Feeling the Fumes

Saturday night I shared the story about my son and camp.

“And now for the latest dilemma in parenting, the behavior of children and the reaction of their parents. At my son’s day camp there is a large boy who is relatively rough in his play. My son told me that this boy has knocked him and some of the other boys down. I asked my son what he did and have gotten several different responses.

I am not surprised, he is only 4.5 so some of this is natural.

One of the mothers of the other boys immediately had her son switched to another group. I am not a big fan of that. I don’t want my son to be hurt, but I can’t always be there to help him and I think that it is important for him to learn how to handle this.

I told him that if this other boy is bothering him he should ask him to stop and that if that does not work to tell a counselor.

And then I told him that if the counselor doesn’t help him he is allowed and encouraged to defend himself. I was very careful and cautious in my language. I don’t want him to get hurt by this boy and I don’t want him to be pushed around. And frankly I would prefer that he not hurt this boy, but I cannot allow this to continue unabated.”

When I first shared that story I had seen a very small bruise on my son’s back, almost small enough to miss. Well that bruise must have been well fed because it has grown quite large and in conjunction with my son’s reluctance to return to camp I am irked.

I am irked because the counselors should have told us about this. I don’t need a typed report, just a simple “there is a bit of horseplay going on with the boys and we are on top of it” would have been sufficient for me.

But I didn’t get that and I am concerned about his anxiety at returning to camp. No parent wants to see their child be hurt, mentally or physically. If he continues to mirror his old man in growth the time will come when the other children will be reluctant to test his willingness to take grief, but I cannot wait for that to happen.

I feel a little trapped here because I do not want to hamstring his growth by fighting his battles for him, he has to learn how to deal with this kind of nonsense, but I don’t have to like it. And I don’t have to sit back and watch either.

This morning his mother is going to walk him into camp and try and get some answers about what is going on and then we shall see what happens.

This may all blow over and I may just be acting like an overprotective parent, but I’d rather be safe than sorry here.

Grumble, grumble, grumble.

***Updated***
Ok, here is the scoop. This is a special needs child who is not trying to hurt the other children, he just gets very excited and has some control issues. Now that I know that and I know that the staff are paying attention I feel better.

It also will make it easier for me to help my son deal with this in an appropriate fashion.

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