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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

what a boy!

I mentioned in my last post that our children's schooling was my main concern when we were facing our new adventure to live in Deutschland. I have also talked about how education makes huge differences in our lives, opens doors and is real privilege!
This is my concerned look! =)

Our relocation package from my husband's employer covered school fees for the first three years.  This meant our two middle boys would transfer to German school after this time. This time came last August and saw these two sons starting their new challenge - German school.  They have both had different challenges, I am going to tell you about our 13 year old, Matthew's experience.

Not long after he had started school, I began to get little stories from his older brothers he had been confiding in, about some unkind things going on at school.  I asked him what I could do to help, but his reply always came back with "it's OK, I can cope!"  He didn't seem anxious and never asked to stay at home rather than go to school.  He was coping extremely well! As things escalated he opened up to me more and shared things that mums dread to hear, such as:
"They tell me to go back to my own country and I have no right to be here."
"I won the race at school today mum, but they told me I have no right to come first!" (seemingly I got this bit wrong and he came second and the winner was the one who told him he had no right to come first.  I stand corrected!! haha
"They told me to go away and not stand with them ..."
"They lock me out of the classroom until the teacher comes ..."
"They hit me today ..."
"They threw all of my things on the floor ..."

It was so heart wrenching for me.  He was still determined for me not to do anything yet.  One morning we discussed things again and he said it had got to the point that he needed some help.  Things had started to taste a little sour!!

We both felt we should address it at school and enlist the help of his class teacher.  He is an English teacher and so we were able to speak English together.  (I didn't want to be emotional and at the same time have to try to find the correct vocab - let alone the correct grammar.)  He was a very good listener and was horrified at our report. He reassured us he would address the situation with the whole class straight away and did just as he had promised.  I am so glad that to their credit, those boys involved, stopped immediately.  Were they all of a sudden friends? No, they just let him be.  I felt his teacher handled the situation perfectly.  

Matthew was and still is a wonderful example to all of us on how to respond in difficult situations and how not to react negatively. He never let their bullying (I am so reluctant to label them as bullies) negative behaviour, affect the good decisions he had to make. His attitude was amazing, never feeling the need for revenge. His energy was spent on his own happiness not on hateful comments or reactions. When we discussed the situation at home, we discussed how he would grow from these experiences and how they were preparing him for challenges he might face in the adult world.   Boys will be boys and wrong choices will be made.  I hope those boys have also learned lessons from this that will help them to become good men! The world needs good men.
Matthew has shown such strength of character during a really tough time.  Well done Matty!! We love you!! xx

p.s. he is now starting to make friends! =)

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