Thursday, September 24, 2009

I’m Going To The Mat

Both my husband and I grew up in the public school system, and in some ways, it made us stronger.

So we have chosen the same for our boys.  Each day we wake them up, get them ready, and send them off.  When they get home, we listen carefully for things we need to talk about.

One of my sons has a good group of Christian friends, for which I am eternally thankful.   Together, they take heart and stand firm in the face of those who ridicule their values and academic dedication. 

Apart from his new found fondness for the shaggy-dog-look, he is pretty much unaffected by the mainstream kids and culture. 

My other son is not so lucky.  His peer group doesn’t seem to possess the same internal metal.  Even the kids who should know better are being swayed by the classroom bully.    

This son comes home discouraged, and wakes up begging to stay home.  It’s been getting worse.  But when I asked if he wanted me to talk to the teacher, he assured me it would only make things worse.

This week he brought home a new school-wide discipline policy for me to sign.  It outlined stricter guidelines and more specific consequences for certain behaviors.  I was heartened and a bit frightened at the same time.  Could it be that bad?

I’m counting on the teachers to reign supreme in their classrooms and remove any children that don’t follow the rules.  But I’m not naive.  I know how tough it can be to make kids treat each other with respect.  You can’t be everywhere, all the time.  And things get missed. 

Those who are hurt become masters of covering their pain.  And intervention from adults really can (in some cases) make it worse. 

So, what’s a mom to do?

Secretly, this Momma Bear wants to storm the classroom. Take the bullies by their ears.  And escort their little bratty behinds to the office.  Then dust the dust off my fuzzy slippers and post myself guard at their classroom door.  Lest the little hell-raisers be allowed to escape.    

However, for the moment, I’m going to the mat for my son in a different way.  I’m arming him with a truth he can remind himself of often.   

It has to do with self-worth.   

But now, this is what the Lord says…”Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned…

Isaiah 43:1-2

We have value because God has chosen us, paid the ultimate price for our redemption, and calls us His own.  And there is nothing on earth which we, or anyone else, can do or say which will ever diminish or change that. 

Especially not the hateful and antagonistic words of bully.

Of this, I will remind him every day. 

We will also pray together about the situation, and ask for wisdom.

Wisdom for him when these situations arise, as well as for the teachers and parents who can make a difference.

I’m going to the mat for my son, in prayer.   


Mari said...

It's the best way - even when we want to storm the place. My daughters had the same kind of situation. The oldest had a wild class, while my second had such a great group with positive peer pressure. However, in part because of dealing with that all through school, my oldest developed a strong will and is much quicker to speak up about what she believes in, while my second daughter never had to.

Raise Them Up said...

Thanks, Mari, for the encouragement. I've second guessed my course a thousand times this week. And yet, the last thing I want to do is make things worse.

It Feels Like Chaos said...

Thank you for your witness on this subject. We, too, are doing public school, and I pray that through it my kids will learn to stand strong in their faith and also to share what they believe with the mainstream world. I am confident you are making a lifelong impression on your son about how to handle tough situations!