Sunday, August 15, 2010

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!



At August 16, 2010 at 10:34 AM , Blogger Mrs. Werginz said...

I am sad to read this...I know you handled it well but I also know you are a caring woman who this bothered to the core. I hope it comforts you that you helped that child and in doing so other kiddos saw your compassion and may stick up for the next kid they see being bullied!

At August 16, 2010 at 12:58 PM , Blogger Alana, Author of Domestically Challenged said...

Honestly, I think being a teacher is infinately helpful when it comes to disciplining our own kids. I think there are two types of teacher kids - the good ones and the bad ones. LOL I use my positive discipline and classroom management skills with my personal kids all the time.

Sorry you had to start the year with an incident like that, but at least you took care of it. Hope this week fares well for you! :)

At August 16, 2010 at 2:13 PM , Anonymous Jinnia said...

It is already sad when children bully others in the common way of teasing about clothing, hair, appearance,etc. I'm sorry you had a tough situation at the start of the school year. You're a caring woman and handled it so well, and those boys are fortunate to have you as their teacher. I haven't experienced this issue before but it makes me think of a book. Have you heard of "Grooming the Next Generation" by Dani Johnson? Excellent practical scenarios she gives for training children in respect and honor.

I don't know if it's possible that they'll NEVER have an error in judgment, but this book encourages me that we as parents can train them with the foundational character traits so that they'll err less - and bounce back quicker. You can click on the link in my post,

By the way, thanks for your sweet comments on my site! I really appreciate it :) Hope you have a great day!

At August 16, 2010 at 4:22 PM , Blogger Mommy Spirit said...

Oh, I can't stand bullies. I remember seeing kids go through this in middle school and high school. As a kid who was afraid of being bullied herself, I wanted to do something to fix the situation but was too afraid I'd get picked on too. I wish I could offer some advice on the topic, but with a two year old myself, I'm still learning all about how I can be an effective role model now and in the future. Thank goondness this student has you as a teacher, and you are there to break up the nonsense and make him feel good about himself. I sure do wish children could remain innocent...

At August 16, 2010 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Mrs.Mayhem said...

It hurts me to hear about kids being bullied. I know it is a common occurrence, but it is heartbreaking. I'm so glad that you were able to intervene.

How to raise kind children? Be a kind role model and have your child see you helping others. Talk about how other people feel if you come across a hurtful situation in books or movies.

At August 17, 2010 at 2:58 AM , Anonymous Melissa said...

Oh, that's so awful. I detest bullying. I'm sure this is the obvious answer, but I'd call the parents. I'd let them know the cruel thing their child did. I'd have a few words with those bullies too and let them know I was extremely disappointed in their despicable behavior. Then again, I'm not a teacher. All I know is that if I were in that situation I wouldn't want those boys to think they got away with it.

At August 17, 2010 at 6:07 AM , Blogger Ruth said...

oh how i hate bullying!!

thank you Katie, for visiting me and leaving such sweet comment on my blog. I stayed a while here and enjoyed browsing through and reading some of your posts. I certainly want to come back for more..:) Your newest follower now. SO nice to meet you!!


At March 31, 2011 at 7:39 AM , Anonymous Solomon F. said...

My "music" sounded great because I did practice.:)


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