Thursday, April 14, 2016


I always thought of Ace as someone who knows how to take care of himself. Because he is much taller than most kids his age, people think twice before they bully him. If there are mean people in school, usually it is just words and he doesnt really let those get to him too much. Outside, we have only met one bully in a Mac Donald playground in Singapore and a mean boy in Dubai at the toy store...

The other day though, when he came home, I thought I will just tease him a little. He reached home, I unlocked the door and told him, "There is no one home, there is no one home.." in a robotic voice.

I thought he will laugh..

Instead, he burst out crying very sadly.. his eyes all red...

I was a little taken aback and asked why he was crying and in between sobbing, he told me, "Someone bullied me..."

So I did the next best thing I knew that could help this huggy kissy monster... I hugged him and hoped that he can calm down and tell me more...

After he calmed down a little,  in between sobs he told me what happened....As his eyes were totally red, his hair was in a mess and his shirt was totally black on the back (he had fallen backwards) and his sleeves were all black with dirt... and he kept sobbing and rubbing his eyes... so I cut short his story and asked him to bath first before continuing because if not his eyes will only get worse if he used his dirty hands to rub them.

After he bathed, he sat down and continued his story. I was relieved to find that his eyes seemed alot better and this is how is story was like...

Ace's sad face and red eyes on the day the incident happened...


Apparently, Ace and his classmates have been going to the playground after school. Since he always only played for 5-10 minutes there each time, I said nothing when he explained that he was at the playground when I asked him why he was home so late or why he was so sweaty.

That day, after his CCA, Ace walked past the playground and saw his friend, D, there at the playground with some other classmates and he went over to join them and play with them.

When he went over, D was with a few other kids who seemed to be secondary school kids but Ace was unable to tell what school it is from.

According to Ace, he was playing with a few classmates and when Ace was on the swing and D whispered to the secondary school boy and passed a long fern to the boy. The boys started to use the fern and wave it in front of his face and he backed off to avoid them and they said, "Why, you scared ah..." And slapped the fern on his face and it hit his eye.

Ace cried because it hurt and he lost balance and fell backwards onto the floor. And then they started laughing. They stood above him in a menacing manner and laughed..

At this point, one of his classmates came over and they told her, "Look, Ace is crying!"

And they all continued to laugh at Ace. Then someone said, "Quick, take photo and post on stomp.." and someone whipped out the camera to take photos.

And then as they were laughing, they continued on and they said he is so EMO.... and D said, "He is class monitor lor..!"

And the boys said he must be a girl.. cry so much.. and someone said, "Quick, check his pants and see if he has a penis.."

Throughout, there were adults at the playground but they were watching on.  THe other classmates were there but they also merely watched on.. perhaps they were afraid to stand up for their friend.

So Ace cried and went to the bus stop and took a bus home and he came home crying badly and his eyes were very red.


So when I heard this, I was like a sea of calm. I wrote what he told me down and sent to the teacher to inform him to pls talk to D and find out what happened. 

And of course, I had to remind Ace that when you see bullies, you WALK AWAY. They wouldnt have been able to say or do anything more if you walked away. CRYING... it seems, at this point, may not be the best strategy to ask for help even though it always worked previously

As Ace has often used crying as his main strategy to ask for help, I told him that I hope he realizes that this strategy does not always work. Though there were adults there and other classmates there, no one came forward to help when he was crying and so crying may not be the best solution. He is likely better off relying on himself to walk away or ask god for help.

And I am also slightly outraged that the boys laughed at Ace because he cried. I am of the view that it is ok for any person to express that they are being hurt by crying whether they are male or female. Crying is NOT a sign of weakness and not solely a female attribute. Real men cry!:) And that is what I told Ace. But at that point, it was perhaps not the BEST thing to do... I told him maybe it might be better if he had closed his eyes and chanted for wisdom and help from the Gohonzon:)

I noted that he cried the saddest when he told me that they are going to stomp him.. this boy very ai mian zi lah... so I told him that if what we are doing is right, there is no need to fear if people stomp you or what. If they really do post these photos.. people are not stupid also.. they will also ask.. why these photos will taken and come to conclusion that these boys were there at a bully incident and did nothing except take photos! So who looks bad here?

And I added that  though I fully support his decision to unfriend D because I see how he was hurt but I hope he forgives D for this... to which he replied, "I will never forgive him!"

