21 hours ago
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Currently I'm sporting a mildly spectacular bruise on my right arm. It's faded a bit and is one of three, on that arm, that I got from hitting a box that was jutting out as I walked into my bedroom. Took that last painful one, to give me the clue that perhaps if I moved the box, then I'd quit feeling the hurt !!
I was helping a child with a word sort, in the classroom, when another little one sidled up to me. She put out her hand and gently touched my bruise...
C .... 'You've got an owie, Mrs Hayward-King.'
Me ... 'I know honey, I'm a little clumsy sometimes.'
C .... 'Does it hurt?'
Me ... 'Not now, but it did when I hurt it.'
C .... 'Mrs Hayward-King, are you married?'
Me ... 'Yes dear.'
C .... 'Does your husband hit you? '
Me ... 'No honey. ( knowing, with a sinking heart, what was probably coming next ) It's wrong to hit. '
C .... 'My daddy hits my mommy. She's gets bruises like that. '
Sadly, this is not the first time a child has said something like this to me. Your heart just breaks for them when they tell you, so matter-of-factly, that the police took daddy away because he hit mommy or that daddy is in jail for the same reason.
It's so hard to know what to say to them, as you have to be careful as you don't want the kid going home and saying 'My teacher said that you should be hung, drawn and quartered for what you did!'. That's often what I want to say ... or something equally unrepeatable..
In this case, I simply gave her a hug and told her that I was sorry and that it was sad that her mommy was being hurt and that it wasn't a good thing to hit people.
You just feel so helpless though, especially when you realise that these little girls will probably grow up, thinking that this behaviour is normal. All you can do, is hope, that maybe what you say, may make a difference...