Friday, December 7, 2012

Simon, the Santa hat and the bullies...

Yesterday I proceeded to ask Simon the normal after school questions...What made you happy today at school? His response is usually long as he speaks of specials, his friends, his teacher, and the bus ride. Then I ask "what made you sad today at school?" His response to this question normally is "oh nothing" or "I was sad because we didn't have science today", EXCEPT yesterday he proceeded to tell me how 2 boys from his class were picking on him and kept taking his Santa hat off and throwing it in the dirt. He told me he handled it "sponsibly" (he loves using big words) and told his teacher and the boys received "consequences". Him and I had a conversation about the incident and how he did handle it very well and I felt the teacher handled the situation at school correctly as well.
This morning as he declared he did not want to wear his Santa hat to school and would only wear it on days he did not see the two boys, my heart broke for him. It was not only his Santa hat that was damaged yesterday, but also his free spirit and his little heart.
While he is at school today I will wash the dirt off his hat and when he comes home hopefully attempt to repair the damage done by the other little boys. This is a teachable moment and an opportunity to discuss with Simon the damage words and actions can do and the lasting effects they may have. We will also talk about how brave he was to be different and hopefully by Monday I will send him off to school rocking his Santa hat again!

How would you handle the situation? Any good book recommendations that would help him understand bullies or that it is ok to be different?

UPDATE: After publishing the blog this morning a friend shared a link that contained a list of books about some tough topics we may face as parents ( As I read through the little reviews, the book Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy grabbed my attention because it was so similar to what we were dealing with.  As I searched the internet for a little more information about the book and the author I not only found out she was local but also having a book signing tonight!  So right after school we trekked out to the Barnes and Noble to pick up a hard copy of Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun and her new book The Potato Chip Champ.  We all had a great time meeting Maria, chatted a bit, took a few pictures and got some autographs.  She also told Simon how cool his Santa hat was and shared with him that the little girl "Lucy" in the story was really her and how she was teased when she was little.  After we came home we sat down together and read the book, discussed the feelings of the characters (which opened up some dialogue about his own feelings sometimes) and allowed us an opportunity about doing the right thing, since at the end of the book Lucy does help the bully when he needs it, even though she really wants to tell him what a meanie he is.  It was great to see him smile again and sport his Santa hat again!
Simon reading Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun

The 2 books we picked up tonight written by Maria Dismondy (who is also the co-author of Juice Box Bully)

To visit Maria Dismondy's website/blog and learn more about her books:

1 comment:

  1. I will have to share those books with my kids. They have had bully issues too.