View from the chair

Don’t sacrifice the boys…

I was watching my students play yesterday at recess.  I watched an encounter between two students.  I saw the whole thing!

GIRL STUDENT comes over to me crying and holding her shoulder.   I mean she really had the tears going.  She said BOY STUDENT pushed her down while rubbing and crying even more.

I call BOY STUDENT over.  I asked him what happened.  He said he fell over.

Give yourself a moment to process this scene.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Process.

What does it look like?

This is what happened.  BOY STUDENT is very clumsy.  He struggles with gross motor skills.   I saw the whole encounter.  They were both going for a ball and to his true form BOY STUDENT fell over something…a blade of grass…an air pocket…an ant…who knows?  But he did fall.  When he fell he landed on GIRL STUDENT.  BOY STUDENT promptly got up and tried to shake off his embarrassment.  GIRL STUDENT instantly starts to cry and comes running over to me.

I told GIRL STUDENT I saw the whole thing and he did, in fact, fall over as she knew.   I also told her not to create drama.  She was bumped not injured.  When she saw I was not going to put BOY STUDENT in time out or anything her tears stopped and she was instantly fine.

Why is this important?  In the light of the #metoo movement, I think we are looking for evil in every male.  Not all boys are evil and grow up to predators.  Not all men are sitting across the alley with a box of donuts and a telescope.  Are there predators. Yes. Are there men (and women) who have crossed a well-defined line…YES!   Please… let’s not program our young boys into thinking they are always at fault.  I don’t have any answers as to how to deal with this on a global level but I just wanted to share that often times there are two sides to every story.

To conclude this story I also spoke to BOY STUDENT that when someone gets knocked over, boy or girl, it is always kind to offer a hand to help them up.  If they are hurt or upset walk them to an adult to be a friend.  Don’t run away thinking you will be in trouble.   Common courtesy is always a good thing.

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17 Comments

  1. Donna Gnann

    Very wise….I liked your take on this. There is a big difference between rough play and intentional hurtfulness. All kids play rough weather the are challenged or not accidents happen. Good call on the response to the girl lets not make all boys the bullys. I have known a few girls who are bullys on purpose. I wish life was more simple….but I wish Jesus would come back to get us too!

  2. You make a very good point. It is so important for boys to know that they will also be listened to. 🙂

  3. Pen

    Common courtesy is indeed a good thing. I am not sure that clumsiness and poor gross motor skills can be the cause of the misogyny, sexism and rape and violence culture brought to the fore by the #metoo movement. I’d say the patriarchy is to blame for that! Pen x #thesatsesh

  4. Well handled … just a pity we can’t always be present at moments like this … because it is very importamnt to not take a testimony at face value, or one person’s version of a story as “fact”. #AnythingGoes

  5. I do like your approach and the way you handled it. Not enough people use the hard facts and evidence like you did. Im a mum of 5 boys and i know all too well how people can ‘judge’ boys and their behaviours

  6. Being a mother of two boys and also having been a survivor of much abuse in my life, it took me a long time to not see all men as evil. The problem is the bad men are making the rest of them look bad but it isn’t even just that. It’s the mentality that we have to change, particularly with the rape culture. I do love how you handled the situation though. You know the kids and you saw the whole thing. Kids do often times feel like when someone bumps into them it’s always on purpose. Good call with the correction of both kids. #anythinggoes

    1. beachchairtracy

      I am glad you have found your voice as a survivor! I do agree the bad men seem to be in the primary light. In the age of social media and news on demand, we are hearing more about it. As a teacher, I try to use teachable moments. Don’t always nail it but this was one of those positive times.

  7. Tracy, you handled that beautifully! And taught a valuable lesson. If all parents took advantage of these teaching moments, we could solve a lot of the world’s problems before they even got started! #TriumphantTales

  8. True this. I’m a mom of four boys, so I have a soft spot in my heart for them. We have one son who has to work harder than the others at the common courtesies because he’s so stinkin’ contrary. Ha! They are each different. I love that you coached them both on how to handle these life situations.

  9. You make a good point and I actually see this between my two boys. The youngest often claims he’s been hurt, as if intentionally, when that clearly hasn’t been the case. But it’s true, boys shouldn’t be vilified just for being boys. And maybe girls need to be taught to have a bit more spine too. #triumphanttales

    1. beachchairtracy

      I like the way you put that. A bit more spine. Big difference between being bumped and hurt!

  10. A really, really important message here. It’s a good job you saw exactly what was going on. #thesatsesh

  11. It was good that you saw what happened. My boy got into trouble a lot when he was at school, but at home and in the park he is the most gentle, friendliest little boy. I had big problems believing he was causing all this trouble, and since he’s been taught at home I’ve heard lots of his side of the story that he wasn’t willing to share before. There are always two sides to every story, but it’s so easy to label a child as troublesome.

  12. Hi Tracy, very well put. It’s a shame that society has got this he/she thing going on. Yes, improper behaviour does happen, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always done with intent and it certainly isn’t solely the male population that is guilty of improper behaviour. It sounds like you handled the situation nicely. And maybe next time the lad will stop and offer an hand and the girl will gratefully and graciously take it.

    Thank you for linking up with #keeingitreal.

    xx

  13. Marko

    I think people today are way way way oversensitive over small issues , where this leads i don’t know , but i know i do not want to be part of that kind a behavior and culture

  14. Absolutely. Such an important message to be teaching our children. Thank you for sharing with #TriumphantTales

  15. So often people jump to one side or another. It’s great tat you saw the whole thing so could rationalise things with the little ones. #keepingitreal

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