Recently, my 5th grader son, was dealing with a situation in school with another classmate, a boy who was new to the school. Right there, we can put emphasis on the word, "new" and realize that we can not have a clear picture of the situation, and so should not be quick to judge or take sides.
For a period of 2 weeks or so, my son would come home, telling me "new" bits of information pertaining to his "not so wonderful" involvement with this other boy. It was very disturbing to me, because it was clearly causing huge stress for him and I was very concerned for him. In my fantasy world, school is a place where my children go to learn, have a great relationship with their teacher, and, ok, make some great long lasting friendships,which could amount to one or two, or perhaps 10 or more, but learning comes first!
Long and short of it, the boys were having a personality conflict and each day my son would come home to report to me about the to-dos of the day, I was finding myself altering my position. One day I would feel a sense of compassion for the other little boy being that he was "new," and another day I would feel a sense of intrusion because my child was bringing home this "frustration" into my house and it was causing unrest in not only his mind but mine as well, and this I was not happy about. I did not want it. We want what we want right? And we feel a sense of invasion when we get what we don't want.
The boy's mother reached out to me in an effort to "fix" the situation, and I came to learn that her son seemed to want to have a friendship with my son, but he was having some difficulties as their two personalities were clashing in the process. I could immediately imagine that it was challenging for two 10 year olds to be able to sift through and overlook certain things, much like adults do (and probably perfected from childhood).
Well, it seemed that both boys agreed they wanted to try to become friends, until some strange situation happened and they found themselves "feuding" again, with frustrations greatly out of control and thrown in the midst of "teacher" assistance to get it under control. They ended up with the guidance counselor!
Thank goodness! I felt happy about this because it seemed that all my "motherly" wisdom was not helping and not because my "motherly" wisdom was no good, but because my child's mind was unable to grasp the concepts I was trying to teach him. He was blocking me and focusing too much on "the situation." People tend to do this. They get clouded about the "situation" and refuse to focus on how to fix it FAST, in the best, most healthy way.
We came to the conclusion, all of us, boys, parents, teacher and guidance counselor, that the boys were both wonderful children, with strong convictions about certain things (that were indeed ok). On the one hand, my son had to learn more about compassion and putting himself in someone else's shoes (the fact that this other boy was "new" to the school), and the other boy had to learn that his "new-ness" did not mean he could expect people to like him regardless of his behavior.
This all brought me to a thought about "PERFECT" and "TRUTH." During this "situation," it seemed that so much "stuff" was being thrown about and nothing was being done to truly address helping the boys with their problems. My son was coming home telling me "stuff," and expecting me to take his side and deep down inside I could not do that. I supported him as best as I could by telling him that his wellbeing was my priority. I tried to talk to him about being the better person, about making a choice (try to be friends, or just agree to not be friends and leave the other boy alone completely). All the while, I kept asking him if he was telling me the "ENTIRE TRUTH" about the situation because somewhere, somethings just were not adding up.
Much of the same was going on with the other boy's family, as I learned from his mother, that she was getting "bits and pieces" of information. We learned that both boys were telling as much as they felt necessary to protect themselves .... even from their parents.
Children and Adults alike do this repeatedly throughout life. They tell what they feel is necessary to feel protected and to not reveal some possible important inner TRUTHS. Also, people tend to want to pick sides with arguments by picking out SOME of the TRUTHs and not worrying about other significant bits of information. I observed this during the past few weeks and I did not let it bother me. I knew that we just needed to get past all of the "drama" and get to a place where everyone was going to be ok.
Some people can feel good about going through life, discarding relevant important TRUTHs in an effort to be right, or to prove a point and it's truly unhealthy. It can never be possible to know the ENTIRE, exact TRUTH of a situation, but it can always be good to examine your heart on what you believe is the TRUTH and how to proceed with a situation.
I had spoken to a few different people regarding this situation with my son, and it was truly interesting to hear the different feedback. Some people were compassionate and some were not. Some encouraged that the boys work things out and get to a better place and others encouraged me to not be understanding and to just "side with my son" and fight for him.
I did fight for him, in the privacy of our home, I sat with him and talked to him about PERFECTION and TRUTH. I spoke to him about God and about the fact that we can not understand completely what is going on his someone's life, in their mind. Things happen and many times, people overlook the TRUTH and circumstances about why it has happened and they want to blame or criticize. This is not helpful.
During this whole situation, I also begged my son not to engage any other children in this dilemma because I knew that it would be wrong to amass a group against the child. Again, I asked my child to put himself in this other child's shoes, and to think about how he would like it if this boy got a group of boys to take his side against him. What would this prove? It is no one's place to get involved in the issues of a problem that exist between 2 people unless they are going to HELP the problem get solved. If you choose a side, it's because you support the person you are siding with and will HELP them in a positive way, but you are not on a mission to go against the other person -- unless you know THE TRUTH about that person and they deserve your opposition.
I truly appreciate the guidance counselor getting involved, as she was a mutual party. She overheard what each boy had to say and then they discussed how they felt about the issues that were brought up. They explained themselves and why they felt or did what they did, and then they decided whether or not they wanted to try to have a friendship. This was brave and mature for two 10 year olds to do, and this I admired tremendously. They have decided to try to have a friendship!
The last thing I tried to talk about with my son was about PERFECTION. In the midst of this problem, he had seemed to believe that there was a RIGHT and a WRONG in this situation. When more of the TRUTH had come out, I had to make him realize that NONE of us are PERFECT, and no one was right and no one was wrong. We all have our faults, some intentionally, and some beyond our control. Before you can judge or declare that something is wrong with someone else, you have to be able to look in the mirror and know in all TRUTH, that you are totally within your own right to do so.
Gosh, and the only way to know the PERFECT TRUTH is to be GOD, otherwise, you must let your heart tell you what is RIGHT.