Playground Bullies and Spiderman

Yesterday, as I drove past the playground with Sandor, who is in third grade, I spotted a little boy crouched down, all alone. He looked like he was crying.

“You see that boy over by the swings, all alone?”
“Will you go make sure he’s ok?”
“Ok” Sandor said without much conviction.
“Thanks,” I stopped the car so he could get out,”Remember, with great power….”
“Comes great responsibility,” he said and laughed.
“Hey, you have cool power,” I yelled as he jumped out of the backseat. “Go live up to your name.”
Sandor’s name is Hungarian and literally means “defender of mankind”.  He has a lot of work to do.
I forgot about the little boy on the playground until it was bedtime. Sandor hadn’t brought the kid up but my son rarely makes a big deal out of anything.
I laid down on the bed, next to him,”So what happened to that kid I saw, was he crying?”
“Yeah, a kid in my class, Payton, was bulling him That’s why he was crying. Payton is a jerk and thinks he’s all big and bad. He’s mean to everybody.”
“Did you make him feel better?”
“Yeah.” he snuggled under his blanket.
“What did you do?” I wanted to hear the whole story.
“I went and found Payton and made him say he was sorry. I grabbed his sleeve.” H
“Really, he did what you said?”
“Pretty much, it felt really good?”
“Making that boy feel better felt good?”
“No, grabbing Payton.”
“Ok, well good, I’m glad things worked out. I’m proud of you.” I kissed Sandor and left his room.

Sandor is a really nice boy and a cool kid but he’s not a saint. He’s just a boy.  I think, if we give our kids a little instruction they really want to do the right thing. they want to help people. But they don’t always know what to do or how to spot the problem. If we give them a nudge, maybe a little instruction and we remind them that THEY HAVE THE POWER to change things, that’s exactly what they will do. In third grade most kids like doing the right thing, they want to be the good Spiderman and they don’t like mean kids.

Our kids are the ones who have the ability and power to fix a lot of the problems in schools.  I’m a busy body who wants to fix everything but my kids are actually a lot more effective at getting things done.  So it’s our job, as a parent to make sure our kids understand what’s right and wrong and that theyhave the power to make a difference, even if it’s just to one little boy on the play ground.