Thursday, November 21, 2013
Great lessons that packs a powerful punch!
"No more" is a page from the life of every parent I know. There is always that one kid who torments everyone else in the class. I grew up with it, my brothers, my husband, my sons and now I watch my kids struggle with the same issue as their children go off to school. Just like the Mom in the book we teach our children to respect others, do not fight, go to the other side of the playground when Timmy, Johnny, or Josh is spoiling for a fight. But somehow, like the shark from Jaws, the bully seeks out the weaker child, the well behaved one, the sweet kid, and makes their life miserable. Dr. Shomer has the conflicted angst of both mother and child down to a tee. He also is able to tap into the bully's disastrous home life as well. He humanizes Josh, giving the explanation for his aggression without maudlin excuses. The mom reacts by sending her son to to learn martial arts. By teaching him how to protect himself, and by giving him tools, he is able to build his confidence, but fear still holds him back. Sam is fine fighting in the safe confines of his school with a teacher he trusts, but he is afraid to use these new skills on his bully. Mario, the instructor has taught him to tap three times when he needs to stop aggression in his partner, but Sam knows that Josh does not respect boundaries and his fear is holding him back. When at last, like a heat seeking missile, Josh pursues and then attacks Sam, Sam repeats the mantra he has learned at Judo school. "No more, no more..." and suppressing his fear he is able to fight back. Predictably, our bully runs away, with his tail between his legs, as we knew he would. I felt the same thrill reading the words as when I punched a bully in the eye for tormenting my baby brother, who is legally blind. I didn't realize I was holding my breath,until it rushed out of me and the memory of the shocked face of my brother's persecutor flashed into my mind. I swear my adrenaline was just as pumped as Sam's.
Dr. Shomer, relates the story in a concise, no frills fashion, and in the afterword admits that is his own experience. This book is a permission slip, letting parents know we have to change our tactics as our children leave the house and armor them against the sociopaths who fail to follow the basic rules of society. Dr. Shomer is a realist and this book should be required reading for all parents so we can stop the tidal wave of bullying that has made our children's playgrounds a minefield.
Carole P. Roman