My son is THAT child.
He is the one hurting your child, disrupting the kindergarten class and encouraging your child to join in with the silly behaviour.
He is the one who will push or punch or pinch your child if they’re having a disagreement. He is the one who reacts impulsively. He is the one who might throw something if he gets upset, and inadvertently hit someone.
I am the mum who is in daily contact with the classroom teacher. I am the mum who thinks every school pickup is the walk of shame. I am the mum who recognises the school number calling on my phone and my stomach drops. I am the mum who sees judgement in your eyes when I introduce myself as “so-and-so’s mum.”
But most of all, I am the mum who is sorry. I am so sorry that my child hurt yours, that my child’s behaviour affects your child. I understand your dislike and that you’re upset, I would feel the same.
I want you to know that we are not OK with our son's behaviour. We are doing all that we can. We have a teacher who is trying her very best to help my child, and yours. We see a paediatrician, we have an occupational therapist. Our next step is a psychologist. We have done parenting courses. We run an organised household. We have consequences for his actions. We want our little boy to be the best that he can be, and we want him to feel loved.
I often tell him he is a good person, "inside AND out", especially when he has caused trouble at school. He is constantly told he is naughty - mostly by other children, and not always when he has done the wrong thing - sometimes it is said "just because". I worry being naughty will be the only thing he thinks he can be.
He is the little boy who cries "mama" when he is upset. He is the boy who crawls in next to me at night when he is scared. He is the boy who holds my hand as he shyly assesses a room. He is the boy who worries about his Grandma living on her own. He is the boy at the museum who shares a toy with a little girl, when no one else will. His misbehaviour is not all there is to him. I wish you could see this other side. I wish HE would show you this other side.
Watch kids explore what bullying means to them. (Post continues after video.)
I know he is not the child you want your children to befriend. He is not the child invited to parties, and when your child receives a birthday party invitation from my child, you probably won't come. I understand why - there are consequences for his unsocial actions.
I hope it is small comfort for you to know we are trying our very best, he is not "getting away with it". I want his behaviour to stop and I'm doing everything in my power to make this happen. I truly am so sorry.
For the teacher who cried with me as I anguished over his behaviour, for the mum who actually said yes to a play date, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for your empathy and for seeing the good in my child.
Listen to the latest episode of Mamamia's parenting podcast, This Glorious Mess, for more discussion on the not-so-perfect side of parenting.