What keeps a mother up at night? A baby you say? Well yes that too..
But what kept me up 2 nights ago and is still bugging me incessantly throughout the day is that fact that Jah woke up sobbing at 2am, telling me that he really doesn’t want to go to school tomorrow. We have had our fair share of Jah procrastinating on Monday mornings and whinning about going to school (especially when weekends are so fun!) But we love school!!! and I have never heard him so desperate to get my buy-in to “not go to school”.
In between sobs, I managed to pick up a few keywords on what or more specifically WHO was bothering him and then I spent 2 hours soothing him back to sleep. After which I stayed awake for what was left of that ‘night’, trying to figure out what to do. I don’t think any mother would be able to go back to bed, knowing her child was fearing the inevitable tomorrow but not being able to do much about it.
Yes Jah was afraid of someone in school, another kid, a friend who was bullying him. I don’t have enough details to know whether the child is even aware of what he is doing and if it is malicious or maybe bullying is too strong a word in this instance. But the fear and confusion that Jah is going through it very real for him and it hurts me.
I suppose the details of what this child is doing is not so important at this point and I have already pointed out what I think the child is doing (from whatever info Jah is able to verbalize and tell me) to the teachers. I am very grateful that Jah has teachers who truly care for his well-being and whom I can be trust and be honest and open with.
My dilemma now is how do you teach a 3 year old to protect himself, without teaching him to literally fight back. How do you explain that fine line between protecting himself and also becoming a bully or becoming violent? How do you explain to him, when enough is enough and a firm NO! to the bully is no longer enough? How do you teach him the self discretion/ self control that sometimes even adults dig deep to muster or struggle so much with?
For now I can only try my best to be his safe haven. To let him know that he does not need to bottle up his feelings/ hurt/ fears and that he can talk to us about anything. For now I can only try to make him understand that we are on Team Jah, have been and always will be. For now I can only tell him that only the ‘bad guys’ have to be scared of school because his teachers are there to protect the ‘good guys’ like him. For now I can only teach him to assert himself, say No! to the ‘bully’ and hope it is enough for this ‘bullying’ to go away.
For now I can only make sure that I am there for him at the end of each day, with a big hug for my brave boy…For now we have to pray..
P.S – I would love to hear any ideas/ tips on how to deal with ‘bullying’ or any thoughts on how to calm the little fella..even if not applicable to us, maybe it might help someone else whose kid is being bullied.