Wednesday 27 February 2013

Bullying. Sort of. OK not really.

A week or so ago I asked Jake about what he'd done that day and he described having bumped into his friend during a visit to Wisley. He went on to tell me all about his friend and why he liked him. Which was nice. He then said on his way home he went to the park and saw someone else from his school;

"I don't like him because he hits me"


I immediately went into over protective and over the top dad mode. Initially asking questions to ascertain the authenticity of the claim - Jake can be prone to the odd embellishment - and then into solution mode.

I really don't want to turn him into a thug but for reasons including, but not limited to, the scar on his lip, I want him to stand up for himself from day one. There was a guy at my school who was an arsehole to everyone including me and it definitely affected me then and probably my confidence ever since, at least where confrontation is concerned. So I'm keen Jake understands 'reasonable force' as the police refer to it.

It turns out Jake was being a tad dramatic and the boy who 'hits' him, hit him once during a hitting-everyone frenzy and hasn't since hit anyone and was summarily told off. But regardless, I had a session of telling Jake exactly what to do. It starts with getting a bit closer, staring the offender down the barrels and saying 'no, you do NOT hit me', followed by, if getting no joy from the situation,  a meaningful push to the chest whilst still glaring them in the eye. Most bullies crumble when confronted and I hope if he ever comes across one that he has the cojones to stand up for himself.

I don't remember having had the conversation about these things with my dad, probably because he never had it with his dad and these things you just worked out for yourself, but it's something I'll be involved in as it is important and how we deal with things as a kid will have an impact on how we deal similar situations as adults.