In kindergarten, we had a problem with Jack getting bullied. He is such a sweet, friendly, enthusiatic, tender-hearted boy. The same characteristics that make him a great kid also make him an easy target for bullies. Cory and I talked and talked to him about how to handle the bullies (which he usually forgot as soon as the bullies started to pick on him.) We talked to his teacher many times, which did not do anything to help the situation. Eventually, we talked to the principal. He seemed genuinely concerned about the situation and tried to help, but at that point it had been going on for so long, and it was so close to the end of school, that I don't think much changed.
The bullying situation has left me in a tough spot as a mother. It was completely heartbreaking, infuriating, and frustrating that these kids were picking on my sweet, wonderful little boy. And there was nothing I could do about it. Even when volunteering at the school and witnessing it, I had no authority to step in and discipline the bullies. There is nothing worse than feeling completely helpless as you watch some kid hit your baby while unable to do anything about it. Jack would look at me as if saying "Do something." It was horrible.
Now, we are preparing for first grade. I have been carefully considering what to do. Do I request Jack not to be in the same class with the bullies, or do I let him learn a real life lesson about fighting his own battles? Both choices have appeal. Jack has been taking karate over the summer, so hopefully he will have some self confidence to stand up to the bullies. On the other hand, these particular kids have already marked him as a victim, so maybe they won't care about his new found confidence, and will pick on him anyway. It is hard to balance wanting to protect him from everything, and letting him learn to handle things on his own.
After agonizing over it, I decided to request him to not be in the same class as the bullies. Cory went to the school today and filled out the paperwork. I know that there may be other bullies, but hopefully, he will not be an easy target for them. These (2) particular kids already have him marked, and I don't think I would be okay with not being able to do anything about them for another year. I know I can't micro-manage every aspect of his life, but he is still just a little kid, and I have to do whatever I can to protect him. I feel like I made the right choice. I hope I am right!