Monday, November 15, 2010

Could It Be Aliens?

When I encounter something difficult, I think it is a natural response to seek answers. I want to know WHY something is going on. When we were made aware of the bullying incidents at school, my brain started rushing through scenarios of what could have happened to Teagan that would drive her to be so purposefully cruel to her friends. Was she being bullied? Teagan's teacher and the head of the school are very involved in the classroom. This school is like a family. It isn't just a place of education- it's a community and the adults are very involved in what goes on with the kids. So if Teagan was being bullied, it would be known. In fact, she would make it known. She doesn't hold back when she's been slighted or hurt or perceives any sort of unfairness. One of the issues she continues to work on is tattling- when it is important to tell an adult and when it isn't. She's a child that will ask permission for every little thing. It goes back to that needing to be right before making a choice thing. So if someone was being mean to her, she would have made it known. And when a child talks about something going on with someone else, those adults pay close attention. So I'm confident there wasn't anything oging on there. Same goes for church- plus the interactions there are very different and much more minimal. So I was feeling confident it wasn't a reaction to being bullied. Was she being hurt elsewhere? That's the one I hate to consider but my mind automatically goes there more often than I would ever dare to speak out loud. But I'm as confident as I can be that she isn't being abused and that she isn't in any sort of situation that could put her in danger. So the bullying wasn't a reaction stemming from anger. Were Jeff and I making bad parenting choices? The reading I've done previously about bullying pretty clearly indicates that there is blame on the parents when a child bullies- either for not dealing with the behavior, for encouraging the behavior, or for being bullies in the home. I spent some serious time thinking about our parenting styles. There are always ways to improve but I felt pretty certain that she wasn't suddenly developing a sense of being bullied at home. When Christy and I had our lunch together last Tuesday, one of the things we talked about was this book Teagan had started talking about that had been read in her classroom. Teagan called it Billy the Bully. When Lori and I talked, she referred to the book. The sense was that the book was a lesson in not bullying so there was confusion as to where it fit in. But something about the book kept nagging me. Christy thought that maybe Teagan saw something in the book that she related to and maybe the bully ended up with some sort of reward for his behavior or that he somehow connected to her... that there was something attractive about it. Or maybe she was taking notes about how to bully from this book- and when she puts her mind to something, she has to go all out. So she was going to be the best bully she could be. I started doing some digging into this book. I asked about it at school- found out it was an Usborne book and a child had brought it in for one day to share. Christy and I did a Google search and we found it. Don't Be A Bully, Billy. We went and read the reviews on Amazon. And my mind... desperate for answers... my mind... that had been feeling this nagging sense in the back of my head that this book was more important to this whole thing... my mind zoned in on the reviews (click to bigify):

Here's what I take from them in regards to my daughter. 1. No adult intervenes and stands up for these kids, no skill is taught for dealing with this bully, the bully doesn't seem to have any consequence other than being told by the other kids to not be a bully. 2. In a strange twist, Billy is taken away in a spaceship by aliens. Close Encounters of the Teagan Kind Go on- click that link and take a few minutes to read that post from 2 years ago. Really- go ahead.


Did you come to the same conclusion I did? This bullying book... the bully being taken away by the alien in a possible helping role... Teagan building a nest on her bed for the aliens in case they come to our house and need help... Teagan being sad about the aliens leaving... Teagan wanting all of us to go into the alien spaceship together...

Teagan thought that being a bully would mean a ride on a spaceship, a visit from the aliens.

There couldn't possibly be any other explanation, right? Right? Photobucket


Alison said...

Or maybe... your daughter is an alien, trying to show us their ways.

C'mon, admit it, you've wondered it at least once before, haven't you? ;)

Call Me Cate said...

Remember back in school where sometimes you'd get the wrong answer on the math question but the teacher still gives you points for showing your work? This post made me think of that. But I'm sure kids have done things for similar reasons. It could just be the answer!

Missy said...

I. Am. Amazed. HOW do you have the mental capacity to piece all this together? Every one of your posts about your kids shows how fantastic of a mom you are. Plus you work, take care of your home and are very involved with church. PLUS find time to take care of yourself and have time with friends. I know you've posted about your life before, but a manual, please, for those of us that are so jealous of your parenting skills.

Deborah said...

How very interesting that this book never addressing the way to deal with bullies - something tells me that after that alien took one bully, the alien wont want anymore so better we figure out what to do:) Thanks for the heads up on the book and great job with your investigation into this whole matter - very impressive parenting going on here!

Garret said...

I vote she's alien. She obviously wants to go back to the mother ship.

I wonder if she has any cool "powers"?