Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Parenting dilemma

When I walk into the kid's school yesterday to pick them up after work, I realize I'm in for bad news. The director of the school is standing there with an incident report slip for me to sign. Nothing new, I get one of these several times a week. If one of the kids gets hurt or gets into trouble, I have to sign the paperwork. But I knew this was different by looking at her face.

The boy got into a fist fight with one of his friends. They both wanted to use the computer and the other boy hit him, so my son proceeded to throw him a straight punch to the face, hard. The other boy has a black eye now. And this is terrible, but honestly, my first reaction was to laugh. Instead I stifled it, and just shook my head. And said he'd be duly punished.

When I walked into the room to get my daughter, the director's step-father (the owner) followed me in. He tells me that what my son did was a good thing, that you don't want him to cower and run from bullies, but to fight back. But not to hit in the face where it leaves a mark. And to know when to hit (i.e. not when the teacher is watching).

I did punish my son and spent the drive home deciding punishment. He always gets tv taken away for a day when he misbehaves, but he needed something more. Ahhhh, candy. That'll get to him. So after dinner I told him to pick out a piece of candy. He picked out a box of sweethearts and then I told him to throw them in the trash. And every time he got in trouble at school, he would be throwing candy away.

I have mixed feelings about it all. I do want him to stand up for himself, but I don't want him to get expelled from school. I do not want him to be a bully or a coward. But he does need to learn self-control.

1 comment:

Jen said...

That really is a hard issue for you to deal with. Nobody wants their children to be the bully, nor do they want their children to be the ones bullied. Such a fine line. But at least your son was NOT the first one to make the argument physical.
I always try to teach my little girl to use her words, but in all honesty, I have taught her to stand up for herself. She is small for her age, and other kids always push her around. Recently, I have taught her not to let them literally push her aside to take things from her. She has begun to stand-up for herself, but I was really worried that she might take it to far.

Good Luck with how to handle this, maybe it will not be a problem again.