I’m so proud of my girl! Today she got another kid suspended, but that’s not why I’m proud. She maintained an amazing amount of control in the face of humiliation and managed to “do the right thing”. Instead of reacting with physical violence, she yelled, and ran to tell the school principal. Now I know some people might see running to tell tales as a negative feature, but for us, it’s exactly what we’ve been telling her to do for over a year, “if someone hurts you, tell the teacher. DON’T hit back!”

During morning recess, Karen was playing with the boys because at times she feels the girls don’t want to include her. Two of the boys ganged up behind her, and pulled down her tights from behind. She said “everyone” saw. A year ago, she would have attacked the nearest of the two would likely have been violent enough to get suspended for a day.

But today, no. She yelled at them, then went to find the school principal. There was an issue of which boy actually did it, and which one pushed him to do it, but my only concern is that my daughter reacted exactly we’ve taught her.

At bedtime we had one of our talks, and of course I talked about how proud I am of her, and how much she’s learned to control her anger, and react in an acceptable manner. But then I asked her, “if it had happened a year ago, would the principal have believed you?”. She thought about it, and quietly admitted that no, the boys would probably have gotten away with saying that she started it somehow. Luckily, here we had a classfull of second grade witnesses, who were all too happy to tell what they saw.

She talked about how it embarrassed her when everyone laughed, and I commisserated, but also asked her what she thinks they are talking about more, that she was momentarily embarrassed, or that a boy was suspended? We both agreed that the real news/takehome for the day would be that a boy was suspended.

I feel bad for the mother of the boy who was sent home. She knows that it was the other boy who convinced him it would be fun to do. Even I already know who the “bad” kids are who must be ultimately to blame when a good kid does something wrong. The stigma’s been applied to K for so long, I know how horrible any parent must feel when a similar stigma attaches to their child.

Edited to add: My goal was for K to focus on the massive accomplishment and control she managed, rather than the embarrassment. I think I succeeded since she went to bed content, for a change.