Thursday, October 20, 2011

Licking Shoes

My little boy Blue would like very much to control everything in his world, including his gross little 7th grade friends.  They chew pencils, pen caps, strings from their jackets.  They tap on desks, kick chairs, talk too much and laugh at things that in his opinion, are not funny.

I have not observed him in class, only at home where he would like to control his brother's every move including, the way he chews his food, bites his nails and cuticles, and even the way he breathes way too loud!  He gives a huge reaction, which is all his brother needs to continue the action and even exaggerate it.  He loves nothing more than to see his little brother all flustered and upset.  It's a huge pay off for him.  This is typical of any sibling relationship.

The same deal of course goes at school.  Children are not going to allow some kid to control them and for some, seeing his over-reaction is just cause to increase the annoying behavior.

So there is a boy who is in most of his classes.  In Blue's eyes, he exhibits a number of annoying behaviors.  All of his classmates know how much Blue over-reacts. This kid pretends to lick the bottom of his shoes and the order to taunt Blue into a reaction, which of course, he definitely gives him.  The child apparently, also referred to Blue one day by saying, "Hey Black boy!" Blue is quite upset by this.

He comes home and tells me how he is being bullied.  I don't appreciate the "black boy" reference.  However, I tell Blue that he can not control the actions of others.  What he can try to control is his reaction to it.  "Don't give him your power," I say to him.  "It's like you are handing over a paycheck to this boy for his behavior.  Simply walk away."

"I can't! He's in every class and he is distracting me on purpose."   Apparently, the young man really steps up the action at the end of the day.  Blue leaves that class upset quite often.  Then he starts saying "I don't want to go to school.  The kids don't think I'm cool.  They think I'm weird."  When we start to talk about it, he tells me of a conversation about girls, where he tells people, who are not his friends that he thinks girls and their germs are gross.  He doesn't like kissing, etc.  Well this is just great ammunition for kids who don't have your best interest at heart.

I decide to have a conversation with the Counselor, his Special Education teacher and the school Psychologist so that they can assist with squashing some of this distracting behavior.  I also ask them to work with Blue on his reactions and over-sharing with peers who are not really his friends.

So far things are better.  But of course when I ask Blue, "How was your day at school?" He says, " was o.kay."
"Just o.k.?" I ask.
"Yeah...things are better with the kid, but my Math teacher yelled at me."

You can't please all of the people all of the time...but you can not please the people in my house hardly ever.

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