Sunday, August 24, 2008

What to do if Someone Calls you Chicken

Friday when I picked up Austin from school his expression read, mom we need to talk. There was a look of eagerness and satisfaction about him like he was a shaken pop can fizzing at the top ready to burst at the first hint of release. So out of the ordinary, how was your day and just fine response, I pursued a longer conversation with him. I asked him what had happened that day. Bewildered that his response was more than the mere "school was good," he replied by telling the following episode.

"Well mom," he began, "you know how you told me not to get frustrated if other kids call me names or pick on me and to think calmly and quickly? And that I shouldn't immediately tattle on the kid who was bothering me and instead try to fix it myself?" I answered affirmatively that I recalled that particular conversation to which he then continued relating his story. " Well, some kid decided to call me a chicken today at school mom and I got so angry but I tried to stay calm and remember what you told me. So I just looked at him and said, 'actually you're the one who is the coward because you are just trying to intimidate me by calling me a chicken and you can plainly see that I am not!'"

In my own mind I am thinking way to go Austin! I'm so proud of you and what a quick and sharp retort! Not that I condone bickering or fighting of any kind, but I do believe that children should be able to stand up for themselves should the need arise without constant interference from adults. (Unless, of course, there is a definite threat or danger to another child.) I firmly believe it is an essential part of social education for a child to find his voice and have no fear in utilizing it. I'm also considering that possibly one of our mother-son moments might have actually sunk in that enormous mind of his!

Nodding for him to continue he recounted that the other child continued to prod him for some type of reaction taunting him this time speculating that he watches princess movies and Disney cartoons and that he was a baby for doing so. Austin again had the poise and quick response to which he replied "Well, yea, maybe I do watch princess movies and not only that, I like Disney. In fact, Walt Disney made a fortune out of making princess movies and I think that he was pretty cool for doing that, so what!" Excitedly Austin then turned to me and happily expressed that the bewildered would-be bully had nothing more to say and scampered off onto the playground he himself balking like a chicken the whole way.