Broken Teeth and Bullies

by Lisa Donovan

My Son
My son after his broken tooth
was pulled - his face still
scratched up a bit

My son goes to school with a boy, we’ll call him “bob”, who has quite a proclivity toward violent and obnoxious behavior. Bob seems to enjoy smashing people’s (usually my son’s) fingers under his feet and pushing them off high heights just to watch them scream and fall. Bob has been the cause of my son breaking a tooth and scraping up his sweet little face (see picture) and the near insanity of a friend of mine who lives two doors down from Bob. You see, Bob and his parents like to just show up at said friend’s house — no phone call, no warning. They just knock on the door and expect a warm welcome. I think my friend has finally made it clear that it is an impolite thing to do but, also and more importantly, that she really doesn’t like her son to hang out with Bob. It’s a kindergarten drama that I am not thrilled to be a part of.

Thus begins the very long voyage into hating, I did say hating, my son’s friends. I do my part to keep them separated but there is always after school playground time — all the kids stay after and play, even Bob. Most of his friends are golden and wonderful, but for some reason he can’t stay away from Bob. “But baby” I plead, “don’t you find it rotten that you always get hurt when you play with Bob?” Apparently not. He just seems to write it off as part of the deal - part of being privileged enough to hang out with this kid. My friend and I have discussed what the attraction is all about — because despite the constant thrashing of his mates — there is some strange allure about this boy to every kid in the class. He is rather smart and very confident, perhaps that is it. Not sure. Whatever the case may be, I have simply taken to just letting bygones be bygones and working out whatever problems might occur after school and dealing with it as it comes. When Bob’s parents don’t intervene, I am happy to step up and deal with taking my son out of the situation. I have talked to my son about making good choices regarding what good friends are and what friends aren’t supposed to be. He knows that I don’t care for Bob’s behavior and that I would rather see him play with other children — I have said so in front of Bob’s parents, in fact. Dealing with a bully is a tricky situation. My friend (the one who has been driven to near madness living next door to these people) had a very clever thing to say about it when I told her that I was ready to go to any means to keep them apart: “If you force them away from the each other then the allure will only be greater — you have to empower them to make the right decision for themselves”. My son is a smart kid. I feel pretty good about watching and stepping up when, and if, I have to and letting him ultimately work this out in his own way. Sort of. Ok, I can learn to be ok about letting him work it out.. eventually.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, February 16th, 2006 at 10:43 am and is filed under Parenting, Behavior Issues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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