Thursday, January 6, 2011

Just a boy

This is my middle child. He is 10. He's very talented (as you can see) at making pancakes. He can do it all by himself; beginning to end. He is passionate about his music and electronic technology in general. He's probably one of the youngest kids in his class because his birthday is in October which falls well before the cut off; which is December 31st. He  is not as mature as the rest of his class and we thought of holding him back a year, but the fact that he is not behind academically (even ahead in some areas) we felt it best to just let him catch up. It has been really tough. This year especially! He is in Grade 5 this year and the kids are really getting to the age where they can be so mean. My heart aches every time he asks "why don't the kids like me?" or "what did I do to make them hate me?" I try to explain that it's them and not HIM but.....that's hard for a 10 year old to understand.
Yesterday he quit gymnastics. He had been teased and taunted since day one but always went back. Last night was the 'straw that broke the camel's back', and he doesn't want to go back anymore. Some of the kids were saying things like "you don't belong here" "why are you even here?" When he came home and told this to me; he was trying so hard not to cry. "Some of those kids don't even know me!" he says. "I thought they were my friends" , he said about the others. I was so mad. Really angry. Then I got sad. I stayed on the computer (after the kids went to bed)clicking away,keeping my focus away from my thoughts. I could feel the tears welling up inside. I didn't want to let them out. My little boy was hurting and I couldn't fix it.I finally went to bed but had a very hard time sleeping. I decided I was going to talk to the kids at gymnastics and let them know why their gym mate would not be returning. I was going over things in my head that I wanted to say. I wanted them all to feel very ashamed that they had made another person feel so bad about themselves. I finally had to just breathe and try not to think so I could get to sleep. Sleep came but then I was up early this morning. The pain in my chest was still there. I tried to make the morning as smooth as possible for my little boy who was no doubt wondering how things were going to go down at school. 
After the kids left for school I sat down to blog. I had my fb page open and had to stop blogging to answer all the messages that were coming in about the incident the night before. I got a few phone calls and everyone expressed how sorry they were and were all really supportive. I truly appreciated that but I have to admit, it brought up all those tears again. I find it so hard to deal with the fact that I can't fix this for him.
I was so mad at those kids, and still am, but my anger has softened and given way to sadness and compassion. Bullying , in any form, usually stems from hurt. I know they are just little kids who are trying to figure things out too. I'm ashamed to admit it but, I was a bully at times too. I was hurting and that is how I coped, by hurting others. I had no control over my hurt so I tired to take control where I could find it. It's not right. It never has been. We need to teach our kids other ways of coping. That's the only way it will stop. That's is WHY I'm going to talk to those kids next week. If I can get through to at least one of them then I guess I will have done some good. In the mean time I will continue to love my boy and give him the praise that he deserves for being a sensitive, loving, talented and funny little man!


  1. My heart hurts for Adam. He is a precious boy. I remember something very similar to this happening to Benno. I remember how badly I felt for him. You certainly have my empathy because I've been there and know how you feel. I will pray for Adam today and for you. This will make him stronger in the long run. I think as parents we can have an awesome impact on our kids for good by letting them know we believe in them and care about them.

    Hang in there sista! Love to you!!

  2. Yes, that is often what is comes down too isn't it? My kid too, his current bully came out of a situation at his last school where he was bullied. You would THINK that they could then relate to how they are making my son feel, but nope...he has the power (insert evil laugh) and it feels waaaay better than being bullied I guess. I have seen this kid be horrible right in front of me!!! WTH??? The most I can do is tell him to back off or have a glare down, which I just narrowly win, because this kid really doesn't care.

    I get the same heart breaking questions about why kids are mean, and why dont they like me? what is so bad about me? and it really scares me sometimes when the questions stop, because I know then he is internalizing LIES...he is telling himself that these questions are facts about himself and how the heck can I compete with a silent conversation he has with himself?? I can only pray. and reassure...and hope he still believes his Mom and Dad over the lies in his head.

    Adam is AMAZING!!! anyone who spends any time with him knows this is true! I have personally seen him compose a song, write lyrics, record the song and then EMAIL the song to you. I will NEVER be able to do that!!!! He could open a business assisting people with their computers...two years ago! He can make movies, do a multimedia presentation for the fish that passed on, or your birthday!! we all have our weakness and his are few...he will come along and mature at the exactly the right time for him.

    You are an awesome Mom, Erin...who knew that any pain we felt personally would be nothing compared to the pain we feel for our kids??

  3. Erin your honesty is beautiful!
    Adam is one that I welcome into our home anytime, and I hope that he feels welcome here too. I have a son who asks me often why every friend he makes people are so mean to them. Why do they call us names? He has asked me this week how he can be a good friend to Adam.
    I wanted to share a little story that happened when Asher met a new friend at Acme school track & field meet. He was someone that people kept pushing over and calling names, and Asher felt helpless for him. I got a letter that evening from his mom, asking if I remember her..and I did we went to junior high together, and she was one that I avoided because of bullying.
    She went on to say that her son finally felt safe with a new friend. Wanted to know if he could go to the same school Asher was in, " you see Alicia my boy is trying out newly hyperextended legs, he has been in a wheel chair all his life until now.
    Erin who ever Adam feels most comfortable with, I hope that he can build good solid friendships with them. You are a incredible mom!
    Praying for Your family.

