door neighbor (a ten-year-old boy.) It's so hard parenting boys after parenting two girls, because the rules are so different! The first time the boy hit my son, I wanted to go over and grab him by the scruff of the neck and tell him to leave my baby alone! My husband convinced me that maybe that would not be a prudent response. LOL

Nikki said...

Oh, my! Is this what I have to look forward to? Is it too late to send Daniel back?

When it happens, as I'm sure it will, I hope I handle it as wisely as you have.

And I'm just kidding about sending Daniel back. I'm much too fond of him for that. Isn't he just the cutest thing?

Angela said...

Wow! I think if this were me I'd have a hard time not finding that other kid and dragging him around by his neck for a couple of weeks. I'm glad you were able to act rationally, though :)

Mrs. Darling said...

You ask. "Who will teach him that, eventually, there are consequences in life?"

My answer,"Thelong arm of the law!"

Frasypoo said...

How did the parents react?
its hard to watch your kids being ill treated.
I' m with Mrs Darling!

Marva said...

You handled it much better than I would have! I would have hauled the little bully off by the nap of the neck.............nevermind!

Heavens help the parents of the child(ren) that bully my kiddos.

Just kidding! Job well done. Hope all is well!