I also told Ace I have noticed a lot of older kids loitering around that playground and they often seem to be up to no good. So it is not a good idea for him to loiter around and that he should always go home straight instead of loitering around somewhere with his friends after school. If he had gone home straight, he would not have met these bullies...

His dad came home and  we told his dad and I could see Max burning with anger... and his dad told him... there are only two ways to counter this... either fight or flight... so he can either get up and walk away from them and not let them continue to bully him.. or you can "give it to him good".. but if you choose this way, you make sure you pick the biggest, toughest boy and hit him jia lat jia lat (hard).. then no one will dare to bully you again! Just dun injure them permanently... " Max calls this Daddy's way of solving the problem.. which he says is usually different from mummy's way...

I thought I was quite ok but finally when Ace went to bed and I sat down and thought about it, I was really angry... I can still feel a fire burning within me... like how dare these people belittle and laugh at and bully what is precious to me!? I know they are kids but I guess it reminded me of a time where I was slapped by a bully when I was in school ... I tried but haven't fully forgiven him after all these years I guess...

The irony? By the time I was seething with anger, my son was his usual chirpy, happy self already ;) hahaha...

When I think back, I realized the kids themselves must have been bullied at some point and told they were sissies for crying too... and I thought thank goodness it happened to Ace cos he has this safe environment filled  with love where he can come to his dad and mum and we can heal anything together and that it did not happen to another kid who may have been less secured and may be deeply scarred by this...

I suspect part of him enjoyed playing victim and getting more attention from us.. haha :)

But seriously, by dinner time, he was back to his usual chirpy self.. which told me he was not hurt too badly in this incident lah. Phew... his tears come fast and he forget fast.

The Day After...

But I cannot forget wor!:) Next morning, he was his usual self and still eager to go to school. I predicted though that he will be friends again with D by the end of the day but I tested him on our way to school.. I asked him if he will forgive D and he said he will never forgive him. "What if he looks very sorry?" And Ace insisted that he will NOT forgive D....

Truth is, he came home and said they are friends again. When I asked him how they became friends again, he said by the end of the day, D came to him and said, "Bro, sorry lah... wanna go mamashop? " And Ace naturally said YES:) So I commented..."But I tot you say you will NEVER forgive? HOw come you changed your mind?" "Because he looked really really sorry.." Ace said.

Hahahaha.. so much so for I will never forgive him. But I was the unforgiving one who said he is free to choose his friends but he has to know this friend may not be reliable in times of need... hahahahaa.... Yes, I know I am xiao ren...

I was also curious about how the teacher settled it and he said the teacher told the class he watched the CCTV and saw a playground and asked who was playing at the playground at a particular time and so all the people who were there stood up and everyone took turns to tell their side of the story and what they saw. Ace said he could not hear much of other people's story but at this point.. he provided NEW INFO about his story!

Apparently, the bullying started cos someone go and siong other people... When Ace was recounting what he told his teacher about what happened, I found out that it actually started because when Ace was at the swing, some boy came and kept pushing him.. so his pants (which was rubber at the waist) dropped down till they can see his underwear.. so he was angry and he asked the boy to stop. When they boy did not stop, he he gave an angry look to the boy....

At this point, another boy (the main bully) came and said, "Why why.. you not happy ah?" And then Ace said, "Yes, I am not happy because he keeps pushing me even though I asked him to stop..."

And so the boy said, "Not happy go and learn how to be happy lah... " And so Ace rolled his eyes and gave the "Wah lau, lame joke" kind of look.

And that was why the boy got upset and tried to threaten him with the fern..

I asked Ace why he did not tell me about this.. "But the one who pushed me not the same boy mah.." he insisted..."But it is related to this INCIDENT mah!" I told him.

I gave it a thought and asked him.. "You omitted this part on purpose right? Because you realized that you were also at fault for giving people this angry look..."

And he sheepishly said yes.

Anyway, today when he was on the way home, he dropped by the Mamashop at the point block. The son of the mamashop owner saw him and asked him if he is ok. He said he saw what happened yesterday and told Ace that the ringleader is a notorious boy who is well known in this area and that he belongs to some gang. No one knows his school but his name is IM.

He also said D said the boys who bullied him were from a school starting with letter P and well, I think there is only one school in this area with the name starting with letter P...

