Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Mis-Adventures of Skull Attack Boy

As of March 1st our 6 year old had been sent to the office 2 times for playing too rough. When preparing to meet with the principal  my main focus was to advocate on my son's behalf, as the other boy was 4 years older and "egging" my son on.

I had my notes in hand, my husband at my side to ground me and back me up (tattoos and a shaved head go further then you might think).

We walk into the office March 2nd, and low and behold there is our son, in the office again - pulled from recess for play fighting... This time he punched a kid his own age in the nose! How do we defend him now?

I'm disappointed in both my husband's and my own parenting abilities to have raised a child that thinks it's ok to punch someone, even if it's just "playing" between two boys that gets out of hand.

Do kids get in trouble more often for doing less now-a-days? Do we expect too much of him?

I know the "incidents" were not acted out of spite or anger - at least that's something positive. Even though our son has always played in a very physical manner, he's "spirited", he's also sensitive. He gravitates to older kids in the playground because he seems to be at a more advanced physical level then kids his own age. This just causes trouble, since his social skills are still that of a 6 year old.

It's difficult to explain to a 6 year old that when older kids give him a "cool" nickname like "Skull-Attack Boy" and then tell him to attack someone - those boys aren't "playing with" him.

Being taken advantage of is a difficult concept to relay to a child. The subtleties are too... well, subtle. I want my son to listen to his instincts, to his intuition. He should be able to trust himself beyond question (something I'm personally trying to re-connect with). Trust your gut, but don't just do what feels good. Perhaps a tall order at his age?

Isn't that the ultimate challenge a parent faces - teach someone to make good choices and then stand aside and trust that they make the best one for themselves?

So, another day of recesses in the office, and what seems to be too much lecturing from parents and teachers. Consequences that I hope will make an impact. I can't make choices for him, I need to trust that he will make positive choices on a daily basis (eventually).

From this experience I have learned that I can encourage my son to learn from his mistakes, but ultimately his actions are out of my control.

I know he's a good kid, I just hope he believes it too.

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