Kids are brutal …

I am not sure if when you think back to being at school they are happy thoughts, or you are possibly gripped by a sense of nausea as you reminisce over how mean and cruel kids were.

School is like a dirty petri dish of social pressure, with you having a bad-hair-year, buck teeth, braces if you were super unfortunately, and a combination of gangly limbs with bad skin.

To fit in to the “social structure” that exists at a school is brutal.

I would not wish it on anyone, and unfortunately I drop my kids off at school each day to go through it.  I am scared of high school for my kids, and they are years away from it – but primary and pre-school are bad enough.

I often get stories about who was mean to whom, who was horrible, who called one of them names and so on.  Some times my kids are really upset.  Often it makes me want to turn the car around, drive back to school, find the little sh&t and smack them against the side of the head.

I have twice phoned parents of kids that my son has had an issue with, and generally my experience has been, it has not really made a huge difference.

I have realised that it is rather naive to think all kids are going to like my kids, and really my kids do not have to like every one else.

As long as they do not beat the crap out of other kids, and visa versa, then that is the best I can hope for.  I can’t hope for anything more in the world that is the Nirvana of schools.

Kids are brutally honest, and really horrible little people, who say really mean things, and are too small to box in the face.

They say mean things to each other and hurt each other’s feelings.  This goes on all day, and sooner or later someone says something mean to your child and then your child is crying to you about how “everyone is mean to them….”  and you are going to feel like a dagger has been plunged in to your chest, and your “I am the lioness and I will defend my child” moment will happen to you.

I was lucky enough to have older brothers at the schools I went to (barring the Girls’ School) and they helped to pave the way for me arriving.

There is something “safe” about arriving in a school if you have had a sibling there already.  For one you know a few older kids, and you always have a posse in the event someone bullies you, and you have established “street cred” to a degree.

Well, that has been my experience.

Someone recently had a conversation with me about how they were feeling anxious about their child, who is considered “mixed race” and how this child will be accepted at school – and how they will be picked on and what they should do.

Honestly I have no idea.

I think the “trick” might be to give your child a safe home and a good grounding, that they know who they are, but we aware to teach them to bestreet wise and judge a situation for what it is – rather than what they think it is.

Tell them at home they are beautiful and clever, so they believe it, and have enough of the positive vibe before they get to school and get the snot kicked out of them.

After that there is really nothing you can do.

Kids are mean and really cruel.  If you have anything different about you, kids pick up on it and use it as the point to pick on you.

It is lovely to have a quirky child, but I like to try to aim my kids into the main stream centre – for their own protection.  They can be all quirky and skew eyes in the privacy of their home, but when they go into the “gladiator pit that is school” then I need them not to spread blood in the water to attract the sharks.

Connor is blonde.  Connor has blue eyes.  Connor is an attractive child, and does not have a third arm, or an eye in the middle of his forehead.

Connor does not really have a personal hygiene issue (more than any 10-year-old boy).  He is friendly, well liked, and has a good gaggle of friends.  Connor is pretty main stream as kids go  – so he just fits in.

Connor gets picked on because he has freckles.  That is what the kids decide to make fun of him about, and call him names, and that is what he comes home crying about.

I think my point is that no matter who you are, or what you look like, you will get picked on sooner or later.

Your child as well!!  So brace yourself for it.

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10 Comments

  1. I fear for my kids too. Already, when I fetch Liam from school and spot him sitting off to the side, staring wistfully at the other kids running around and playing together, I feel my heart start to sink. You’re right though, we need to “school” them at home about how wonderful they are, I think self confidence and a feeling of self worth go a long way in helping a kid deal with the brutality of the playground jungle.

    Reply
  2. And hence, we spend a cool R 23 000,00 in hard cash last year to fix the Princess’ “bakoortjies”. But I know something else will be found – she is super tall and although the netball coach has already noticed her goal to be, she will get teased at some stage about that. Or whatever else….

    Reply
  3. Totally off topic….I love your new pictures on the side. Awesome you are.

    Reply
  4. Tania

     /  February 16, 2012

    I have told my 10 year old son, and also my 4 year old daughter, when they’ve come home complaining that someone said something nasty, ” Tell what’s herface/his face to get lost and stop talking nonsense as he/she are jealous and nasty. ” . It’s worked so far. ( I also do not make a big fuss about it and my children then don’t get all upset about what was said. )

    Reply
  5. Mumto2littlegirls

     /  February 16, 2012

    My daughter is nearly 5. She goes to speech therapy and I am so scared that when she’s a bit older kids will pick on her. At the moment the kids are too young to notice her speech problems. And yes I agree, if anyone emotionally hurts my child I will want to rip their little throats apart!!

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  February 16, 2012

      My only advise is to get a child to speech therapy early – both my kids have used speech therapy and it seems to be something that “is under the radar” when they are younger. Better to do speech therapy now, so that hopefully by 7 or 8 their speech fits in with their friends.

      I really have benefitted from speech therapy and sometimes a combination of OT to push it into high gear. Good luck.

      Reply
    • Tania

       /  February 16, 2012

      My son spent his 5th year of life going through Speech Therapy – He still lisps, now at age 10 – He just now has the confidence to tell the others to buzz off. I don’t see the benefits of speech therapy. Plus, ever watch TV talk show presenters, how many of them can’t speak properly and have serious lisps, not to mention singer, Adele. So…. it seems… children with speech impediments achieve great things in life.

      Reply
  6. Sharon

     /  February 16, 2012

    This is something I have thought a lot about with Ava. Her mixed race origins and then that she’s adopted open’s the door to all kinds of cruelty and meanness from other children. But then I realized that even if she did look like me, all blonde and blue eyed and even if she weren’t adopted, they’d find something to tease her about. Just like Conner who gets teased for his freckles because there is a lack of anything else to tease him about.
    It’s harsh and it will hurt her and it will hurt me but it is sadly, all a part of growing up.

    Reply
  7. I had to pull my son out of kindegarten yesterday after a child tried to gouge his eye out. I knew their would be teasing in life all kids get it but Ewan is utterly normal and I thought school would be fine. He ends up at school with a two year old bully and I am stuck in parents meetings and wishing this wasn’t how school started for him.

    Reply
  8. Am dreading this part of my kids’ lives. My little chap will be going to boarding school and has a cerebral palsy sister. So “they” will have stacks of ammo against him. We have started prepping him. Still, I dread the first time he comes home to tell me about the jeering, that I know for certain will happen.

    Reply

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