Mom-fury is real, guys. I’ve been a mom for almost 18 years now, and I’ve been mad on my kids’ behalf before, but yesterday was the first time I felt pure white-hot blinding fury. I have calmed down some, but the anger is still there.
Someone treated one of my kids badly. Someone in a position of power decided to lash out at my child in front of their peers and at least one teacher. Someone let their emotions take over, and let them spill out in an unreasonable, unprofessional diatribe that devolved into criticism unrelated to the trigger. This person saw that my child was upset, that my child was *crying*, and kept going. Not only kept going, but told two other adults there, “Oh, I made your kid cry” like it was something to be proud of. This person texted me later, “I am so sorry I upset them” but didn’t have the decency to apologize directly to my child, either by text or in person.
Just writing this is bringing the fury back. I have no idea what possesses someone to treat another person, a STUDENT, that way. I have no idea why the other adults present didn’t do anything, didn’t ask her to stop, didn’t intervene to mediate, didn’t at least suggest they go somewhere private.
Let me stop here for a caveat. This is important: this is not a teacher at the school. I don’t believe this person is officially employed by the school. This is a person who is only there very part-time, working with a very small group of students.
Now comes the hard part: how do I respond? I didn’t do anything yesterday; I knew that was a bad idea. My gut tells me to email this person and let her know how angry I am, and that her behavior was appalling and unacceptable. My gut tells me that I need to write a complaint to at least one authority figure, because it’s not right that this person is allowed to interact with students and treat them like this without being held accountable. My gut tells me this is bigger than my child, that I have a responsibility to speak up when something bad happens.
BUT. Doing all of that could create problems for my child. Working with all of these people is unavoidable, and it could make relationships with them awkward, and have repercussions for my child’s success both in and out of school. Speaking up very likely would result in no changes, because this person is respected for their experience and knowledge, and no one wants to rock that boat.
And that alone infuriates me too. Why should this person not be held accountable? Why should this person get away with this behavior? No, my child was not physically harmed. But in my mind, it was bullying. The action that prompted the tantrum in no way warranted a full emotional meltdown in front of other people. It was a minor disagreement that should have been handled privately. Thankfully my child is strong, and has a wonderful support system, and they will be all right. But will the next one? That is one reason silence feels wrong. This is about more than my child. This is also about the next child on the receiving end of a humiliating tirade. If we never speak up because we think nothing will change…well, we’re right. Nothing will ever change. And I’m not sure that’s the world I want to live in.
To be clear, we WILL address the situation with this person. We are just trying to figure out the best way to do it. I want to address it immediately and directly and make it clear exactly how wrong the behavior was; my husband wants to be more strategic and try to guide the relationship to a better place. He wants to address it without pissing off this person, because that likely will not help matters. I can see the benefit of his strategy. But it doesn’t satisfy my mom-fury. I still want to take it further.
So, I don’t know. It’s a really complicated situation, and I can’t tell if I’m blowing it out of proportion because of my mom-fury. I am conflicted. I am sad and angry and frustrated. I am going to sit back for now, and try to come to a resolution that feels right for all of us.
Sounds like an awful situation – I hope your child is ok (and you!). When I have a decision to make, I write down all of the options and think of the pros and cons of each of them. I weigh each of them up as well. It’s a simple thing to do, but I find it helps me clear my head, and look at things a bit more objectively. I hope whatever you decide to do, that there is some resolution for you all x
Oh yes, we’re both fine, thank you! In the grand scheme of things, it could have been much worse, so I am grateful for that. I do the same thing with listing pros and cons, and I also find it extremely helpful. I didn’t even think about doing that in this situation though–I’ll give it a shot! 🙂
Hope it helps! Glad you’re all ok though ☺
It’s a form of bullying and cannot be tolerated. For the powers that be not to act would be tantamount to coercion and what does that teach the students…one rule for the children and another for the adults.
That’s my thoughts anyway. I’ve been bullied quite a lot so I get upset when someone else is.
I totally agree. I just have to find a way to address it that doesn’t make life harder for my child!
It’s a tough one but it sounds like you and your husband are on the way to dealing with it sensibly.
Thank you. I’m trying. 🙂
I think you have to pass this onto a senior person. Just give the facts, no complaint, just bringing it to their attention. Seems like there were plenty of witnesses. Ask to have your child work with someone different. No-one has the right to immunity from fair comment.
Wow I really don’t know what to say. I would have already sent off a strongly worded email. I understand that you don’t want to make the situation worse though. How is your child doing now?
I keep thinking that would if it had been a child who wasn’t emotionally strong enough to handle that kind of stress. No person of authority should treat a child like that
Doing fine, thankfully. But yes, I agree, I’m also thinking of the next child. I did talk to someone at the school, so they’re aware of the situation at least, and hopefully they will keep an eye out for similar behavior in the future.