School is back! At least here in the Philippines it is. Most schools here start around June, while some at August. My kids started with theirs early July. What does that mean? Extra hours for me to do chores without my kids bugging me about the most littlest of things. Not that I mind, I don’t but, as a mom, you have so much in your hands and sometimes those petty quarrels just get to you.
So now, that the doors for our kids’ second home have opened, should we be feeling at ease? Should we not worry much about how and what they do when they’re at school?
I try to involve myself a little with my kids’ lives at school. I know the names of their classmates, I know who they are friends with and who they aren’t. I know the names of their teachers and the subjects they teach. I know some of the parents. We talk about them at home during meal time. I guess that made my kids feel comfortable telling me about what’s going on. Not a lot of kids do that. I know, because I don’t remember myself talking to my parents about school.
Kiero and his co-nominees for class president.
On their first day, Kiero came home from school very excited to have dinner. As it turned out, he was elected President for the 3rd graders. He was thrilled. We asked who he was up against with. One, he has been classmates with since daycare and the other since kindergarten. The latter was a brainy girl, one who has competed in and out of school. We were happy to congratulate him. His dad was proud that even when she was competing against the brainy girl, that he still won. That just meant, he was nicer than her and that he was well liked.
Not even a week after though, he came home restless. He just went straight to the room and buried himself into his books. After dinner, he came to me and asked me not to feel sad about what he was going to say. I told him he can tell me everything. Then he started crying as he told me he was no longer the class president. I asked him why and he just explained that the brainy girl told their adviser that he wasn’t performing his tasks as a president and that he should be replaced. He said, it wasn’t true because he’s been helping fellow 3rd graders with what they needed help with. I asked him what he did and he said he did nothing because the adviser took what the brainy girl told her.
I felt sorry for my son. I asked him how he felt, and I told him it was ok. At the back of my mind though, I was planning on a trip to see the teacher. But, I was still weighing things out. I didn’t want to appear to be the mom who meddles with everything. So, I told John and we both spoke to Kiero. And that was when Kiero told us that the adviser told the whole 3rd grade that they were going to have a re-election.
As petty as it may sound, I decided to go to the school to talk to the teachers for the following reasons; (1) These are kids and they are clueless about what and not to do as a class president. Shouldn’t it be the class adviser’s task to guide them on what to do? (2) It hasn’t even been a week since he’s been elected president. Was that enough time to prove himself worthy of what he was elected for? (3) I have nothing against the brainy girl but, what happened to my son can happen to any kid. Yeah, that girl know a lot and she can be the most ideal class president because she knows so much. How will the others learn though if they aren’t given a chance?
The trip to see the teacher happened. I told her what I had in mind and she told me what happened. She didn’t know that my son got emotionally dragged with what happened. She spoke with the whole class and as it turned out, the brainy girl was invoking a re election and not everyone was agreeing with it, including the teacher. My son thought it was going to happen because the girl insisted and kept telling him he will no longer be president. If that’s not bullying, I don’t know what that is called. And it’s crazy that at their age, bullying already exists.
The teacher assured me that nothing will move Kiero out of his post. I know it sounds weird given they’re only kids. But, I also know the long term effects of negative emotions brought by this.
This doesn’t sound like extreme bullying but, it is still bullying. The acts willfully caused harm to my son through verbal harassment and social exclusion. It is up to any parent to help their kids deal with bullies. Being bullied can have traumatic effect for a kid. It can lead to low self esteem and anxiety. Be on the lookout for signs that something is bothering your kids and always make them feel they can tell you anything. Bully proof your kids. Talk to their teachers if something feels wrong. Yes, teachers and school administrators are there to always be on the lookout but they can’t always see what needs to be seen so you have to do your part too. If what’s happening is persistent, it helps to talk to the offender’s parent but not in a confrontational way. The goal is to resolve the matter together. You don’t want your kid or any kid to be bullied, neither would you want a kid who bullies. Coach your kids to get help. You’re not always there so make them know they can always walk away or turn their backs on these kids and that they can always tell their teachers. Encourage positive behavior. I always tell my kids that if someone bothers them, they just need to smile and speak in a firm voice. Confidence drives away bullies.
I’m not telling I did the right thing. No mommy book has ever taught me that but, as a mother it just felt like it should be done. Just so everyone knows too, Kiero and little miss brainy have patched things up.
Tell me about your thoughts, I’d love to hear from fellow parents.
Thanks for reading!