When the Sweetness Disappears
My first full week back to school was extremely busy, very productive, and the Schoolhouse Band Room was filled with some very interesting sounding "music". Turns out Junior High kids don't like to practice their instruments over the summer. One moment this week really stuck with me. It pulled at my heartstrings, and made me wonder when the "sweetness" in children disappears.
One of my best friends and I often discuss that one of the things we weren't really prepared for is how sweet our babies would be. I know that sounds strange, but the innocent sweet nature of a new child is overwhelming. Even their fits of rage have an innocent spin, as it is their only way of communicating, and it is out of pure necessity.
This week, I was thrown right back into the reality of the fact that at some point, at some uncertain crossroads, the sweetness in SOME children disappears, and their actions can ben downright cruel. I suppose in some ways, the transition may be more of a gradual progression, but it made me very concerned and confused about how exactly to raise an empathetic kind little boy.
During one of my rehearsals this week, two very unassuming boys decided to bully another boy in their section. Somehow they are aware of some demons in his past (with regards to a horrible family situation) and they chose THAT as the fodder for their ridicule. No, not your average jest and jab about clothing, height, weight, or friends. Instead these boys cut to the core of hurt, and caused an awful reaction from the student who was bullied.
If there was any positive to the situation, it was that I was well aware of my student's background, and that I am a mother. Before having Mr. Cheeks, I didn't have the compassion, the words, the soothing nature that motherhood brings to a woman. Somehow the other day though, the right words to say came very easily.
What was not easy, was understanding how children could be so cruel. And how to raise mine so that he would NEVER have such an error in judgement. Is this possible? Even by being stellar role models of good character, is this something that my husband and I can ultimately control?
We are now entering the beginning phases of discipline with Mr. Cheeks, and teaching him right from wrong. Decisions about discipline and raising children are incredibly personal and unique to every set of parents and children. However, I would be interested to hear thoughts about how you've dealt with these issues and resources you can offer both for the Mother in me, and also the Educator in me.
Here's hoping for a more kind week at the Schoolhouse!