Sunday, May 20, 2012

Big Knife Update

I think I have finally calmed down. Mostly. Here is how the crime went down.....

Thursday morning, while getting everything ready in the morning, Seth somehow managed to climb up the kitchen cupboards, and get the knife off a rack that is higher than my head. He then climbed down and hid the knife in his backpack. All of this without detection by me or his brothers, who are known as the 'tattle squad'. Once he got to school, they have to wait in the gym for the first bell. This is when he pulled out the knife to show off to his friends. Ahren happened to be there and promptly told. He told the other kids in the class, he told the bigger kids, he told the girls, he told the janitor and then he told the teacher. That would be hilarious, but.....well, yeah. Pretty hilarious.

The gym teacher took away the knife and Seth didn't seem upset or sad. She asked him if he knew it was wrong and he said he did, but no sign of emotion. (Boy does that scream RAD or what?) The gym teacher contacted Seth's kindergarten teacher but then had to go to another school for the day, which meant she had to wait until the next day to call me. Now we know why I didn't hear from them right away. Budget cuts...

The gym teacher called me on Friday and we had a wonderful talk. She did not know any of Seth's 'issues' and so she was treating this like any small boy trying to show off and did something dumb. She asked me how we wanted to handle it. For a moment I wondered if we could just hush it up and hide it. But then the rational part of my brain kicked in and I KNEW we had to give him serious consequences. I told her to turn the knife over to the school police and we would handle the consequences that would result. She thanked me for being such a level headed parent and doing the right thing. All I could think of was how horrible it would be to be trying to handle something like this when he is 17 years old and has been bailed out by mommy all his life.

We will find out on Monday what the punishment is. I am worried but confident. The whole 'zero-tolerance policy' thing has me concerned, but i know the staff at our school is smart, level-headed, and empathetic.

Now, I have a few ideas about how to handle the school punishment the best way for Seth to actually LEARN something from this. If they try and scare him, he will just shut down and not hear anything or learn anything. For years his only emotions that he felt and understood were fear and anger. He would fall back onto old habits and it would be a huge failure. We have worked so hard in the last year to teach him emotions, how to understand his and others and how to deal with them. If they show him how sad they are, how disappointed they are, they have a chance of hitting him in a soft spot and making an impact.

How is Seth doing? He is scared and anxious. it is sinking in that this is a big deal. He has been stuck to me like glue all weekend. He is shredding his food and picking his nose, both signs of high anxiety levels. I have been hugging him and telling him that although I cannot fix this, that I will be there with him and we will face this together. He is responding to that and instead of pushing me away, he is leaning on me and being vulnerable.

Me? I just want to cry.


Reba said...

Oh how I wish I could hug your neck! You did handle it well (and I agree...much better to tackle these issues as kids, not teens). I cannot say all parents do! I am going to hope and pray that this will be handled in just the right way. If anything, I am glad it is teaching Seth an important lesson about consequences but also that you still love him when he does the wrong thing!

ManyBlessings said...

(Hugs) mama. And hugs to your boy too.

Anonymous said...

I hope it turns out as a great learning experience and that the school does not do the knee-jerk reaction that some do. One always hears the stories about the kids suspended for having a plastic knife and such.

You are a great role model also for how parents can react so that the kids understand that a mistake was made (by them!) and take responsibility for the infraction. I imagine that some parents would rather blame the RAD and take the consequences out of the scenario.


From Emily O's sister