beads by breul

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Joy!

My joy this week is my family. I know that sounds funny, so let me lay the ground work.  My son is in middle school, 7th grade to be precise.  Last year, 6th grade, was a rough year for him. Not academically, he made Honor Roll all four quarters.

 Now, we don't have a "home school" where we live. We have the choice of three different middle schools and chose the one that held the most interest for him. His school's emphasis is robotics and engineering and he loves it. Loves his computer classes, loves the teachers and I think has made some friends. I say this because not many of his friends live in the neighborhood.  Over the course of the last school year, we had a series of bullying incidents - issues on the bus, gym locker kicked in, binders and notebooks destroyed, issues on the playing field. Not one child, apart from the bus, but a series of incidents. I know that bullying is the worst in middle school and his school has been SUPER responsive. We have dealt with the principal, head of security and his counselor.  They have all be very supportive and most importantly, responsive. My son is a good kid, very trusting and nice, just wants to be liked by folks.  Now, school has started and the issues with the little creatin on the bus have started again. Interestingly, the majority of this stems from his being white in a predominately hispanic and african american school. He tells me that the teasing has started again and just doesn't want to have another year like last. He wants to transfer out. He is tired of being called names. We have gone down the "just let it roll off your back" route among others. Personally, I wouldn't want to go to school every day wondering what was going to happen, not a good learning environment.  Did I mention that he is bigger (taller and stronger) than this little shit. (forgive the language) This hurts my heart.

So to my Friday Joy. At dinner last night we all had a very long conversation with each other and him. Dinner was about 1 1/2 hours long. No TV, no music, just us talking. I mean really talking. Sharing the past (hubby and I), sharing my daughter's middle school experience, talking about how to make it better, without inciting anything and running the risk of his being jumped when he gets off the bus. For one and a half hours we all talked, shared and supported my son.  Everything else stopped. Asking what he thought and how he thought this could be fixed. Listening to him.  Explaining that transferring might not be the answer as there will always be little shits around. Now, this makes us sound like we never eat together and always have other thing happening during dinner. We do eat as a family EVERY night. Very important to both my husband and I.  But this meal was amazing. The love and support that was directed to my son. He was very teary all dinner. But I  think that he has a better understanding of possiblities and possible solutions and hopefully, the understanding that we all support him and will do what every needs to be done, even if it means transferring schools. And that we all love him tremendously.

I love my family.  My kids are wonderful, caring, bright people. My husband, strong, supportive and an amazing father. I am so lucky.  So there is my Friday Joy.   May your Friday be filled with Joy.

ps - I will keep you posted on what happens and would love to hear what your thoughts are. Please.


TesoriTrovati said...

I am so very heart weary and heart soaring with this post. I was a 7th grade teacher for 5 years at the very school, nay in the same classroom where my son is a 7th grader this year. I am so saddened by all that has transpired. Bullying is a rampant problem. There is something wrong with those that feel it is okay to degrade and belittle someone else, no matter their age (as little bullies grow into big bullies). When someone feels the need to put others down they are doing it to step on them and make themselves taller. But it is an illusions, so I am heart sick for the little shit too. Because if his family doesn't foster the right atmosphere he will certainly never work through the reasons for his anger and lack of confidence that are pushing him to be a bully.

But my heart is singing with joy from the talk that you had. Do you know how hard it is to talk to a 7th grader? I have moments with my own son, but this really brings me such a happiness that you were able to support him and share your love as a family in a way that really made sense to him. Bravo on that!

Please keep us posted. I would love to hear what you and everyone else weighs in on is subject.

Enjoy the day!

Pretty Things said...

This is such a poignant post to me because we're going through something very similar with our 7-year old. In fact, if you ever feel like emailing, please do. To make a long story short, we're going through the process of transferring Zack from the public school to a private school this year. We have our parent interview on Tuesday and then Zack will have his assessment soon after that. It's going to mean a lot of changes to my life and business, but it's exactly the right thing to do.

And I love how you LISTEN to your child. So many kids don't have that.

Courtney said...

Elisabeth of Beads for Busy Girls left this comment and I accidentally deleted it - big fingers, little keys. Sorry Elisabeth

Courtney - I am so sorry for your son's trouble but loved your wonderful words about your family. We aren't there yet with bullying but it must be so scary!

Courtney said...

Thank you all for your words. It is a tricky, fine line. He spoke with his counselor yesterday and the past two days were ok. I still think we are going to pursue a transfer.

Beadroe said...

I can identify completely. My son dealt with this problem until college. I was an assistant in is 5th grade classroom and still could not stop it. He was a happy fun loving child until started to occur in elementary school. It permanently changed his attitude toward life and people. He is a wonderful adult but I will always wonder if I should have home schooled him instead. (We seriously considered this option). We did send him to a independent school to avoid the one bully. He ended up having the worst year ever. Schools give staff training but I have not seen an improvement in the problem. I hope you can truly fix this for him. My son is one that just put up with it and hardly ever complained, I wish he had been more open with us to what was going on.

Cindy said...

I am so sorry to hear what your son is going through. This topic came up just today while speaking with another Mom. My son has recently started talking about some of the boys in his class being mean (he is 8), and I realize this might be the beginning.... it seems bullying can't be avoided. But it is to be taken seriously, and it is heartwarming to hear how your family is dealing with this awful problem. Your family sounds so open and caring.