This week I have finally experienced what it is to see your child bullied. I have seen my children left out, ignored, overlooked, and feelings hurt. However, I have never seen any of them actively bullied until this week.
Of course it was Alex who was the victim as my other kids are much more able to stand up for themselves and Ben in particular would be likely to kick someone's ass who gave him a hard time.
Alex insisted on playing lacrosse this spring, I think mostly because Isaac is playing and he really looks up to his older brothers, especially Isaac. So...I was a little leary, lacrosse being a somewhat aggressive, difficult sport and probably not the best choice for a young child with motor planning and sensory processing difficulties. However, he REALLY wanted to play and I didn't want to discourage him. And of course, there are several boys on his team who are the uber-athletic type (even at age 6) and have no patience for kids who are less, ahem, athletic. To be fair, Alex has done better than I anticipated. He certainly does not stand out as the worst kid on the team. However, when kids pick on him, he responds inappropriately which makes him more of a target. More socially aware kids would keep their mouths shut or just tell the kid to shove it. Alex is more likely to lecture or cry. Can you say "Target"????
So at practice, I began to see one child in particular shove Alex or whack him with his lacrosse stick each time he came near. Then I heard the taunts. And the way the other, less dominant kids started staying clear of Alex, not wanting to be associated with him and therefore the target of taunting as well. Alex has taken it pretty well, considering. He says he still likes lacrosse, just not his team.
Now he wants to play tackle football like his older brothers. This may be wrong on my part, but I insisted on soccer, for now (he has played in the past and it is a much more civilized environment for young children). I (not Alex, me!!) need a break from the bullies and their parents who do nothing to stop it. So...this is one of those parenting dilemmas that is really a judgment call and I may be really screwing it up. But I am opting for a peaceful soccer season and putting off football for at least another year. Alex is one of those kids teetering between the special needs world and the "normal kid" one. He doesn't completely fit into either one. So I feel the need to find the soft spots for him for at least a little while longer. Whether this is "right" or "wrong", I don't know, I am going with my gut on this one!!
Thoughts on Newtown
5 years ago