Saturday, August 29, 2009
A differenty type of bully
I've mentioned before that The Boy has a girlfriend. I wrote about the time she came to visit last year. The couple of years we were living there, The Boy and The Girlfriend wrote letters back and forth. They are really good friends, and The Husband and I are friends with The Girlfriend's parents. We all get along quite well.
Please note here, I'm using the term girlfriend pretty loosely. The relationship is a mutual friendship/crush that, as the kids have gotten older, has developed into deeper feelings. They are in middle school now, so their feelings are growing stronger.
Neither The Husband nor I have any issue with this friendship/relationship. The Girlfriend's parents feel the same way. Like I said, we are all friends and we really enjoy teasing the kids...but that's just it. The teasing? It's all in good humor and good fun.
The trouble is that not everyone teases with good intentions. The other kids in The Boy's class are not so nice. And it's not just the boys. The girls are also not so nice. No one is being mean, per se, but everybody is butting into business that is not theirs.
One thing we (and by "we," I mean The Husband and I and The Girlfriend's parents) find most amusing about the kids is how totally and completely awkward they are around each other. They've been friends for 5 years and have liked each other for about 3 or 4 of those years. Still, they are hysterically funny when they're together because they're so aware of themselves and each other that they're terribly awkward. It's also terribly funny; they're so innocent and cute! I don't think they've ever even held hands!
Their friends are really pressuring them, though. Their friends make comments about the physical aspects of a relationship and are regularly teasing them about/asking them about/telling them to make out. This is my baby we're talking about, people!! I simply don't understand it.
I have a huge problem with the fact that a whole mess of sixth grade children think making out is OK. Where did this come from? Why is it "OK"? And...what, exactly, does "making-out" entail these days? Because when I was in junior high, it was just kissing. Is it still just kissing? Does anyone know?! Because I need to know this!
I will say The Boy has been VERY open and has discussed all the JUNK that has been going on at school with me. It's sad that we have to hash it out almost daily. The good news is that The Boy knows I am in constant communication with The Girlfriend's mother. They know we are talking to each other about the things they are telling us. The Boy is totally comfortable with this, which I love.
Technically, I believe what The Boy is experiencing falls under the "bullying" category, but I'm not certain. I have told him that I will not get involved if he does not want me to. I want him to handle his friends on his own by ignoring them. I also told him that if that does NOT work, and he wants me to say something, I absolutely will!