This Summer's Challenge: Confidence Building
I was chatting with a teacher at Jack's pre-school (pre-k) and I said I was nervous about him starting kindergarten this fall and she said nonchalantly "I know, that can sometimes be a problem because Jack is such a sweet boy and not all boys at his school will be". And it was like an ice cold hand grabbed my heart. I hadn't even thought about bullies at the new place! But she's right. Jack is sweet natured and he's sensitive. And even in pre-k some of those kids are hideous creatures. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but they are. With some of the kids at the park and even on some of the play-dates we've had, the kids have been downright mean, especially to Danny. I see them, sidling up to him to poke, or push or just plain maul him. I suppose it's nature - the need to exert power on the weakest in the group, like Lord of the Flies.
A few days ago a kid at the park called Jack a wiener. For starters Jack didn't know what a wiener was, but he did know it was a said in a mean way. My initial response was "I hope you told the little thug to bugger off". Not helpful I know, damn my quick tongue. Then I calmed down and I asked him why he didn't stick up for himself and he said "I don't know what that means". So my new challenge is to get Jack to understand the concept of "sticking up for himself". If he has an issue at school, or the park, or even at home with Danny I'm trying make him work it out with no, or minimal input from me. I think it's working. This morning when I took him to pre-k I had to take Danny along and one of the kids did the usual shuffle over (hoping no adult was watching) and started pestering Danny - puling his hood and grabbing him around the neck. Then Jack said rather loudly to the kid "don't do that to Danny!" and the kid stopped and I inwardly cheered. Yea! Big brother came to the rescue and stuck up for his family!
It's going to be hard for me, not to stand over him and protect him for all that is going to happen at school. I hope I can help him build his confidence before he starts there.