Last week, gooly lamented that he was getting bored of eating vanilla bun for recess. Cant blame him, it has been what..10 months? He's beginning to look like a nun.. I mean bun. Time to change the menu!
So I bought him a gardenia waffle instead.
On the very day, as soon as he came home, I asked how was the waffle (note that it was as though I prepared him a Grade A bento set? Actually it was kinda bento-ish cos I put the waffle into a square container shaped like a slice of bread *proud*)
And he proceeded tell me the story about the waffle.
"Lam Mee Yoke took it. She just grabbed it. Actually she asked first. Then it dropped on the floor. It was Kwok Fu Shing's fault."
Wooooah..hold it hold it. That's a whole lot of info there. Who is Lam Mee Yoke? Why did she take your waffle? Is she your friend? And right at the corner of my heart - Are you being bullied? Bee boo bee boo~~ red alert red alert!!
Of course I didn't say what I was thinking. I wanted to know how he felt before planting any unfounded fear into his head.
As it turns out, Lam Mee Yoke is a good friend, and she didn't have any food with her, and she would really really like to eat a waffle that day. And so Gooly gave his to her.
Now if you knew Gooly well, you will know that he loves his food.Eating is a biggie to him. He lives to eat( like his mom). So again, I wondered if he was 'pressured' into giving his waffle.
Thus I tried digging for more details without using words like "bullied, forced, etc."
And I found out that he wanted to be generous, but not really but in the end, decided to be. A typical 6 year old's frame of indecisive mind. Haha! So everything is fine..it was just a simple case "should I give, should I not - I think I should." No bullies, momma! Geesh! The imagination of a lactating mom!
And then we came to the second part of the story, where Mr. Kwok fooled around and caused the waffle to drop.
"Were you mad?"
"Just a bit. But I must control my temper."
Ah...the last bit just made me wanna buy him a dozen waffles.
Anyways, the waffle story made me wondered - what constitutes bullying? Many times I have heard parents saying that their kids are bullied. While there are genuine cases whereby one feels ostracized or threatened by bullies, there are just some cases of overtly concerned parents. Say for example, Gooly's waffle story. It did cross my mind that he may be bullied, but I gave it a better thought. First, he's as happy as a lark. Does well academically (wooh...been dying to say this! Should I cap and bold it?? :p). So what's the problem?
We both agreed - Gooly and I, that Ms. Lam's approach is uncouth. Well, there are many kids who can't verbalise their requests politely. My nephew, for one, says "I like to eat now." Mind you, it's not like as in "i would like to eat now." He is meaning, I like, gimme gimme gimme. now now now!
So, the lack of manners, resulting in snatching or asking as though demanding.. have all caused some parents to think they are bullies. And the natural approach would be teaching their own kid some self defense skills i.e say no to your friends, tell teacher if he takes your eraser again..etc.
I dunno - lah! I suppose because parents love their kids mucho..thus this fierce protection shield.
But I kinda like less hostile scenarios. Give kids the benefit of doubt. Pasang radar betul betul. Detect the real bullies, and not just label those who are rude or (fill in own adjectives) as $/&:;$*^#% bullies.
So Ms Lam, today my son gave you waffle, tomorrow you give him nasi lemak 2.0 lah*...
Shatu mereishia ma.. (simply hentam!)
* See see she really say, "Lat sei niamah"