Elijah is suspended from school for two days. He punched the bully. Elijah is an intellectual, not really physical at all. But, after two years of constant harrassment of the most foul sort, he had had it. Funny thing is, as soon as their scuffle was over, it was Elijah who went to the office and reported it, even though he threw the first punch. He has been rather humble about the whole thing -- he just wants this bully to leave him alone. The office staff is well aware of this other kid's behavior. He received a longer suspension.
We'll see what comes of it. Hopefully the other kid will think twice next time. Turns out quiet, read-a-book-at-lunch Elijah has a threshhold.
Regardless of the circumstances, we're not cool with punching. (Elijah adds, "Neither am I!") We're not letting him have a vacation. He must work, contribute, stay busy. He has helped his grandparents plant trees and pull weeds, he has washed the dogs, done the dishes, cleaned the bathrooms, -- and to top it off, he made a cheesecake. How about that? Granny helped him out.
He is just delighted with himself over the result. I spent the first hour this morning hearing all about cheesecakes and how they are made, how he swirled chocolate into the top layer, how he piped a spongecake border around the edge of the cake, but it didn't work, and so forth.
Tough waters to navigate as a parent. Condemn the punch, condone the confession. Condemn the wrong reaction, condone the good kid. Punish, comfort, direct & love.