I am at a loss. There is a situation at my oldest son's school with two boys from his class-his Kindergarten class. Not long before the holiday break, Christian started having trouble with two boys who he had befriended early on in the school year. They were all of a sudden saying, "I'm not your friend anymore." This upset Christian terribly and day in, day out, he would go to school expressing hope that maybe today, they would be his friends again. Then on a Tuesday before the holiday break, I arrived to pick Christian up at school to discover that during lunch one boy had dumped his milk on Christian, and then got the other boy to dump his milk on Christian too. The teacher was immediately on it, sent the boys to the office to talk to the Principal (Christian was asked to go to share his side of the story) and the two boys were given immediate consequences. The day after the milk incident, when I went to pick Christian up from school, he said that both boys had apologized and that they were all friends again! (Said with happy, shiny eyes.) However, when I saw his teacher on the way out, she informed me that the three of them had spent the day getting into trouble together and just didn't seem to be a good fit for each other. Actually, her words were: These three are toxic together. And then the final knife twist: It breaks my heart, because they are already starting to get a reputation with the yard teachers, and they are just so young for that. To a person who spent her life as the "good student", albeit probably mostly a People Pleaser, I felt like I couldn't have heard worse words.
The teacher assured me that she thought part of the recent trouble they were getting into was just that all of the kids were in need of a break. She assured me that after holiday break, she thought things would be much better. She was right. Things have been much better. There are still little things I'm noticing about these boys and I have theories, but mostly I try to just encourage Christian to be friends with kids who want to be his friend and not to spend a lot of time if someone is being mean or says they aren't friends. Other than that, my trusting boy forgives wholeheartedly and if a kid says Sorry, then all is right in the world again.
Today, when I arrived to pick up Christian, I see him cornered by the fence with these two boys. Christian had tears in his eyes and looked very upset. They were in clear view of arriving parents, but not in the line of sight of any of the teachers. I quickly approached and asked Christian what was wrong. He said, "Sasha poked me in the neck." Sasha immediately turned and left, but the other boy (named Elijah) began to taunt Christian- right in front of me- "Don't tell on Sacha. Don't tell on Sasha." The tone was less of a plea and more of a sing song, more of a taunt. It's not the first time I've heard this from this kid. I took Christian's hand, gathered his backpack and began to walk out when Christian said, "I need to tell you something, Mom. Elijah and Sasha were telling me at lunch that they are going to kill me. Then Mrs. Salazar walked us to the office to talk to the Principal. But it's okay because Elijah and Sasha said they are sorry and we are friends again." Sigh. Then as we walked out, I heard the sing song voice again, "You can't tell on Sasha because he already le-ft. You can't tell on him n-ow."
I emailed the teacher tonight to see if there is another side of the story. I just don't know what else to do. I told Christian it's never okay to tell someone you are going to "Kill Them". These are not okay words to use with people. I don't *think* that my son has encountered two psychopathic Kindergartners who are really out to off my son. But, I also don't know what else to do. I have been happy with how the school has handled everything. Today was the first time there has been an incident where I wasn't told first by the teacher. And despite this intermittent social situation, Christian seems to be happy and doing well in school.
This is really the stuff of parenting, isn't it? The tough stuff where there isn't always a right answer. The fact is, it might actually be harder on me than it even is on my son. How do I teach him that we aren't all perfect, and even friends will make mistakes? How do I teach him which things are unacceptable- the kinds of things that require a complete severing of friendships? Frankly, I wonder how much I will have to do with this in his lifetime. Although we first look to our parents to unlock the mysteries of how we became who we are, there are so many things and people that influence that shape along the way. So, I'm doing my best, but I don't seem to be able to make a change for him on this one. At least not yet. So, I try to just be in his corner. I might not say or do the right thing all of the time, but if my kids know 100% that I am in their corner, I think that would be a parenting win.
My boy happy to see me home after work...