GWE and I have recently been alerted to a growing issue at Justin’s daycare. It seems as though one child has become a bully to other children (especially Justin) and has even “recruited” another kid to help him. I sensed there was an issue when I would drop Justin off at school and he’d cling to me for no reason yelling at the other child, “YOU CAN’T SEE ME.” I would pull him aside to ask what was wrong. He would try to tell me what was bothering him, but really didn’t know how to verbalize it and I chalked it up to “growing pains.”
On Monday, I dropped Justin off at school. As I turned the corner to leave, I saw “Bully #1” and “Bully #2” position themselves on either side of Justin and begin to provoke him. I quickly sped up to get to Justin and I heard him say “I don’t like that!” Then, he followed it up with “I NEED MY SPACE.” And finally, with nothing left in his arsenal of words and the bullies not stepping away – he turned around and punched one of the kids in the head so hard that he dropped like a rock (Actually, Justin’s 12 weeks of Karate kicked in and he pivoted around perfectly, lock eyes onto his target, and with a closed fist he smashed the other kid in the head.) He quickly turned to me with tears in his eyes and I could see that he was bothered by his own actions. In retrospect, it was like watching Bruce Banner become The Incredible Hulk and then quickly return to his mild mannered self.
Here is the hard part as the parent: on the one hand, violence is not the answer. However, there are times when life sucks and you’ve used all the words that you can use and now you have to defend yourself. I know it’s not PC, but I’m glad he punched the other kid. I’m proud of him for defending himself. My only regret is that he didn’t say “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry!” right before he turned green and clobbered the other guy!!