A question

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiped Out, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    husband took difficult child to wrestling last night. When I got home from book club he was really upset/sad.

    difficult child was wrestling with two other boys. difficult child doesn't really get along well with one of the boys-me thinks the boy may be a difficult child in his own right but I don't really know.

    Apparently on the way home husband was trying to explain how he just had to do his best, you have to work with people you don't like very much. difficult child gets along with almost everyone on the team and didn't have this problem last year-this kid is new.

    Finally difficult child said he didn't like the boy because he cusses-now my difficult child cusses all the time so why this should bother him :dont_know:but when asked what the boy said he told husband the boy called him the N word. This made me very sad when I heard it.

    Now most of you know we've had a problem with difficult child using that word-he has not used it at wrestling. We have really cracked down on him using that word. He knows how much we hate it. Not an excuse at all but difficult child is African American and often the boys at his school will use that term for one another. We still tell him it is inappropriate and unacceptable and he gets a consequence every time he says the word.

    The boy who called difficult child this is not African American. husband said he is going to talk to the coach because he doesn't want the two boys to be partnered up anymore. I think this is probably a good idea because I don't want difficult child to end up blowing up one day.

    My question is, do you think we're right in talking to the coach?
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Absolutely! I think husband speaking to the coach is totally appropriate. Oil and water - the two just don't mix well. It's like that with kids too - and when you through in the difficult child factor, it can be volitile. Your husband knows the words to say. If the coach is a good one, he'll honor the request, which is in the best interest of the team as whole. He doesn't want any conflicts within his team, I'm sure.

  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I would definitely talk to the coach. This is not just two boys having problems with each other, this is a boy using racial slurs. If the boy doesn't learn this is not acceptable now, when will he learn it? When he says it to the wrong person and gets his head blown off? Obviously, to me it isn't even an issue of the two boys not getting along. It is one boy saying something totally unacceptable to another. The coach really does need to be apprised of this. Can you imagine it being said during a meet with another school and what kind of mess that would be?
  4. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I agree that husband should definately mention this. I believe most schools have no tolerance for that type of thing. Hopefully it can be straightened out and difficult child can be happier with wrestling.

  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Yes because I don't think difficult child could adequately advocate for himself in this situation. You don't need a blow up because difficult child can't tolerate the other child's poor behavior any longer.
  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Sign me up for agree! difficult child will learn many things:

    it's not an appropriate term
    talking rather than fighting will handle a situation
    adults can be trusted to step in when a problem that is too overwhelming to handle himself
    there is a peaceful approach to conflict

    Great job you guys! It's really wonderful that he expressed himself calmly to Dad vs. some obscure meltdown!

  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Definitely talk to the coach, but do leave the door open for reconciliation with that boy. I really do worry when we slam doors shut permanently when there could be chance to rescue the situation or the other child.

    I am beginning to understand just how seriously the use of that word is being taken. Not living in the US, this is something totally alien to us here in Australia, apart from the chat shows that make it across the Pacific. An episode of Oprah a year or two ago explained the issues in detail, over this word.

    Kids like to shock. Using a word which used to be far more acceptable but is now considered shocking - the other boy may simply not understand just how unacceptable this is. To be able to sort it out, at least to the point of mediation and resolution, would surly give the most positive outcome possible? Even if the boys can't be friends for other reasons, at least it won't be because of this.

    I also would hate for any African-American to feel worse about him/herself because someone used that word. It's an anachronism, it's ancient, it in itself is a mispronunciation in a dialect which implies poor education/grammar on the part of the speaker. It upsets me that anybody takes it seriously enough to wound. The trouble is, it is being delivered with serious intent to wound, much of the time. And we take the intent on board.

    However, all that aside - the current social requirements are what must be adhered to. This must be sorted out, for difficult child's sake as well as this other boy's. He has to learn that the word is unacceptable, or he will use it again on some other person. And if he is using it, knowing it will wound and is unacceptable - he must be called on it.

