Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Remember when we were kids and we played that game where you whip your hand out toward someone and then pretend you intended to scratch your head? Okay, I didn't "play" that game, but I fell for it a couple times. And I didn't like it.

I see this game and others like it at the shelter fairly often. We sometimes have aggressive girls who attend groups, but so far I've only seen boys aged 5-15 "play" these games. They're good at them: move fast, get too close, reach out or strike out very near someone's head.

Sometimes they trip or "try" to trip another child. Or they might grab a toy or pretend to grab a toy from a younger kid--who often protests loudly. They look around. If they notice an adult watching, they quickly say, "Oops, sorry!" like it was an accident.

When we talk about it, they say these aren't really aggressive acts. They're "teasing," "fooling around," "don't mean nothin'," etc. But I don't let them off the hook until they understand these acts are agressive, mean, and threatening.

Unfortunately, they've learned these games from pro's. Who am I to try to compete?
But I do, anyway.
They're worth it.

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