Thursday, June 9, 2016

Racial Issues and Baseball

Last night was my boy's last baseball game. (We have play offs next week yet). I am not a fan of sports. I am a homebody. But I promised the boys, one season of baseball, because they have worked hard to be responsible and respectful.
They are playing on a local league, not competitive. Most of the coaches are strong christian men. Many of the kids are Mennonite, some are not.
They had practices for a number of months then they had games starting end of May.
Towards the end of practices and beginning of games, one kid started bullying my son. He befriended my son then turned around crossed the line with questions about birth parents and racial name calling. My son was heartbroken.
With the help of a woman, I greatly admire, I helped my son to see that he was strong enough to stand against this bully. We role played, we discussed his strength. His brother stepped up and stood by him.
The kid continued, despite my son speaking up. So I contacted the coach and vaguely shared details. I asked him to be aware of what was happening. My boys did not want more attention drawn to themselves. But they also could not (nor would I allow) allow the bullying to continue. The coach had a chat with the team about bullying. (My boys did not know I had contacted him) He handled the situation with wisdom and discretion that empowered my boys.
The bullying stopped, once or twice again this kid would pop out with a comment and my son would respond with "Stop that!" which ended it.
My son came out of the whole situation feeling strong and proud of himself. He had with the help of his brother, coach and mom, handled this bullying situation.
The bully has a very angry father that would often yell at him. If he missed a ball or messed up, his dad would step in and chew him out. The kid was so tense he couldn't hit the ball. His eyes were often full of hurt. He also told my son on more then one occasion "I HATE MY DAD!".
This was such an excellent lesson for my boys. This kid was reacting out of his own hurt. His heart was hurting, so he spilled that out on the first victim he could find. It was not ok, at all. But the incredibly amazing thing where I am si incredibly proud of my boys.. by the end of the season they were often cheering for this boy.