Tuesday, November 16, 2010



What an ugly word – an ugly action.  As a parent (a person), always distasteful to witness.  As a parent whose kid is on the RECEIVING end… unbearable. L

As a family, we’ve been experiencing some bullying issues this year, mostly revolving around the school bus.  Things really escalated on my birthday (great present eh?).  Fortunately, everyone was physically okay.  Emotionally, I was a wreck.  I don’t really want to go into the details and, for purposes of this, it’s not necessary. 

But I was pushed far enough that I decided to go speak to the child’s mother on my lunch break today (the main “incident” happened a week ago).  Frankly, I was angry. I had decided to behave appropriately (ahem) but I was definitely “up in arms” so to speak, and I wanted to act on it before I lost my nerve…

Yet, those feelings drained away when she opened the door.  She was just… a mom.  Not quite the disinterested parent I had envisioned, perhaps even hoped for (hey, just being honest – it would make it much easier to hate her).  She welcomed me into her home, ready/willing to talk.  She apologized for the previous events.  She gave me some insight on what her child is struggling with.  Although these circumstances don’t take away his actions, don’t excuse the behavior, the information did provide a context for me to begin to understand where he is coming from and why he might have made the choices he did.

I ended up feeling better when I left than when I arrived.  The anger was gone.  Fears, worries, doubts… those remain.  How do I reconcile this new information while still taking appropriate steps to protect my own children?  How do I share enough information with my kids to give them that glimpse of understanding, yet respecting this family’s privacy (as I would want others to respect mine)? 

My mind has been whirling all afternoon.  I suppose, regardless of the outcome of these particular circumstances, it truly comes back to one thing, summarized well by Plato:

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

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