  4. Erin, you are right and bullying in any form is not acceptable. It is so hard to see your child hurt and not be able to take that hurt away, and as a mother you want to hurt those who hurt your child. If a child doesn't seem to "fit the mold" that they become targets. Praise support and encouragement as well as the knowledge that you are there 100% of the time, with your unconditional love will work miracles for Adam. It is a tough age, and kids don't understand why they are treated differently and those that are bullying are trying to fit in and be the tough kid and as you said often hurting in some way. As a parent it is our job to be our children's advocate, and I applaude you as you take on the task of dealing with the issue. As a parent of a bullied child, my heart goes out to him and you. Encourage those friendships which will be a positive influence on Adam. He will be okay and will overcome this challenge with you at his side.

  5. I am so sorry. That is so hard. I understand the pain. All my children are highly sensitive ( The book the Highly sensitive child and the highly intuitive child helped me encourage them way better- you might enjoy the read.) Highly sensitive children get feelings hurt more because they are not naive. They perceive and they are amazing. They need help recognizing that though because the world does not like sensitive people. It goes against our current macho hero culture.
    I am also highly sensitive. It is tougher in boys. I have had many years of counsel to understand this trait and the one thing I can tell you is that your son will grow up to be an amazing man. If he ever gets married he will be one of those husbands that gals dream of...if he recognizes his value. It sounds like you are amazing at showing him that and advocating for him. I also have a son with Asperger's syndrome and it is tough to see him go through social situations so I understand your feelings of helplessness.

    As a mom who deals with this sort of stuff too- I would say to read some books on whatever character attribute/temperaments/ functions he has. You will feel more equipped to guide him through.

    Your children sat behind our family at the music night. I sometimes heard them talking to your hubby. After the concert I said to my hubby, 'Those children are the type of children I want my children growing up with." Really. It is that apparent that they are sweet, good, bright, and sensitive. Too bad they are not in my kids class...or school...but I wanted you to know that I really thought that and I should have told you when I realized who you were.

    I hope it gets better soon and he finds one good friend:)

  6. Thank you so much ladies. the support we have received is overwhelming. I'm not sure if I should show Adam or not. Would he be upset that I shared his struggles or happy that he had so many supporting him?

  7. Show him the posts you want him to see, in your own time. He may be uncomfortable at first, but he could really need to read it & know your community of friends want to see him; rise above the bullying, have a chance to move on to his full potential at 10 years old, and be on a roll towards the future ahead.

  8. Erin...As a girl growing up I was bullied so much, and I know how it hurts. My mom would tell you how much it hurts to watch your child grow up getting hurt by other children. I can tell you that I know how Adam feels. Granted, I am a female, but still. Adam has the heart of an artist, and those hearts are easily broken. I would ask my mom the same questions about people not liking me. My heart goes out to Adam, knowing that his heart is broken. I am sorry that he felt like he had to walk away from an activity that he enjoyed because of the other children. When it comes to letting Adam read this...I don't know. He probably will be embarrassed outwardly, but inside his heart will be bursting with joy over all the people who love and care for him.
    The fact remains that I am just getting to know you, but I have had more than one encounter with your children. You are a wonderful, encouraging mother who wants nothing but the best for your child. And, Bobbi is right. Most of the kids who were really mean to Adam probably won't care...who you might want to think about contacting are the parents. Most parents who have children that are bullies, have no idea what is going on. So...maybe you would want to bring that to light for the other parental units.

  9. So sorry for Adams hurts.....As my kids used to say "Mean people Suck". Hang in there Adam better friends will be your reward

  10. thanks for the laugh Peggy. You're right! Mean people suck! LOL and just a heads up to everyone. I've decided to let the coaches deal with this, as they are as upset as I am. The only provision I asked for was that they mention Adam is not returning as a direct result of their actions (or lack of). thanks again for all your support! xo

  11. You're so right, coping is key. There isn't a parent or child who hasn't lived through some kind of bullying. I've written about this topic, especially pertaining to girls, but it happens so often with boys, too. It is definitely about hurt, but most often about insecurity.
    Keep watching closely, help him find his way in the world, choose the right schools and activities for him, let him follow his heart - I'm sure you always do this, as it's pretty much all that can be done. We feed our children with love, food, culture, knowledge; we give them shelter, protection from the storm, but they cannot escape the evils of the world, the bullying. The best we can do is teach them how to deal, how to make good decisions, and to be compassionate, even in those moments where it seems impossible.
    Thanks for wearing your heart out there on your sleeve. Keep writing!

  12. i sit here... tears streaming as i read your pain and see in your words the fear i carry for my my babies, being realised in your childs life.

    i was both bullied and a bully in my life, when i was bullied i had no mom at home telling me i am wonderful, quite the opposite was my reality, just as when i was being a bully, no one in my family noticed, noone cared. and knowing that everytime i send my daughter to playschool she could meet up with a child just as lost as i was is a contstant concern for me.

    but i am learning to trust God with my children, knowing He loves them more than i do which is incomprehensible and yet true, and i know that with a mom and dad who love them they have more than most bullies ever have, add in Jesus and the scales are tipped in their favor.

    i dont know adam, but i know Jesus and i am sure He knows adam. i will ask for peace in the heart of your son, i will ask that he only beleives the truth about himself, that he is precious, one of a kind, loved by many, and cherished by God.


I truly appreciate your comments and look forward to reading them!