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Squash It!

1/6/09

Squash It!

I'm a firm believer that when a problem arises among children it's best to squash it as quickly as possible. In all my years of studying behavior I'm amazed at, how we treat each other can stick with us for life. Some people never recover from a bad experience and harbor resentment.

I've written several times that my wonderful son was so sweet until he went to school specifically the first grade. That was not a pleasant year for us. Luckily, he had a teacher with the same philosophy, address it while they are young so that it is stopped and doesn't continue. Kids can be down right mean.

My son isn't perfect and I've seen him behave in ways that doesn't make a mother proud. However, I address it as quickly as possible. I also don't take my eyes off of my kids for too long while they are here and I have sonar ears! They now whisper but I can hear that too.

Yesterday my little guy came home sort of sad and he looked up at me and asked "Mom do you think I'm gross?" "No!" (This would be a red flag for any parent) "Who told you that you were gross?" I asked. And then he began telling me the story....

He's waiting in line in the gym to leave school and he asked another boy behind him to play paper, rock, scissors. The boy said "No, nobody likes you and you're gross!" My heart sank and then I got mad. As his mom I always want to protect him. Words can cut the deepest no matter what age. If you hear it and you believe it, you're in trouble. My son began to question if people really liked him in school. We went through his classmates to list off people he thought were his friends. Check! Then I went through the standard list of questions about grossness, "Did you pick your nose?" "Did you burp really loud?" "Did you spit?" He said no to all these question. I said, "Then you are in the clear!" Don't worry about it. I will email your teacher and address this before it gets out of hand. Immediately I start thinking about homeschooling. I think about how eventually he's going to have to handle things on his own. I also begin to wonder if he said anything back to the boy that would upset his mother! Then we would really have a can of worms on our hands.

I emailed the teacher and they addressed it with the boy. The boy admitted what he had done and apologized to my son. I'm sure all will be forgiven and who knows they could end up being the best of friends. Some day he will have to be on his own without my interference but that day isn't here yet.

Am I one of those moms? Yes, you bet I am. It's a different world now. There is no more boys will be boys. The sooner a parent tells another parent the quicker it gets addressed, corrected and we all move on. I've noticed even as my daughter is an adult I have to continue to teach and remind them of simple uses of kindness and manners.

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