Monday, May 2, 2011

Bullying - again

I'm sad that the bullying at school has not really stopped for our son.  It's just become less physical, and more emotional.  Our son has been very down on school lately.  He's been good about doing his homework, although he's still very distractable, and unfocused.   He's been really struggling to deal with the ongoing picking by a few kids who have discovered just how easy it is to get him annoyed and wound up by doing unobtrusive things, like tapping their foot against his desk, or making some other small repetitive noises near him.  Apparently at least one kid has also made a game of trying to stomp on his feet in the halls or in gym class.  (I'm waiting for our son to stomp back, with his size 13 sneakers - that might end the stomping crap right there, although he'd surely get in trouble at school for doing it.  At this point, we probably wouldn't punish him for responding to the provocation in kind.)

Since school started we've heard more negative self-talk from our son, putting himself down.  That really distresses me, to hear him belittle himself.  Last night these issues came to the fore again when our son told us that at school, "I feel like a hole in the ground that people come along and poop in."  My heart just broke.  No child should feel like that, ever.

We also had a blow-up between Safety Guy and his sister on Saturday, where she got mad at him and shouted something like, "At least I don't have a math disability!" (with the clear implication that he was stupid).  I was really upset and disappointed that she was using his struggle with math against him.  Using anyone's disability or difference as a personal insult is a huge taboo in our house.  My husband and kids know how I feel about that kind of language and behavior, and it's even worse when applied to people in your own family.  Princess Yakyak earned a talking-to, and a swift bedtime, and I'm sure that's not the last conversation we'll have on the topic.  Safety Guy has enough trouble with people at school putting him down; he doesn't need anyone in his family to make it worse.

On a positive note today, though, his first day of math tutoring went really well.  He had a good attitude, and worked hard.  I'm hopeful that he'll see his own progress and be proud of himself as he gets better and better at math.  I've got a book to reward him when he makes a chunk of progress (I'm waiting to see how fast he's moving and what the benchmarks are, so we can help him set a goal).  The book is The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to PokemonI think he'll like it, don't you?  The only downside is, he'll read it, and spend the next six months regurgitating its minutiae to me fifty times a day.  Oh, well. . . .