Because it’s true. A powerful post summing up some very good points.
Monthly Archives: May 2014
I have had many talks with my children about gut feelings, what is good touch, what is bad touch, how to ask for help. After a boy attempted to molest my oldest child last year (I was watching, hidden from view, so my son only knows his older “friend” put a hand over his mouth before I stepped in) I have been reluctant to connect with another family. I had long prepared my children to be suspicious of adults who behave inappropriately or ask for their help finding pets. I had not imagined that danger came from another child, a predatory danger.
It is summer, they see this other family quite frequently now that we are out and about in good weather. They ask if their “friends” can come over to play. I won’t let any of that clan cross my doorstep, and if I think about it too long, the pain of it makes me want to move. I should move eventually, anyway, to a more convenient location, but I am on wait lists. I filed a report with every pertinent agency and authority, and as far as I can tell, nothing has come of it. I hope no other children are in danger from this child. I can’t worry about what I cannot control, but still. It’s about children, in my community. I am worried.
All the available literature and media that coaches children on identifying good vs bad touch centers on specific actions, there is nothing about what I witnessed, the grabbing of a child from behind and rubbing genitalia on them, while all are fully clothed. My son could not see anything. He does not know what was really going on, and I stopped it before there was such an actual contact. So I want to explain to my children over and over to trust their gut, as I found myself doing when I prevented this. When they ask if the other family can come over, I remind him of the feeling he had, and how that feeling alerted him something is wrong, and therefore his “friend” is not really his friend. I tell him that Mommy only lets nice friends in, not “friends” who make you feel sad and icky inside. I explain that no matter what someone gives you or says, that the gut feeling is there for a reason, and Mommy trusts that feeling, and he should, too. It is an alarm.
But they are so needy, emotionally, two of my children. I fear they would keep any secret, permit any wrong, to make and keep friends. They are children. They are so vulnerable. How can I trust that they will be safe, anywhere, away from me, out of my sight?
It began on Sunday night.
One son kicked another son in the face. Out of irritation, as the latter son was recording a movie of a movie. Which is so redundant that it irritates me, too. But I am not kicking out over it.
The kick dislodged a loose tooth in the director/producer. At first, I did not comprehend what had happened in the chaotic aftermath of blood and excited high pitched yelling. I just gathered that one son had helped another son with his phobia over losing a tooth. I was ecstatic. No more fretting and crying over losing teeth, no more waiting for the wiggly tooth to be easily and painlessly pulled, no more complaints over meals, requesting that soft food be served, instead, to cater literally to his afflicted tooth. It was over.
So I was jubilant. Until I calmed down and could take in what the victim was telling me. That he had been kicked. In the face. Perpetrator was sent to his room. Later we had a talk about irritation and anger and siblings. A replica of the talk I had with two other siblings that day, for other incidents. But the damage was done. I had celebrated that kick, and not been upset in any way by the sight of my child’s blood. In front of all.
Today my kicking son was found guilty of procuring and stashing a Nintendo DS game. One that did not belong to him. From a child who he had victimized in this way before. That time, I made him give the games back and apologize to the boy, his mother, and the director of the preschool. To compound the issue this time, he was directly questioned, and thus lied directly, to both his teacher and the boy’s mother. I am beyond angry and into that sort of emergency calm one enters after disaster. The one where you stop feeling and start combing through wreckage for what might be salvageable, for what could be used in building anew.
He is on work detail with me. He is working to earn restitution. Instead of working for money to buy a DS game, our usual circumstance since he was given a DS, he is working only to earn money to hand over to this other child. I told him restitution would be the case, should this ever happen again, and I meant it. I have to write a letter to the boy’s mother, and I hope she is receptive to receiving the restitution. Otherwise it will be put in an envelope for charity. He is also banned from all video games while earning restitution. He has to earn back those privileges with my trust.
He was sitting on the couch, in between tasks, and watching his brother play Wii, when he hit his brother in the face, again out of irritation, and popped out another tooth. One that was not loose, so there was a bit more blood this time. Victim has declared he does not want to sit or sleep in the same room as his brother. I don’t blame him. After half an hour the blood stopped and snacks were consumed. I can confiscate all his Pokemon cards, or I can do more to drive home that punching and kicking are not the way to express irritation. I reminded the instigator that his brother has SPD and can’t feel pain properly most of the time, so hitting him is not only useless, but more criminal, as it takes advantage of his handicap. I can’t think of another punishment right now, I am just worn out.
From Sunday night.