By Kristine John
In parenting, it is often said that the oldest child bears the brunt of the parental learning curve. I believe, that today, I have introduced a steep curve into the already tumultuous waters of beginning teenagehood.
My oldest son has now spent almost 2 full years at our local middle school...enduring bullying...both verbal and physical, and dealing with flat-out sexual harrassment.
(Since when did being nice and not cussing or thinking crude thoughts classify a young man as gay? Has it always been that way?)
On Monday, he was punched "where it counts", and it was witnessed by the PE teacher.
While the teacher did check to make sure Stephen was "ok" numerous times, he did not report the incident or take further action against the student who hit my son.
On top of everything else that has happened, this particular incident was the end for me...I requested a conference with the counselor...wanting to know some coping strategies for my son and for myself.
When she heard the level that things had gotten to, and the names of the kids involved, she asked me to talk to the principal.
(My husband was leery about me going in to begin with, but especially did not want me to go to the principal because he fears more bullying and unkindness will be focused on Stephen).
I agreed to talk with the principal, feeling that I would have a leg to stand on (i.e. a documented meeting) if things got worse in the future.
The principal asked if he could talk with Stephen...and I agreed, thinking at the time that it would help if Stephen felt like he had an adult on his side...
Within about 10 minutes of leaving the principal's office...I have been unsure and worried about my decision to "take this to the next level".
Yes, Stephen only has a few days left of 7th grade...but if the other kids know that Mommy was in the office, he'll have more reprecussions he can deal with.
Unfortunately, there is no way to see how this will turn out until it does just that....turn out...
either positively or negatively....which one still remains to be seen.
Add a prayer to mine that we'll make it through the teenage years with him still talking to me.
Learning curves hurt.