A few folks have been anxiously awaiting this post. Not only was I sick this past week, but I had to deal with a school bus bully. My 7-year-old came home from school and told me that he asked the bus driver to change his seat on the bus because his seat mate ( let’s call him Matthew, obviously not his real name) told him he was going to kill him. I stood there astonished at the thought of another 7-year-old telling my son he was going to kill him as my son rambled on about how that would never happen. I asked him exactly what happened and it went something like this:
Matthew and I were playing with my stuffed animal and Tom (also not his real name) wanted to play too, but Matthew said he couldn’t. So I started playing with Tom and Matthew got mad and told me he would bring a knife on the bus in the morning and kill me. He said he would stab me and then he showed me how he would do it. I told him he would never do that. He would get into alot of trouble. He said his parents let him do whatever he wants and he’s killed a deer before and would kill me too. As my son exits the bus he tells the bus driver that he no longer wants to sit with Matthew and he would like to sit with Tom in the morning.
As you can see there are a few things happening here in this story and this mom picked up the phone and called the bus garage to report the incident. Needless to say my son did not ride the bus to school the next morning and both mom and dad spoke to the Vice Principal about this event that next day. Consequences have been handed out and the situation was dealt with quite quickly. In the end I think every single person involved in this story learned a lesson. I learned a few myself.
This week I learned that:
10. when something like this happens it sucks on both sides. ( I hate being the parent that has to make a phone call because my kid is being threatened, but what’s worse is being the parent of the bully. Imagine how horrible they feel getting that phone call.)
9. some of life’s best lesson are learned on the bus/playground. ( My son blew it off as a kid saying mean stuff. He needed to learn it’s just not okay even if it is another little kid.)
8. adults are real quick to name call a little kid. ( Do I like what happened?- Hell no, but resorting to calling a 7-year-old names (like douche bag and asshole) doesn’t make things better. I was shocked at the reaction of adults that I told.)
7. when parents are open to their child’s mistakes it makes situations like these easier for everyone. ( These parents really stepped up to the plate and handled the situation gracefully. I’m thankful for that and learned that if the roles are ever reversed I need to do the same thing.)
6. my son truly had no idea that this was serious. ( This opened up the door to conversations about safety and violence. I don’t want my boys to be afraid, but I don’t want them to be naive either. The more my son told him, “No you wouldn’t do that.” , the more the kid went on and on about it. He( my son) needed to learn to walk away.)
5. being over protective isn’t the right thing to do for our children. ( I don’t live my life in fear and I don’t want my children to either. A healthy dose of knowing the signs of when a situation isn’t safe is what I want to teach them. I’m not going to pull him off the bus or homeschool him because of one incident. I was more worried that he wasn’t afraid.)
4. my son really needed to learn that when mom and dad aren’t around and someone is saying or doing something that’s wrong, he needs to speak up then and not wait. ( I’m glad he told me, but I was surprised he didn’t tell his bus driver. We had another great talk.)
3. if you want something done you need to keep at it or no one will do it for you. ( The bus people weren’t as snappy about this as I would have liked, but they were real pissed when I went to the school. I’ve learned from other experiences that sometimes you need to step on a few toes before you get the dance right. Things were cleared up in a day and no one had to yell. Did I ever mention that I’m a pretty good dancer?)
2. saying, “He’s 7. I’m sure he didn’t mean it.” doesn’t cut it from the mom whose kid just got threatened. ( Remember that 6-year-old in Michigan that brought a gun to school and shot a classmate dead? I do. Did he mean to kill her? Probably not, but it still happened. Just think about what your kid could put in their backpack without you noticing. Hmmm.)
1. I’m very lucky to have kids that are open to talking to me and my husband. ( This opened up many great, yet difficult conversations for us as a family. On the flipside, I hope it opened up conversations at Matthew’s house and I hope he’s learned a lesson here as well.)