Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sticky Situation

Brayden came home yesterday in a very bad mood, fighting tears because someone is harassing him during recess. He's forced to cater to what this person wants to do and often misses out on playing with his friends freely as a result. To some extent or another, this has been going on for well over a year and I have stayed out of it, but after yesterday, I feel like I ought to do something.

Now before you go thinking I'm a bad Mom for not stepping in earlier, let me explain to you who this person is and why it's a problem. I'll call her "Annie", and she is a special-needs student. For well over a year she's had a bit of an obsession with Brayden, believing/longing for him to be her boyfriend and play exclusively with her. Brayden tends to be very proactive and compassionate with special needs kids (as well as younger kids) so I imagine, in the beginning, he was nice and polite, but over time has worked very hard to give off appropriate signals to let her know he's not interested. Last year, he even had a "girlfriend" (nothing more than a title - she's since moved away), and that was interesting as Annie was bothered by this girl and it ended up that Brayden and his "girlfriend" would play with her/appease her together.

Obviously, the situation is sticky. I feel like Brayden will come off as the "bad guy" regardless of what option we pursue, but on the other hand, I do feel like this is a bit of a harassment issue - albeit rather "reverse" from what we normally consider. I didn't have a whole lot of great answers for Brayden yesterday -

Fortunately, as I'm now finishing this post, I had the opportunity to talk to his teacher about the situation and she seemed very sympathetic, wrote a few notes, and assured me she'd take the concerns to the right people. I imagine it won't leave Annie very happy, but boundary determination is probably part of what she's needing to grasp, and hopefully this can be a positive learning experience.

My poor boy, certainly not a situation I would have expected to have to counsel him on......


Growin' with it! said...

probably not the last time since he's such a hunk!

girl...what are we gonna do when these cute boys of ours become tweens?!

i'm sure proud of brayden for being so compassionate tho!

StephieAnne said...

Thanks Linda - and only God will be able to give us the strength when they get older. His teacher called me and said she worked through the situation with the little girls' teachers- I feel a whole lot better about that - as well as Brayden's teacher.