When it's not "bullying," but "teasing," then what?

My son is sensitive. He gets his feelings hurt very easily. Maybe it's because he's an only child and never bickered with or got teased by a sibling. If a kid makes a nasty comment or calls him a name, he'll dwell on it for days.

I get it: I am definitely a people-pleaser like my kiddo. Back in my school days I was a real ham, but it was to get the first laugh and avoid the teasing. I was always very tall and very thin, and I was a reactor so I was a perfect target for the PITA kids. But my son is such a combo of my husband and I: people-pleaser like me, but more quiet and reserved like my other half, so he's not one to "ham it up."

This morning was a morning of tears before school. Sigh. I'm writing this on a Monday - after a fun weekend, it always sucks to go back to school on Monday. But third grade has been tough for my son. He's in a 3/4 split so he's had a limited pool of third grade friends to choose from (because a fourth grade boy would never play with a third grader!). He was home with me last year so he missed a year of socializing with friends, and that may have taken its toll a bit. And third grade feels like kindergarten all over again in that friendships are changing, kids are changing and finding their way again, and there's just a lot of politics (lol).

Plus, he's being teased a bit... it's not really bullying because I know the kids who are doing it - they were his friends and they're just pushing his buttons because he lets them. He doesn't want to rock the boat so he won't just cut them out (plus, with only 12 third graders, if he cuts them out he said he'll be alone all day). I don't think he really knows how to fight words with words. So all I can tell him is to make the most of it, get through it, hold his head up, and one day, this won't matter.

But it matters to him now. A lot. To the point of tears this morning. And my mommy heart sank. I'm still worrying, hence this rant of a blog.

I think my son feels a bit lost at school now. He doesn't really know who his loyal, good friends are. He's still wading through immersion and doing school in a language that isn't his mother tongue. It's been a tricky year, and I'm just as excited as he is to see it wrap up next month.

Any other parents out there who can identify? What words of wisdom do I pass on to my kid?

A full-time work-from-home mom, Jennifer Cox (our “Supermom in Training”) loves dabbling in healthy cooking, craft projects, family outings, and more, sharing with readers everything she knows about being an (almost) superhero mommy.

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