Luke's been getting bullied at school. The first time it happened I was a little angry but brushed it off to "boys being boys". After all, I want my child to be able to fight his own battles one day and maybe standing up to some little jerk kids would help that.
He said a little boy passed around his iPad at his after school program and let everyone play except him. He mocked Luke's voice (high pitched) and told him he couldn't play his game. When Luke offered to help the kid beat a level because he had already done so, the kid told him "You aren't my boss! Leave me alone!" As a mom, I think my blood pressure shot up and I wanted to kick a little six-year-old's ass. But I resisted. I told Luke to tell the teacher if he felt he couldn't handle the situation.
Day two. The little kid and his friend asked to see Luke's artwork then proceeded to tear it up all while laughing. Luke was devastated. He's very serious about his art. It's his passion. He said this particular piece took him 30 minutes to do. I emailed his teacher.
She was awesome. She was visibly upset. Bullying is a touchy subject these days. No tolerance. Although it wasn't happening during her classroom hours, she still took it upon herself to talk with the after-school coordinator.
Things went well the next few days. About a week later, Luke said he had made an elaborate board game. He drew it, cut pieces out, and asked the little bullies if they'd like to play. They said, "sure!" .. then took the pieces from him and tore them all up. Again, I talked with the teacher.
The thing is.. Luke is so painfully shy he won't tell anyone when it is happening. He'll internalize it. He'll even make excuses for the bullies. "Well, they were just playing. They aren't trying to be mean." It is heartbreaking to sit back and watch.
One more time happened with an incident with one of the same kids pushing down his legos he had built. This time, however, a third grader saw the situation and told.
BUT.. the last straw was when the kid punched him in the stomach. HANG ON. You don't touch my child. Much less PUNCH HIM in the stomach. When I say I was livid, it is an absolute understatement. I talked with the coordinator who immediately pulled the kid aside and sat him, Luke, and I in an empty room at a table. I've never seen a kid squirm so bad.
I don't know if it was the fact that I was there or what, but Luke did not back down when confronting the kid. The little jerk kept denying until finally Luke said, "No. It was you. You know it was you." He admitted.
Thankfully we haven't had any more issues. In fact, since that little impromptu meeting the kid has tried to be Luke's friend.
All of this to say that I enrolled him in jiu jitsu classes. After the first class he was a completely different person. He holds himself differently. He has a confidence about him that wasn't there before. They day he got his uniform was hilarious. He was SO excited. He started walking differently!
It's the best thing we've ever done.