Thursday, November 28, 2013

bullies

Being a parent is hard.

I am constantly worrying about my kids.  I worry about what others do to them.  I worry about what they do to others.  I worry about the choices that they will make, and I worry about the choices that they won't have.  I also worry that I won't know what to do, or how to react in every one of these situations.

One of my fears has come true in the last week.

At the beginning of the school year we had a lot of trouble with busing for Evan.  His day was too long and it was not a situation that he could continue with.  We managed to switch companies and it seemed to be working well.  The schedule was better and he was riding with other kids.  The problem is that his chair loads in the back and he had to sit with the middle schoolers.  I was worried about what he would learn from kids so much older than him.  Little did I know it would be so much worse than I imagined.

I have a hard time getting my kids to really open up and talk about the "deep" things in their life.  I mostly attribute this to their age and attention span.  On our way to the hospital on Monday for a sleep study I could tell Evan was in a mood to talk.  I turned all distraction off and we talked.  My heart broke when I discovered that he has been bullied for several weeks by some of these middle school age kids.  My sweet sensitive 6 year old is being bullied by teenagers!  The saddest part about this is that Evan told me that it was all ok because he now put himself down with them and now they like him.  My 6 year old even used the phrase, "Mom, its ok.  I have to do this because they are the cool kids and I have to fit in with them."  He then went on to put himself down for the next 15 minutes.  I couldn't sway him to say anything positive.  Evan saw my reaction to this information and kind've shut down.  The part that makes me the most sad is that he thinks that these jerks are his friends now, because he has began to feed into their game of bully Evan.  This has come on the heels of some behavior issues at home and school in the last couple weeks that now makes sense.

I called Evan's vice principal, who I have a good relationship with, and told her what was going on.  She was alarmed and to my pleasure started to investigate immediately!  Both schools administration has been very much on top of the situation and the guilty parties have been discovered.  Evan's vice principal even rode the bus with the kids today along with a speech to all the kids on the bus about what is appropriate behavior and what is not.  I am a little disappointed that they chose to leave the seating arrangements "for now" and "see how it goes", but hopefully these bullies have been scared enough by multiple principals to change their behavior.

I hope that Evan isn't affected by this in the long term.  His life is already harder than most everyone else and it is only going to get harder as he physically declines.  I hope that Evan can know that these idiots are not good examples of what friends should be.  I pray with all my heart that he can remember what a great kid he is.  I hope that he remembers his own morals and doesn't accept their poor behavior as normal behavior that he needs to take part in.  I hope he remembers that he is perfect, just the way God made him.  I hope he remembers that I love him so much that I literally lack the words to describe just how much.

I put "love notes" in his lunch every day and made sure that the last couple days have been about his strengths.  He had one of his aides help him write a note back to me and he gave that to me yesterday.  I burst into tears, which he thought was awesome.  I feel so confused about what I can do in this situation and how to help him remember his worth and his note made me feel a little bit better.  Maybe I'll do alright.  I know I am trying to do my best.
this is a painting of a golden pyramid that Evan made for a contest at his school

 

4 comments:

Lisa said...

You are a great Mom! Just remember to pray about this and other things that come and you will be guided to know how to handle them. You are doing an awesome job and Evan's note proves that :) Love you lots and love Evan lots also. Give him a big hug for me!!

Lynn said...

I was going to say something similar to your mom. You truly are a great mom....always making sure to be on top of things.....knowing the right time to have a chat with your kids....and following your heart on what direction to take when needed. Hang in there. You are doing great. And like your mom said...Evan's note proves it. ; )

teja said...

Kira, this is so heart breaking! I know you are doing an awesome job though. That is the hardest part of seeing special needs kids grow up- seeing them ostracized from the "normal" that everyone other child is experiencing and trying to cope with being different all the time. The best you can do is help him know he is loved- and he obviously knows that :) Ishan had bus troubles a few years ago, too. One of the other kids would come sit with him- which is great! But eventually he began to be bullied- the kid would make fun of his low muscle tone and throw his arm against the side of the bus, seemingly amused that Ishan couldn't control his own limbs. I felt sick to my stomach when Ishan told me that. You just always want to be there to protect them, but you can't always be, and eventually they have to learn to do it themselves. It doesn't seem fair that Evan has to fight that battle with kids 6 grades older than him. He is such a sweet boy. I hope the guilty parties not only stop bullying him, but they try to repair the damage they have done. I think if Evan can be built up by other "cool" kids in that age range, it would do him a lot of good. But of course, ultimately he must rely on his own self-worth and learn to lean on God and those who love him. And you do. So much. And that is the best thing.

Joe Lowry Jr said...

I overlooked this post and Lacy pointed it out to me. I think you handled that really well. You are a good listener, and you were able to understand when Even was ready to talk about it.
Your kids are lucky to have you!