On Backbone (In a Good Way)

My boys go to camp during the summer. It’s a great camp and the people there really care about the boys. For their part, the boys love it at camp. Everything’s all hunky-dory and what not. Or at least it was.

Last week we found out that there was a child in The Boy’s bunk who was causing problems. This child was saying and doing things that are not just inappropriate for a 9-year old, but are unacceptable at any age. When this behavior finally came to the attention of the adults, the camp director asked my son what was happening. The Boy gave him a glossy overview. He didn’t step forward earlier or on his own, “because he didn’t want to be seen as a tattle tail.” And I understand his thinking. He’s at that age where appearances are becoming more important. He’s concerned with what other people think about him. But I wish that he had chutzpah (guts/backbone) to stand up/speak out sooner. It may have prevent further issues.

Fast forward to today. This other child did something to my son that I’ll classify as uncalled for, and disgusting, very disgusting. What did my boy do? Nothing. Even after this other child told the rest of the kids that my boy was the one who had committed the offense. It wasn’t until the camp director intervened, yet again, that my son took any action, and that was just to tell his side of the story.

I appreciate that he didn’t vocally or physically respond to this child. He knows that’s not the correct way to handle a situation. But I wish that he had done something, gone to a counselor, or to the director to expressed himself. I worry that if he holds this stuff in, eventually it will come bursting out and his response will be just as unacceptable as what this other child is doing.

How do you handle these situations with your child? Any thoughts or suggestions? Let me know in the comments.

Leave a Comment