    Interestingly, on the subject of that word - difficult child 3 & I were beginning to watch "Blazing Saddles" this morning. When that film was made, the word was far less shocking than it is today. As we watch the film further I will be using the opportunity, though, to explain to difficult child 3 that using that word today is not acceptable; the examples in that film are coming from characters who are not being very nice at all and they are not to be emulated. It's interesting - this is a movie which in so many ways challenges stereotypes, right from the very beginning. I guess it's the nature of satire. I need to teach him, though - he's still echolalic, at least with quoting large slabs of text from films or books. The last thing I need is for him to be quoting slabs of movie text and offending any US tourists in the vicinity!

  8. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    one more in agreement here. Talk to the coach.
  9. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    I would think you were doing the wrong thing if you didn't speak to the coach. My daughter has been teased for being jewish (we recently moved down south and are now going to be moving back up north) Some kid asked her what a "jewish" was! At that point I told her to educate the people around her to inform them and help stop prejudice. However, when a kid on the bus called her a dirty Jew I was the first one up at the school. We must erase bigotry and racial/religious prejudice early on in our children if this world is to go in the right direction. You are teaching your difficult child a moral lesson when he sees you standing up against prejudice and it's also a little pat on the back for him to know you will always stand behind him - good for you!!!
  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Absolutely. Ignorance and perpetuating accepting of ignorance has to be dealt with.
    It's difficult for adults to deal with such uncomfortable, infuriating, embarassing moments let alone a difficult child child.

    Hopefully your son is not cussing at practice and will realize he is smart enough to use other words to express his frustration at home.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hon, I'm the one who got the busdriver thrown off my son's route because, when I worked as her aide, she told me "the races shouldn't mix" and went on and on about her racism. I would tell as I have a zero tolerance level for the "N" word. That includes my easy child daughter too, who is bi-racial. If anyone says that word to either one, they get busted. Strangely, in our mostly white community it has only happened once with my daughter (and she and I both think the boy who allegedly said it about her didn't really say it--he is a "geek" and we believe he was set up to get into BIG trouble). The other time was the twitty bus driver.
    Tell the coach. in my opinion there's no use for that language on the Wrestling Team.
    My AA friends, strangely, tell me to make sure I don't blow a gasket. They say they will hear it again, which is true, and not to give the people who say that word the violent, crazed reaction that they want. But definitely show your boy that it's WRONG.
  12. tammyjh

    tammyjh New Member

    Yes, I'm in agreement with everyone else.
    Keep the lines of communication open with the coach so he knows whats going on with the boys. This way, he'll be able to deal with it....hopefully in an appropriate manner. Also, the other boys parents might want to know so the coach could have a talk with them as well. I would want to know if my child said anything like that to a peer because I would want to make sure I educated them further on what was appropriate and not appropriate and why. I hope it all goes well.
  13. mum2JK&TH

    mum2JK&TH New Member

    I agree with Marg. I would definately speak to the coach but I wouldn't necessarily close the door with the boys. I don't think you can entirely fault the boy if he hasn't been taught that it is wrong. Boys that age tend to repeat things that they have heard without truly understanding what they are saying. Kids are young and forgiving along with being mean, lol. What is a big deal one day may not be a week from now, yet you have severed any chance of reconciliation if you state you don't want them paired up. However, if the boy continues then yes not pairing them up is best.

    Best of luck talking to the coach. Here's hoping that difficult child relizes now how hurtful the word can be.
  14. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    One word of caution.

    If this other boy has overheard your son using the word, get ready for a cry of "reverse racism". As in why is it OK for him to say it but not me.

    I also agree with Marg, that the doors should be left open for reconciliation. I further agree with what MWM said. It is just a word. If you do not give it any attention, you take its power away. No need to blow a gasket, but teach a lesson for sure.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    When I was a child I thought my parents were joking when they said some people don't like others because of skin color.

    I wish I was still so naive.

    The "N word" is one that should not be used. Schools generally have a no tolerance policy, and the coach should certainly be told.

    If you DON'T tell the coach you son will get the message you will not stand up for him. It is time the school got a bit more active on the "no bullying" and no racism front.

    I am so sorry your son was hurt this way.


  16. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks everyone! We will be talking to the coach. I'm not sure we will talk to the dad. From what I've seen of him at practice I don't think he would handle it well. He always looks upset when his child is paired with difficult child.

    I'm fairly certain difficult child has never used this language at wrestling because difficult child gets very upset when others swear at wrestling-go figure with the language he uses so often but thankfully not at wrestling.

    I'll let you know how it goes!