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Thursday, November 24, 2011

bending, not breaking...

defiant, he refused to look me in the eye or acknowledge my words.

but i knew he heard me, for his little hands pulled at his eyes to try to stop the tears and he trembled.

violence in the classroom, even in play, is unacceptable and must be disciplined. our usual method is 'time-out' on a special chair. this little one had to be dragged, limp and deadweight, to the chair.

when i asked him to apologize for hurting his friends by punching them in the faces, he was sullenly silent. over and over again i softly explained, on the other side of the classroom so as to give him privacy, that he simply could not behave this way. no response other than the frantic clawing at his eyes.

i led him back to join the others in the reading circle...he continued to be difficult. given his special needs, we have given this child a lot of mercy, but i could see that it was coming to an end for both the teacher and me (i'm the assistant).

finally, the teacher asked him to leave, since he refused to cooperate with anything. i took his hand and quite forcefully removed him, again limp and defiant, to the other side of the classroom, again.

i looked him in the eye, bobbing my head back and forth to catch him. "sweetheart, you cannot do this." again he began the frantic clawing at his eyes to stop the tears. i rubbed his back and held him in my arms. he pulled away. i held him. suddenly, a burst of anguish. flooding tears. agony. clutching his stomach. uncontrolled gasping and choking.

i waiting, tissues mopping up the flood. rubbed his back. prayed quietly. tapped his shoulders. waiting for him to settle.

thinking deep in my mind- how dreadful it is when a child has gone so far without bending, without being gently bent, that he almost has to break. daddy and mommy find it easier to just let him do what he wants, rather than stop his headlong rush to delinquency. the child suffers because of their refusal to confront this behavior with daily, consistent love and discipline. 

his sobs take so long to slow. he clings to me, writhes in my arms. stubborn little heart refusing to speak, to pray, to listen, to look at me, he is deep within himself in torment.

and i wish that i had a way to explain that it's not his fault.