Tag Archive | bullying

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Mother Scorned

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.

On School, Bullies, and Doctor Who Knitting

So the kids started school yesterday, and overall both considered the first day a success. The girl said her day was “Awesome!”, and the boy said his day was “okay”. Given that he didn’t get lost, show up to class tardy, miss the bus, or have problems with his locker, my son said his day was better than he was expecting. In my mind, that’s a win, especially since he was in a good enough mood this morning while we waited for the bus.

My daughter loves her teachers, her classes and her new high school. She got a map from a helpful teacher and is figuring out where everything is. She’s excited about all the club and activity options offered, and is trying to decide which ones she wants to join to go along with marching band. She’s in a somewhat difficult situation, because 99% of her middle school friends went to a different high school, so she’s trying to find some new ones. She’s a great kid, friendly and helpful and kind and outgoing, and it won’t be long before she’s got a gaggle of friends again. But it’s hard to get there, especially when the people you trust turn on you.

With all the talk of bullying these days, I’ve seen more friend-on-friend meanness than true bullying. I know bullying happens, believe me, I do know. I’ve been through it and it’s horrible. And the Mean Girls stuff has been around forever, too. It’s just sad. It’s sad that kids can’t even trust their friends to be kind to them. Maybe it’s typical, maybe everybody makes fun of their friends. But it hurts. I think it might even hurt more to hear it from a friend than from a stranger. And it’s not just kids, it’s parents too, questioning and ridiculing my daughter’s choices. So maybe these kids are taking the hurtful things said to them and spewing it back out. Could it be a defense mechanism, a way to cope? I don’t know.

All I know is that I’m trying to teach my daughter how to be strong in the face of unkindness. I’m thankful she is self-confident, so these incidents sting but don’t crush her. I’m thankful she’s sympathetic and generous, and I am confident she would never talk to someone else the way some of her “friends” have talked to her.

I know I am trying very hard to restrain my mama-bear tendencies to go after those who have hurt my girl. She *has* to learn how to deal with people like this, unfortunately. And the sooner the better. I’m trying to help her find ways to communicate with these people, to let them know their words hurt, but it’s a hard skill. It’s something I didn’t learn until I was an adult. But boy does it help. I know sometimes teasing comes with love, and is not intended to hurt. But if it does hurt, you’ve got to let them know or else it will keep happening. And if it keeps happening, then you’ve discovered a sad truth about that person and you can move on.

Dealing with these hiccups, I’ve found that one of the best ways to cheer up my kids is to say the words “Doctor Who”. Yesterday I distracted them by showing them my LYS find. I celebrated the first day of school by going to Knitcraft and found some gorgeous TARDIS blue mercerized cotton. A row below was a fabulous red-orange-yellow multi. Well, put those two together and what do you get? Exploding TARDIS! I may not be a Whovian but I can speak the language pretty well. Needless to say, I bought them and am planning to make a market bag with them. I’ve cast on the bottom of the bag and hope to get plenty more done today.IMG_2857