Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fight at the Bus Stop

It’s a big deal to my 7 year old that he gets to ride the bus now that we live further away from his school. I try to hang back while the kids wait for the bus, so that, in my husband’s words, I don’t seem like “one of those Moms”. But today my son and another boy were running and playing, and somehow they got too rough and ended up in a fight. Of course I went to stop it but at about that time the bus showed up, so I put my crying kid with a scratched up face on the school bus. Woe is me. That was absolutely no fun!

Just before I head out the door to work I get a call from the school principal with her version of the events (which sounded nothing like what I had witnessed). Anyway so everything’s cool and nobody’s hurt, but a little bit of a bruised ego or two.

So here is my question: How much rope do we actually give our kids before we try to stop them from hanging themselves? I could see the play was getting rough, but I held back, not wanting to intervene. Is the fact that he ended up in a fight a good thing? Did it teach him a lesson? I have adopted the “let them get their hands dirty” approach to parenting, but as I see it in action, I wonder. Am I doing the right thing?

To answer this, I take myself out of the equation. My kid is somebody else’s kid. Somebody else is his mom. It does not take but a second for me to decide “Heck yeah I’m doing the right thing!” No way should I run up there and tell him he’s “playing too rough and somebody might get hurt” in front of 8 other kids. Perhaps, if I were a teacher or other adult, intervening would be appropriate, but as his mother? No way!

Here’s my bottom line (whether you are a parent or not). Never second guess your instincts. Trust yourself to do the right thing when things happen. (Things will happen, for sure). Unless you live in a cave, you will face dilemmas in this world which require your quick and decisive action vs. inaction. Do not hesitate to do what is right. You have within you the ability to make the right judgment. That is you. That power belongs to you. Use it. Use it well.

Now the kids can play tag with a high-tech (and safer) twist.

Spy Laser Chase


lfamous said...

It depends on age, I think. At 7, I'd prob say "You boys are getting a little rough!" Over 14 & I'd just be yelling at my kid, unless I knew the other family.

I take my kids to the bus stop every morning, even though they're old enough to go w/out me (according to the school district). I also stand out front & watch for the bus when it comes home. I'm more concerned with passing strangers than kids on the bus. We have a great bus driver & principal who are fairly strict & don't let them get out of control.

Geoff said...

KK, I remember when we were kids. My mother never hovered over us. Sometimes I almost wish she did, but I learned quickly how far to go, what was play and what wasn't, etc. I think we don't give our kids enough credit for being human. The childhood years are supposed to be for learning stuff that they can then use in adulthood and if we are always taken out of the jams we get ourselves into in childhood, we won't be looking for jams to avoid in adulthood.

And good on you for not being one of those moms! :[_

Mr TwentyTwenty said...

Hi KK,

I love your style. What kids more of today is experience, with a lot less "authority".

When we were kids, kids fought. Often when I was a kid, I was the one being picked on, and today I still would rather have it the way I grew up,compared to the "no tolerance policies" that too many schools have.

I got to get picked on, I got to stand up for myself.

Today if I was a kid getting picked on, I would have to worry about getting kicked out of school for standing up for myself.

Congrats for letting your kiddo be a kiddo. I know you are a great parent, you have a wonderful heart.

Mr Twenty Twenty

Laureen Falco said...

I think you absolutely did the right thing. The dynamics will play out among the players, whether an adult is there or not. So, boys will play rough - no question about it. If an adult intervenes every time, then the boys don't learn what they are suppose to learn! Believe me, I know - I have 4 brothers!