I just got beat up!
The words you never want to hear from your child, no matter what age…and even worse to hear them when your child is only 6! But yes, those words were screamed at me through a flood of tears and hiccups. It all happened so fast that I missed the whole thing. Isn’t that usually the case?
We were waiting for Jack’s Taekwondo class to begin. I was sitting with the other parents. Jack was in the other room playing with some kids. I even did a sneak over to peek and make sure they were all playing nicely. They were! Alas, 2 minutes later…
me: (suddenly feeling all eyes in the room on me) Huh? (Jack stumbles over crying hysterically) What happened!
Jack: That kid beat me up and hit my back!!!! (more sobbing)
me: Okay okay tell me what happened.
Jack: I was just playing and then the kid with the glasses punched me and pushed me against the wall and then hit me in the back!!!!
me: Let’s go over here…(I led him into the other room where a bunch of guilty-looking kids are staring at me) Anyone see what happened here a minute ago? (of course not)
Jack: That’s him back there! (This kid is obviously a few years older than Jack)
me: Excuse me, can you come here for a second? (the kid really wanted to do the opposite of that, but the other parents were watching and his was nowhere to be seen, of course) Tell me what happened, okay?
Kid: He hit my hand!
Jack: NO! I grabbed the car and hit you accidentally and then you beat me up! Waahhhhh!
Kid: No, he hit me and I got mad!
me: Okay, okay, listen. Jack, he thought you hit him on purpose so I want you to say sorry.
me: Go ahead!
me: Okay (to the kid) you need to say you’re sorry also, and don’t put your hands on other kids. Got it???
me; Now we’re moving on… (Jack continues to cry)
Jack: How come I hit him by accident and then he beats me up but we both only say we’re sorry and he doesn’t get punished. Sorry doesn’t help you know.
me: Since no one saw what happened, I have to listen to both of you and try to make it right. You both have to be in class together now.
Jack: I’m gonna punch him in the face.
me: No. You are NOT! And if you talk like that we’ll go home. Do you want to be a bully too? Especially since that’s exactly what you said he did to you…
Jack: He should be punished.
me: Maybe so, but sometimes things don’t work out the way they should. Next time I’ll have to watch you when you play in that room
Jack: I think he’ll get punished some other way.
Jack: No, like in some other way and not by ME!
Coincidentally this kid caused some other trouble in class, bothered Jack again and didn’t listen to the instructor. So he didn’t get his “champion tape” at the end of the class (oh, social faux pas!!) and his mother needed to be spoken to. So I guess he did get his punishment. And Jack got a good lesson as well. Not sure what he’ll do with it though!