Monday, September 17, 2012

My child is hurting... Parenting impotence.

Today Bryn's teacher called me into the room at pick up time.

Yeah, that's never a good sign, is it?

It seems he's been randomly bursting into tears in class over the past few weeks. He's been upset because his house doesn't have a second floor or stairs and other kids in his class does. He's been upset because he got a lovely amber necklace for his birthday and kids asked him why he had a necklace on. He's been upset because he's the only kid in his class with a name starting with B and when the class plays dodgeball (I think) he doesn't have anyone to run with (this also happens to the only child with a name starting with I and the only child with a name starting with L, as well).

He's been telling us these things at home as well, so we already knew about the things that were upsetting him, but until this afternoon, we didn't know about the common denominator.

Apparently, a new kid joined the class this term. Bryn has mentioned this kid a number of times, but not directly in relation to his dissatisfaction with his name or living abode. Turns out the new kid has decided that Bryn's best mate is now his best mate and Bryn is a third wheel. This child has taken to taunting Bryn with the things that make this child and Bryn's best mate similar and which make Bryn different. So, the new kid and the best mate don't wear necklaces. The new kid and the best mate have names with more common first initials and always have someone to run with in dodgeball (though not each other), and the new kid and Bryn both live in houses with stairs and second storeys.

When the new kid taunts Bryn, Bryn gets really mad and has punched or otherwise 'attacked' the new kid. The new kid then tells the teacher and, of course, Bryn gets into trouble. When Bryn tells the teacher about the taunting, the new kid lies and says he didn't taunt Bryn and without evidence the teacher is unable to act.

I've told Bryn when the new kid is annoying him, he needs to walk away because he can't be laying hands on the new kid. I've tried to explain that even though the new kid is being mean, Bryn can't punch him or otherwise physically attack him because then Bryn will get into trouble.

Bryn feels he has no friends now (I'm fairly certain his best mate is still friends with him - at least from his perspective, but Bryn feels like they aren't friends anymore). He is resistant to the idea of making new friends.


I feel so impotent.

I want to make the new kid be inclusive of Bryn, but of course, I can't.

I want the best mate to tell the new kid to leave his friend Bryn alone, but I can't.

I want Bryn to feel safe and included and as if friends last forever, but they don't and every time you make a new friend you risk getting your heart broken - that's life. You've just got to keep swimming and know there will be new friends, and maybe new heartache, but may not.

I want Bryn to make other friends so he can move on from this hurt, but it takes courage to put yourself out there and make new friends, especially if you feel old friends have abandoned you.

I want to make my child's pain go away.

If only parenting was that easy!


Sarah said...

If only Sif, it's heartbreaking isn't it? Some kids are just mean and knowing that it's a sign of their own insecurities really doesn't help (and to be honest, the uncharitable side of me really doesn't care if it's hurting my child).

I used to feel so left out when the teacher divided the class by eye colour as mine are different. Now it's something that I love about myself but at the time I just wanted to fit.

Maybe invite his friend around after school or to do something at the weekend if possible, it may help Bryn to feel more confident in his friendship.

Me said...

Parenting is definitely the hardest job I have ever had (and I have had more than I can remember over 30 odd years) - I felt exactly the same when K was little - I wanted her to be included, to be invited to parties, to have sleep overs on the weekend - but they didn't happen. She was happy to stay at home with A and I doing whatever we were doing.
She would also use her hands when someone annoyed her (and in one instance a hockey stick after hockey training !!!!) and it was so hard to get her to understand that she couldn't use violence against someone who had wronged her even if she was in the right !
Good luck and lotsa hugs - you are doing an amazing job with your children !
Have a great day !

Sif Dal said...

Thanks guys.

I was having a chat with a friend yesterday and realised something like actually happened with my eldest around the same stage of school. He had a best friend, then a new kid came along and his relationship with his best mate cooled. The following two years they were in different classes, but the year after they were in the same class again and the friendship reignited between the three boys (in fact, he ended up closer to the 'new kid' in the end), as well as with some other boys - the group are still friends this year even though some of them have moved onto highschool this year.

So, it's probably not the end of the world, it just feels like it because he is so sad. Dh is going to speak with the teacher today so she is aware of the dynamic, other than that we can only support him in widening his social circle a bit so he isn't so reliant on just one friend for company.

Mr B said...

Oh Sif it is so heartbreaking when they go through stuff like this, when you cant help them and know they just have to figure it out on their own. We have been through this a few times with Beren, and somehow things have always worked out. I agree with arranging playdates with this friend to help the friendship. Also I just kept trying to sound positive to beren and say things like "things will get better".

Good Job!