Yeah, the whole lunchroom experience is pure drama and trauma. My 6th grade nephew was cracking jokes about a kid who made a “tin foil penis” and set it on his chair. He promptly brought it back and said, “You left your tin foil penis on my chair”. He’s kind of a class clown (defense mechanism) but he has “there’s always that one guy” people he has to deal with (today, “that one guy” yanked his lanyard off his neck and when he gave it back, stole a pin he had on it, denying that he did), plus some mean girls.
Stuff like that aren’t always worth escalating because you STILL have to go to classes with these other kids and deal with them. The “don’t be a snitch” code is as strong today as it ever was in your time or mine.
I figured out a possible diversion though. He likes to draw comics and he’d read the book/seen the movies of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series a couple of years ago.
So, I said tonight, “Man, with your experiences every day, you could do your own Diary of a Wimpy Kid thing and it’d be way better”. His eyes lit up, asked me if I had a spare notebook, he came up with a plan (“One Chapter Per Week, one page each day”) and the thing about him, he’ll do it.
So, here’s hoping he can create his way through middle school and make the most of it. I know some that didn’t make it through without cracking (just as I’ve known some who didn’t make it through college or army boot camp without cracking), and I’m doing whatever little things I can to help him help himself not just cope in that prison-like environment, but thrive.