My mom called and said she fears my son is being bullied by his schoolmate. I asked him if it is so, but it turned out he voluntarily gave the money to the kid because the kid is poor. It looked like he was being bullied because the kid is bigger in built than him. I took him aside and told him it’s OK to admit that he’s being bullied, but my son took me to see the kid’s parents and true enough they were barely making enough money. My son felt he was more privileged than the kid, and suggested sharing his pocket money with him.
My son understands he’s luckier than others around him. From that day, I gave him extra pocket money to share with the other kid. I packed him extra snacks because I want his friend to enjoy them too. During my son’s birthday I invited him to join us but he declined and said he had to go home to look after his sister. I found out he was ashamed that he had no presents for my son.
My son brought him the leftover cake the next day. To see the joy on his face, the big grin to have the cake…”I never had a cake on my birthday. My parents couldn’t afford this.” My son was in tears when he came back home. Next thing we know, he packed half his toys and gave it to him. “Take it, don’t worry about it. I have plenty,” he said.
Last week we found out his friend’s father passed away. The mother barely makes enough money so my mom started volunteering to look after her daughter for free (my mom babysits for some neighbor’s kids too so it’s not an issue to her at all) so that her son can go to school and doesn’t have to stay home to look after his sister. My son was overjoyed to know that his friend can come stay with us after school before the mother fetches him after work everyday. They have been close friends ever since and even though my son is smaller than him, he acted as a protector to this friend (his friend was the one who got bullied at school because he’s poor so much so that his school shoes have holes, he only has a pair of school uniform, and uses a plastic bag for his books instead of a bag).
Look, I am not here to brag. I just want to get it off my chest because my son is 8 years old and he shows that he understands that when you have more money, to not raise your standard of living but instead to raise the standard of your giving. I have watched him grow up in front of me wishing for him not to just excel in school, but excel in life as a person. If he doesn’t get good grades in school, I’m OK with it knowing he will grow up being a better person.