I thought I was a cool parent. In fact I thought my son’s friends thought I was a cool parent. Not a friend, but a cool parent. There is definitely a difference. I have my rules and I don’t budge on those, but I also consider myself to have a good sense of humor and a young personality. Well, over the past week I got a reality check.
For those of you that follow this blog you know that my son, CHASE, has a classmate that continues to pick on him, and being anxious, Chase needs coaching from time to time. So the other day he told me that this classmate saw him going down the hall to the water fountain. Knowing that Chase has a fear of the dark, this boy and his “partner in crime” waited for Chase to get well inside the vacant hall on his way to the water fountain and then the boy turned out the light on Chase. This caused Chase to slip and fall in the water that they had spilled in the hall and then Chase panicked. The two boys laughed and ran off. He was so embarrassed that he yelled. “I’m going to kill whoever did that!”
He told me about the incident and I said, “Part of the reason that the boy continues to pick on you is because you give him the reaction that he is looking for. Remember bullies are looking for attention. Why don’t you just say something like, “Whatever dude.” or “Yo, totally uncool.” ” He didn’t respond. I thought he must be processing this and thinking about when he might use it.
A few days later he told me that another boy in his class told one of his good friends that he was a “know it all”. His friend told Chase what the other boy said and so I replied, “Well at your age people get jealous of each other easily and maybe that boy is jealous because you are so smart. If you want to make friends then tone it down a little and don’t always show how much you know.” Then I said, “Why don’t you say, “Yo man, that’s what I’m good at. You’re probably good at basketball or something right?” He was quiet again and again I thought I had done a good job and now he was processing what I said. About thirty seconds went by and he looked at me and said, “Mom, we don’t talk like that.” I said, “What?” “You are talking like a surfer guy or something we don’t talk like that.”
I realized that I was out of my league and said, “Well, it’s just an example. Put it in your own words.” Later that night I had to laugh at myself. “I’m not as cool as I thought.”