When Olivia Wilson's little girl came home from school "with a bruise the size and shape of a 10-year-old boy's fist" on her chest, this mom of two understandably went through a range of emotions.
"[I was] shocked, flabbergasted, upset, concerned, angry; no livid, enraged, outraged, beside myself, sweaty, dizzy, pacing up and down the kitchen . . . how could anyone do this?" Olivia wrote on her blog, The Wilsons of Oz. But after a Friday night spent thinking about the incident over a glass of wine, Olivia tried to consider the other child's perspective.
"Saturday morning arrived, I was regretting the wine, and also regretting how horribly I had handled my emotions," she wrote. She realized that she has also been in this situation before, but on the other side of things with her older child, Monty.
"He is loud, brave, a little punchy, energetic beyond belief, and will always, without fail, step in if he thinks someone is being wronged," she wrote. "He can often be seen pushing his big sister out of the way, so as he can confront the big kid who's being mean to her. He always runs to the aid of his friends."
However, Olivia admits that sometimes Monty's "protective nature" gets the better of him and he takes things a bit too far. "Honestly, he has been known to make much bigger kids cry and run to their moms when he has been standing up for someone," she wrote.
A time when Monty was 2 years old and pinched another toddler came to her mind. When Olivia found out that her kid had hurt another child, she felt awful and was torn on what part of the situation upset her more. "I couldn't make out whether my heart was breaking because I was upset that my child would hurt someone else on purpose, or whether I was sad for the other mother who was now being told her precious child was going home with an injury," she wrote.
After recalling how difficult it was for her to be in that position, Olivia began to empathize for the mother of the child who hurt her girl. "How would I feel if I'd had a phone call to say he had punched someone so hard they had to go and have an x-ray?" she wrote. "Honestly . . . I think that feeling would far outweigh my frenzied lioness feelings."
Thanks to Olivia's unique perspective having been the parent on both sides of this difficult situation, she is encouraging other moms and dads not to be too hard on themselves if their kid acts out.
To learn that your child has shown such aggression toward another student has to be heartbreaking to say the least. When we send our children out into the big wide world, we hope that we have taught them enough to cope in certain situations, how to stand up for themselves in the right way, how to use their manners all of the time.
What we don't really consider as parents is, sometimes they will forget these rules, accidentally let loose and lash out, forget to wash their hands or say please may I. This in no way is a reflection on the school or the teachers, nor is it a reflection on how we have parented our children. Sometimes kids just get it wrong, very wrong.