The Over-Protective Aunt

Me and Camerin

 

It’s happening.

My nephew recently got picked on at school.

Breathe, Tia Adele….breathe.  (Tia=aunt)

My nephew, Camerin, will be 10 years old this May.

TEN.  He has the sweetest little heart.  He is a wild child, for sure, – but doesn’t have a single bad bone in his body.  The poor little fella even has trouble telling the most innocent lies.  I’m very close with my nephew, so I just happen to be the over-loving, over-protective, aunt.

Children are a little cruel these days.  Ok, a lot of cruel.  Upon the many pupils in his school, one in particular decided to verbally attack Camerin.  They share lunch together at 11:30 A.M.

He said, “you look gay because you’re sitting like that.”

Wait.  What?

Who knows how it was actually said or what he actually meant.

FYI:  Camerin does not know what gay is just yet so when he came home and questioned my sister, his mom, saying “Mom, what does gay mean?”, caught off guard and unprepared, she tried to beat around it and replied “You don’t need to know that just yet, but don’t ever call anyone that.”  To be clear, she is not trying to hide gay/lesbian identities from her child.  We think nothing bad of that pride, we support it.  But we don’t want Camerin having knowledge of it and abusing it like it was done to him, although we hope he never would even when he does gain knowledge of it.  On the other hand, I do want him to know what gay is because I want him to know that love is love early on and you don’t need to be a boy to love a girl, or a girl to love a boy.  But maybe it’s a concept he won’t be able to fully understand at the age of just 9?  I don’t know, that a whole other ball game.

How does the way one sit portray them as gay?  It doesn’t.

I can clearly see my nephews face while this other child said that.   Confused as hell as to why someone is judging the way he sits.  Sits at a lunch table, at that.  I see it as if I was there.  My nephew showed my sister, who showed me, the way he was sitting.  Normal as ever, can’t see why or how it could have offended another person or provoke him to stereotype and throw false slurs at Camerin.  But, okay.  “Kids will be kids.”- I guess.  My nephew hit back, “you’re just mad because your mom doesn’t care about you.”  Wrong approach, Camerin.  What Camerin said back probably hurt that other child’s feelings more than he tried to hurt Camerin’s, but we aren’t raising Camerin to throw salt on an open wound.  We aren’t raising him throw more gasoline on an fire.  We’ll learn from this.  But, maybe the kid has a point…..

Almost kidding.  I know Camerin shouldn’t have said that.

My sister was initially afraid to tell me this.  I don’t tolerate anyone disrespecting Camerin; I want him to feel loved and comfortable, always.  As a child should.  She visioned I would go to the school and who knows what would happen from there…

Does she think I’m going to fight a 9/10 year old?  What do you guys take me for?

So my sister and I talked about this situation at hand as she is very stressed out over it.  I imagine it’s extremely hard for a parent to know her child is having a rough time in school by other students.  You gain a lot of concern wondering how your child will react, what will happen the next day.  Just, what will happen?  So I helped her out..

I said, paraphrasing since I deleted the message “T…you just need to make sure Camerin loves himself.  You need to find out where his self-esteem and confidence is.  You need to teach him how to kill with kindness.  You need to find out how much he respects himself and how much he respects others.  You have to really emphasize how important it is that he loves himself, again.  You need to really make sure he knows that whenever this happens he needs to immediately tell a teacher.  Yes, kids are cruel but what is really important is how Camerin takes it all in…..”

After I said all that and them some, she asked me to help have this talk with Camerin.  I’m a little bit better at this stuff, and I’m very involved with my nephew and niece regardless so I was more than happy to accept her request especially since this a serious case.

It is important to know where Camerin stands with himself, with others, and now with bullying because that will affect how this game goes.  If he loves himself with that little-big heart of his, these words will not cut as deeply or as quickly.  But, if Camerin is unsure of his confidence, it may be a slippery slope since he has never really dealt with bullying before.  We have to make sure Camerin understands bullying will never be okay, and that’s why we need to kill with kindness because we will never know the problems a person is facing.  We also have to make sure Camerin doesn’t internalize insults from his peers because it may be a problem they’re dealing with themselves and just trying to project it on others.  You know what I mean?

Am I right?  I’m really hoping these are the right steps to take.

 

A.

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