April 6, 2010

playground politics

My son, El Fuego, came home with a communication slip after school today. For fighting. Physically pushing, shoving and hitting with another student. The "other kid". It wasn't until I opened his backpack and found the slip starring up at me that he remembered it was there and melted.

The first thing out of his mouth, of course, was that is was the "other kid's" fault. Which I believe. We've had problems with this "other kid" before not just with El Fuego but also with my kindergartner daughter, Miss Divine. The "other kid" reminds me of Eddie Haskell with an Italian mobster-esque look. "Other kid" even sounds like he is straight up New Jersey. Not even kidding. "Other kid" talks big to adults and stirs the pot with his peers. It drives me nuts. "Other kid" drives me nuts. Not to mention the fact "other kid" was trying to get Miss Divine to kiss and hold hands a few months back, "other kid" also managed to get Miss Divine banned from playing on all but one playground for a week while "other kid" got free rein of the equipment. In my opinion, loose lips should of had full rein of a bench in the office during recess leaving Miss Divine free to play on the monkey bars in peace.


Just last week a facebook friend was very upset about her child getting hurt by another child at a play area at the local mall. Her son walked away with a black eye and the mother of the other child didn't even seem to notice her offspring was involved in a tussle. Just days after hearing about that, I happened to come across Desperately Seeking Parents written by Dr. Paterno which I loved.

But....what do we do as parents to arm our children with protection when we aren't around??

At first we told El Fuego to be nice to "other kid" even though he doesn't necessarily like the kid. And that worked for a while. Now it's at the point where I am so annoyed with "other kid" that just the sound of "other kid's" name makes me feel stressed and angry.

We told El Fuego that it was OK to protect himself if he is being physically harmed. Of course it's best to go find a teacher for help, but in most situations there just isn't time for that. I believe this was one of those times that El Fuego was "kicked" into a situation where he felt threatened and therefore protected himself.

His very kind teacher does what she has to do although I think she understands our predicament. I heart her. We've been lucky that El Fuego's first and second teachers have been not only super people but outstanding teachers.

For now we feel we have given El Fuego the tools he deserves to protect himself and delegate his relationships. There is always going to be an "other kid" no matter what class or environment we find ourselves in. I, myself, have an "other kid". We all do really. At the end of day, we just try our best, as parents, to grow our children happy and healthy with minimal "other kid" difficulties.

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