Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Sometimes It's Hard Not To Cry...


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...

16 comments:

Jennifer said...

OMG that's so sad. Heartbreaking. Those poor little things.

georgie said...

i am a substitute teacher for our school system and it does BREAK your HEART-some of the things you see and hear...

Therese said...

How very sad!

Stephanie said...

Heartbreaking! Is there anything you can do? Call the police? Anything? Oh man, that just makes me so sad. Way to make a pregnant girl cry on her first visit to your blog!

Aw, but I'll be back after my hormones release their iron grip on my emotions...;)

American in Norway said...

That is just heartbreaking...makes you want to take the kids home doesn't it? I remember a little boy in Danes class who would always come & sit by me, when I would volunteer... He would always hug me & tell me how lucky dane was...because his mommy had run away .... Oh... I just wanted to scoop him up & take him home with me

Jen B. said...

It's truly sad some of the things these poor little ones live through on a daily basis. How heartbreaking that this little dear has to witness such horrible acts! I hate it that children aren't able to be innocent anymore... if only they all could come up in a good home.

Toni said...

I just cannot fathom having to live in fear of being hit. Yeah, I was spanked some as a child, but never abused or beat. My husband has never, ever threatened or even raised a hand as if to hit.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed at how blessed I am, and at the heart-wrenching situations that others live under.

addhumorandfaith said...

So, so sad, but true too often. Caring people like you in their lives can make a difference though. Keep up the good work.

Rhea said...

That's so sad. It must be so hard to hear that.

That bruise is BAD looking too, ouch.

Heather said...

Oh, I can't imagine. My heart hurts just hearing about such things.

Z's Mom said...

Awww...that is so sad. Thankfully she has a good role model in you. She will remember what you said.

Chris H said...

Little ones tell their teacher very interesting and sad things for sure.... pity you can't act on them to help protect those that need protecting. It is very hard I know, I was a Special Needs Teacher Aide for 6 years... heard lots of little 'stories' that broke my heart too.

Anne said...

Heartbreaking really. You are right, this little one and many more others will grow up thinking that this is the norm.....

Lori said...

That hurts my heart. I don't think you could have said anything more perfect, though.

Gramma 2 Many said...

Karen, your two last posts seems to tell some very sad stories of the plight of the family today. It is so sad that children are neglected and that they are exposed to the abuse they see every day.
My daughter Tricia has a post on her blog. (It's my crazy live but I love it.) You can access it through mine if you wish. She tells a story about J. It is so similar and equally heartbreaking.

Mrs4444 said...

I love the way you responded to her; that kind of simple validation is important. Sad story...