Friday, August 8, 2008

Good Friends, Old Times and Non-Violence

When we were in Florida, there was an incident with my son and another child we did not know where my child got punched in the chest. The children were playing football and apparently the child that hit mine took the game rather seriously. Once he was hit, my child burst into tears and ran to tell me and his uncle who we were visiting at the time.

The incident spawned a big discussion about how you teach a 7-year-old to respond appropriately in contentious situations. I have always preached non-violence, and his uncle tried to explain that sometimes non-violence works, while other times you need to react. I thought we handled the situation well, particularly since he gave the child much more insight into manhood than I could.

Fast forward two months and a child calls my son a "Bobblehead" at school. What does my son do? He hauls off and hits the offender. I think there may have been some memory of the incident from the summer, I most definitely think that there was some repressed anger toward his father, and I think he had just had enough of this particular child.

The teacher saw the incident and called me. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on what I should have done, and then I'll share what I did do. Here is some background you may want to know before you give me your opinion:

1. My son's birthday was the day before the incident. His father did not call or acknowledge the child's 8th birthday in anyway.

2. My son's initial reaction to everything is to cry. He got that from his mom. In this instance he did not cry until his teacher told him she had to call me.

3. He is the oldest of three children, the girls are 5 and 6.

4. The incident happened near the end of the school day.

5. One week earlier, the same child that called my son a bobblehead also told him that he should not support Barack Obama because Barack is proposing to put a $100 tax on toys for children.

The last one was irrelevant to hitting issue, but I couldn't help but mention it. :)
What would you do?

Summer's Out and School's In?

As my Chicago days were relaxing and theraputic, they were quick to liven on the morning of July 29. Here is a sample of the subject lines of emails I received that day:

1. "First Grade Move In Day"

2. "Second Grade Flag Football Team Information"

3. "Girls' Fall Soccer Registration Information"

4. "2008-09 Parent Volunteer Opportunities"

5. "Classmate's Birthday Party"

6. "Book Exchange for Elementary School Students"

7. "Student Health Forms Due NOW:

My chest started tightening, my lips were pursed, and I could not breathe. The anxiety and anticipation of the upcoming school year was coming, it was almost too much to bare. School supplies, school clothes, PE shoes, and more had me freaking out!

Somehow I managed to breathe and medidate my way out of that experience. I have gotten some things accomplished while on vacation, but the first two weeks back in Dallas are going to be pretty jam-packed. We had to go to the school today to turn in some forms...and guess what? The chest tightening started all over again.

Do you have back to school anxiety for your kids? How do you overcome it?

Heading Home

As my 6 week adventure has come to an end, the writing is not. I took some time off to visit more destinations, and have had more enlightening experiences. Tonight I am at my final stop and have gathered more knowledge about life lessons in the past 6 hours than possibly at all in the past 6 weeks...and I definitely garnered a lot in the 6 weeks. The bottom line is that this summer was AMAZING and I will be writing about it for weeks to come. For now, I need to get some rest...I'm hitting the road home in the morning.