Thursday, October 06, 2005


My boys don’t get a lot of freedom. I know where they are and who they’re with at all times.

So yesterday when they asked if they could play football whilst J was at her swimming lesson, I hesitated. But bearing in mind J attends the swimming class at the boys’ school, and the lads wouldn’t be further than twenty feet from the building and still on school grounds, I decided it wasn’t a big deal and gave them permission on condition they didn’t wander off and were back before the lesson finished.

P was chuffed, as being only seven, he’s only recently reached an age that I’ll dare to allow him out of my sight. But unbeknownst to me other boys joined them in their kick around.

When they told me I didn’t see a problem, as only pupils from the school are allowed on school grounds. Not until P announced one of the boys had been calling him names and telling him to ‘P*ss off’.

I asked R why he allowed his little brother to be spoken to in this way, and R explained that this boy, although in his school year, was prone to do as he liked and R didn’t feel up to tackling him. Indeed it seems this very same boy received an internal suspension yesterday, for getting into a fist fight in the playground. An all round charming lad.

Now usually I don’t believe it’s wise to get involved with disputes and tale-telling between the kids and their friends. But I’m cross, because this boy is four years older than P and should know better. Plus now I don’t feel comfortable allowing P to go play football next week, because I can’t chance him thinking this behaviour is acceptable and possibly repeating the language in his year group.

But then I awoke this morning thinking how unfair it was that P shall be the one paying the price for this other boys deeds.

So I went to R’s form tutor and snitched on the little horror.

I don’t know if I’ve done the right thing, or whether I’ve just made things really horrible for my own lads when this boy discovers he’s having yet another bad day.

And the BH and I have decided P shall be allowed to go play football again next week, and we can only hope this other boy realises the error of his ways and plays nice!

My other dilemma is about a dog. You may remember some weeks back I broached the subject of getting another dog with the BH, and got a luke-warm reception.

But the thing is, one of the mothers at J’s school *chased me yesterday to ask if I would consider taking on a three year old boxer dog.

Now normally I wouldn’t consider bringing an adult dog into our home (because of how they might react with four children clambering all over them) but this dog’s history seems sound, and it’s only that his owners have separated that he’s looking for a new home.

And they’d be benefits. Boxers are very good with kids but aren’t as hairy as Labradors or Retrievers (my first choices), and we could miss all the awful puppy years of pee on the carpet and chewed belongings everywhere. Apparently he’s also spayed and is well behaved.

But the BH says he feels like he’s in a corner and can’t say no to me, and I don’t want him saying yes without feeling sure himself. And if I’m honest, I wasn’t thinking of getting another dog just yet, but then dogs are expensive and this one’s being offered free – so maybe it’s fate?

Ahhh, I don’t know! I guess we’ll invite the dog to stay for a long weekend and see how we all get on.

* I’ve been wondering how this mother decided to ask *me*, seeing as I was with a group of people but she addressed only me.


Blogger Trouble said...

P is only 7, it’s your right and duty as a parent to look out for him in these types of situations. However there will be many times in the not so distant future when you cannot or actually might do more harm than good if you try. Bullies will always exist in your children’s life on one level or another, especially where the boys are concerned. Learning to deal with these situations in a measured way, is a crucial skill.
You best prepare them by helping them understand a bully’s mentality and motivations, which will in turn help your children discover their own strengths and solutions.
You must admit that most 11 year old boys don’t want to hang out with 7 year old kids, that combined with inadequate social skills, explains ‘p*ss off-boy’s’ behavior…
As in the adult world, bullies take on many shapes, sizes and numbers… They are also prone to taking the path of least resistance, your boys will find that a single bully will think twice about taking on two brothers resolved to protect each other… Regardless if he is four years older… Violence is not an answer, but can be a good bluff…
My boys are 7 and 8, I have dealt with several ‘issues’ with them in school so far… Times have changed and they are already dealing with situations I didn’t experience until high school… Your heart will tell you to protect them… Ignore it… Use your head and teach them to use theirs… Unfortunately, you will not always be around…

Thursday, October 06, 2005 1:59:00 pm  
Blogger Who is this Dave? said...

For the last few months I've been thinking of getting a dog (my Lab died last October) and am going to do something serious about in in a couple of weeks when I get back from Tunisia. I got my Lab when he was 3 (from the RSPCA) and it has all the advantages you mention.

Unfortunately, the Channel Islands are a bit far to travel to look for one.

Thursday, October 06, 2005 3:24:00 pm  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Personally, I too think you did the right thing with respect to the bully.

Now, as to the dog, if BH is not committed, my thinking it would not be wise to bring it in permanently. But once he is around it some, he will melt. We all do.

Thursday, October 06, 2005 3:48:00 pm  
Blogger Daisy Mae said...

You are doing the right thing with your son and football. We are here to protect our kids and the heck with what a snot nose foul mouthed older kid thinks of you snitching on him. If he didn't want bad days he shouldn't act that way.

I think it would be great for you to get an older dog. People around here let the older dogs die in the dog pound and they only adopt the puppies. It's so cruel and sad. But if my dog pisses me off one more time it's off to the pound for him! ;-)

Thursday, October 06, 2005 4:21:00 pm  
Blogger Southern Sweetheart said...

Just for the record, I think you did the right thing with sharing the info you had with the tutor. I hope it all works out well!!!

Friday, October 07, 2005 1:19:00 am  
Blogger Rae said...

I probably would have done the same thing as well concerning your son. I have a 9 year old daughter AND I happen to be a high school teacher. So, when she was picked on once I took the girl aside and said something to her. This happened when my daughter was 6 and in the after care program at her school. Well, speaking to the girl solved the problem, but I am a little over protective of my daughter. Did it hurt her to have me intervene? The world may never know.

Friday, October 07, 2005 1:25:00 pm  
Blogger MarkD60 said...

Whatever you do, you seem to do the right thing. You definitely have a perfect parenting head on your shoulders.
I think you should trust your instinct on the dog.

Friday, October 07, 2005 1:48:00 pm  
Blogger Jona said...

Hi Trouble, Normally I do try not to get involved, but this was the first time I’ve had an issue as an older boy, and I think what irks me worse is the fact it was one of the schools own, on school grounds. And I’ve asked R to stand up for P when stuff like this happens – or at worst send P back to me. But I’m hoping it won’t come to that.

Dave, Will you be daring enough to go for a puppy?

Hoss - we’ll see, I called the owner’s son today (who’s got the dog) but his girlfriend had just gone into labour – so it wasn’t a good time for a chat ;o)

Thanks Daisy, WM and Rae, It’s good to know you all would have done the same thing - I did wonder what with possible repercussions, but my boys have seen the lad about and he hasn’t given them a second glance. I’m sure it was just poor judgement on the lads part, and hopefully he’ll be more thoughtful when younger kids are about in future :o)

Thank you, Mark :o)

Friday, October 07, 2005 8:14:00 pm  

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