Every mothers fear. We bring our kids up with hopes they’ll be at least a little popular. We want them to have friends and have fun. What happens when that plan fails? Here’s our experience with bullies.
Last year was different for us. Cody started staying with us more often so we split custody 50/50. Now I suddenly have a teenager to raise. It was very trying as he was sucking at school and life at my house is very different than life at moms house. So we attacked school issues first and cracked the whip for him to get his butt in gear. I swear my head would spin off every time I saw a mark on parent portal about homework not being handed in. He eventually learned it was scary when my head spun off. Report cards came and he was below average in a lot of classes. His excuse was the teacher doesn’t like me. So I emailed every single teacher. I needed to know why they were picking on our baby. Turns out Cody is exceptionally smart….passes all the tests with A’s. He was lazy however, and rarely turned in homework. Wth dude. Wth.
I sat down with Cody and had a long chat. “Here’s the thing man. Homework sucks. I get it. But do you think a boss is going to let you half ass your way through your career? Do you think any college is going to accept you with these crap grades??? Every time you don’t do an assignment, you’re telling that teacher I don’t care what you say, you have no authority over me, kiss my ass. Is that what you’re goal is? That’s going to get you a nice fancy job at some drive thru making $8 an hour. That’s cool if you want that for your life, but understand you have to support yourself when you turn 18. You will not be camping out in my house for the rest of your life because you couldn’t respect your teachers. Ain’t happening.” So we handled those bully teachers by giving OUR CHILD a slap into reality. He finished the year with As and Bs. It was a struggle but he did it and I was so proud.
We also dealt with peer bullies. His mom text me one day in a panic. “Can you go to the school? Cody is being bullied!” My schedule is way more flexible than hers so I said sure thing. I picked the boy up and said what’s up with the bullies? He said “Well they steal my pencil, move my stuff around, and tell me I’m straight as a circle.” I died laughing. Straight as a circle?! That’s HILARIOUS! He stared at me like I was crazy. I was like come on if they said it to someone else you’d think it was funny. He said well yea. Hahaha Anyway I asked him if he wanted me to handle it. He said they have a bully report they file and then the kids are called into the counselors office. He promised he’d be able to handle it on his own and I made him promise he’d tell me if it got too out of control. In the meantime I asked what could he do himself to change things? He didn’t know. So here’s my advice, Son you’re in 7th grade. It’s time to get rid of the TMNT shirts and start dressing like an adult. Laugh at the jokes, you know you’re not straight as a circle and it’s funny. Also tell that teacher to get your pencil or I’m coming up there to have a chat.
In the meantime, I bought the kid some nice clothes from consignment. Picked him up some Nikes and started working with him on social graces. I contacted the counselor, explained he’d file this report but I didn’t want it to make things worse. She assured me she would keep an eye on it. I also asked her to deal with the teacher. Cody mentioned he asked her to get his supplies back and she responded with she has no control over that. Well sweetie it’s not his fault you don’t have control of your class, so I suggest you get control so my kid can succeed.
Here’s what we learned from this experience…we learned how to cope. We didn’t have to swoop in and save him. We gave him the tools needed to deal with a tough situation, and he handled it all by himself. Here’s the thing, teachers are hard on them for a reason. They have to learn and there’s a large group of different personalities that he or she is trying to teach. I never once let the teacher hold an ass chewing for my kids grade. You know why? It was his own fault! If he didn’t get the material, he should’ve asked for help. But it was his own laziness that got him there so why should the teacher hold that? My son learned respect for authority because I didn’t tell her she was wrong in front of my child.
My son learned to let things roll because we laughed at the bullies. Straight as a circle has become one of our favorite phrases in this house. He learned how to adjust to make a tough situation manageable. I hope he takes these lessons and applies them in his life. You see, people are going to say and do things we don’t like all the time in the real world. He’s not going to be able to call mama to deal with the hard stuff as an adult. If he doesn’t do his work in a real job, he’s fired. If his boss is mean to him, mama has no power. And what woman wants to marry a man that runs to mama every time he gets a booboo? Mic drop. 😂