Bah! Why does everyone think kids HAVE to socialize?

Ahh headache gone, back to ‘normal’.

So how did my little man do on his third full day at his normal school today? Well, if you don’t count the running away three times; throwing sand at someone; throwing chairs at the teacher; stabbing someone near the eye with a pencil and arguing about everything all day, then it was just fine!

He had two aides today and still managed to do all these things. Including nearly knocking himself out in one of his escape attempts by running into a metal pole. We are almost at our wits end. Almost. That being said, something struck me while I was talking to his teacher this afternoon and hearing all the details. Well two things struck me actually.

The first was that I was listening to yet another person telling me they had never in all their years seen a child like my son. They had seen children threaten to do certain things but never actually follow through with the act. Like throwing a chair at a teacher. ‘Well’ thought I, ‘you’ve obviously underestimated his conviction and commitment to his verbal assurances’. This is something I have heard over and over across the last few years since we first started seeing that our son was ‘different’. Specialist after specialist, therapist after therapist have come to the end of their investigation or therapeutic period only to say something along the lines of;
“well, I’ve never got to this point without some success before. He is unique. A most interesting case.”

Grrr. That is really no help to us don’t they know!

The second thing which struck me is actually the main topic of this post. It was during the conversation with the teacher and went like this.

Teacher: referring to the fact we are seeing the resident child psych tomorrow at his special school. “make sure you tell them everything including that he doesn’t socialize at all with the other children”

Me: “that’s the least of my concerns.” then in response to the slightly horrified look on the teacher’s face “I agree that he should be tolerant and polite and even kind to the other kids and that hurting, being rude or teasing is not negotiable as a way of dealing with his peers. But I don’t agree that kids should be made to socialize with everyone either.”

I don’t think the teacher quite agreed with me on that score but honestly! If you think about it, why is it such a huge thing these days that kids are made to socialize with everyone all the time?

When I was at school the majority of kids around me were either stupid or mean and I therefore learnt to ignore them or be a smart arse to them. There were maybe two out of any class that I found to be either interesting or nice enough to bother with. There were also a few who found me too stupid and therefore beneath their notice and that was just fine. We all managed in our little groups quite fine thank you very much!

Yes I was bullied. A lot. But I often made it harder for myself by pointing out to the bullies that they were merely using physical intimidation to make up for what they lacked in intelligence.

My husband had a far simpler way to deal with bullies which seems to be a particular luxury afforded to boys. He warned them to leave him alone or risk being punched. When their thick sculls didn’t get the message? Well he punched them of course! End of story they never bothered him again and everyone stayed put in their own group!

Naturally this doesn’t really apply to my son since we would never tell him to punch someone. His problem is too much punching with too little provocation. My concern is why does he need to be forced to socialize with kids who very clearly give him the shits?! (Of course a fly buzzing past just when he wanted a butterfly can also set him off into a rage, but you know what I mean!)

Maybe bullying would be less of a problem in our schools if we just let kids form their own friends and ignore all the kids who they just don’t like? There will always be a few bad eggs, but we should probably teach our kids how to defend themselves and protect others if they see someone being mis-treated.

I am aware that in this situation it could mean a whole bunch of kids telling my own beautiful baby to bugger off and leave them alone, but hey! If he is hurting them or their friends and not behaving in a way conducive to nice playing then he deserves it!

As parents it is our job to try and make sure we find out why he does these things and help him to work through it and do the right thing. That doesn’t mean however, that he will ever socialize with any of them! He might learn to control his temper (he better or he’s going to be locked in his bedroom forever!), but might still think they are all “boring little stupids”!

What can we do but “just keep swimming, just keep swimming” (for my non-English first language friends, that was a quote from ‘Finding Nemo’)


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