Over the next few days

Over the next few days, many people came and asked me how was it and what did the teacher do. When I posted on FB, many commented that they felt bullies are incorrigible, there were some who even encouraged me to make a police report. Many sent their best wishes to Ace.... many messaged me privately to ask me how he is... Many thanks to everyone cos Ace is doing fine:)

Ah Yee told Ace that if you want to KL and gin people.. you must KL all the way one.. CANNOT CRY! Must KL all the way and gin them all the way.. you cry you lose liao! Wah lau, I think this Ah Yee teaching very bad lessons to my son leh:) haahhaaha... 

I messaged his teacher and updated him what I heard from Ace and Ace's teacher told me that he stopped after asking them what happened as they had to complete the curriculum in time but he warned all involved that this was not the end.

And then the teacher was sick lah.. this and that and over the next few days, there was no sound no color from the school though on the third day, the school counselor came and talked to ace and also went to talk to D.

Lots of people gave me advice about what to do and I was a little apprehensive about what to do because I did not know what the school is doing on their side... will they investigate further to find out which school that Ismail boy is from and inform his school?

was contemplating if I should lodge a police report just in case something happens again in future. Seems a little 小题大做though.. so I am hesitant to do that but everyone is telling me how it is important to do that to protect Ace.. in case something happens again in future...

I am sort of two minds about this. Since Ace has gotten over it and seemed happy now, I wondered if I should just let it be. I marvel at his abliity to cry so sadly and look so wounded and bounce right back as if nothing has happened afterwards:) More so at his ability to forgive D and be friends again to the extent of worrying about D cos he keeps telling me he does not want D to get into trouble cos D is his friend. I am not quite so forgiving towards people who hurt me and I guess in this area, Ace is a much better example and better friend than I am;)

So on one hand, it doesnt seem like a big deal but on the other, bullying IS a big deal...

I wondered if nothing is done for the boys from the secondary school, will it put Ace into unnecessary danger again because after all, that is a route he will pass by everyday after school. Till now, I have also wondered why D, as a friend of Ace would have ganged up with the other boys.

Plus, I made the mistake of telling Ace that I have informed his teacher and that his teacher will work on it again because they had to finish up the syllabus for exams. So, over the weekend, when Ace's aunty asked him what was the update and what did his teacher do about the bully case, Ace told her "He asked us what happened and nothing else because teacher has to finish the exam syllabus.."

When I heard him say that, it made e realize I might have accidentally made it seem to him like his well being and doing the right thing was less important than exams... I talked to him afterwards and I think it seems that currently, his only concern is that D does not get into trouble:) hahaha.. phew..

So I requested to speak to his teacher either over the phone or face to face and we made a date to meet.

Anyway, I also took this chance to encourage Ace to study hard. Cos I told him if he studied hard and got good results, he can choose to go into Anglican High School after PSLE.... that school does not have too many bullies.. in my experience, the ah beng in the school only just talk louder niah:) hahahaha...

What did you learn?
Because I did not know what the school is doing or will be doing.. I just did the best I could lah. I talked to Ace every now and then to double check that he is ok and once I asked him what did he learn from this.... And this is what Ace said he learnt..
  1. If you see a bully, you either walk away...
  2. Or you stand up to them and fight them till they are down
  3. You should ask for taekwando lessons or some sort of martial arts lessons to protect yourself.
  4. Ask for help
  5. Study hard and go AHS

Meet The Teacher

 Fast forward to the session with his teacher and his teacher really sat down and asked Ace in detail what happened. I am very happy with the way his teacher handled this because he listened to Ace and we agreed on a few things:
- That his teacher will use whatever leads Ace provided to find the two boys and perhaps talk to the boy of if Ace would like it, he can meet the boy and have a closure too...

- He suggested a few other things Ace could do if he met the bullies again. First is to just walk away and ignore them even if they say nasty things... cos as long as you ignore them, they cannot do anything tod you.. go to a public place with alot of people quickly and if all else fails, call his teacher.

- We also agreed that Ace shouldnt give that DIRTY LOOK. Ace's teacher told him that he has seen him doing that look a few times in school too and this is a look that will bring trouble.... THis is something I am very glad the teacher added because I have noticed Ace giving this look a few times and it has made me upset.. and when I cooled down, I explained to him that this look may make people upset though he insisted he did not mean it in a bad way...But I told him he may encourage people to beat him up in future if he did that outside... and this incident is a good example of what I told him!

 - Ace's teacher also affirmed that his classmates did not come forward to help because they felt helpless and that D is not a malicious boy.. he was really just joining in the fun cos he thought it was funny and did not think that it was bullying his classmate.

Now that I think back, I think Ace was lucky that all the bullies and the boys  only verbally laughed at him and did not beat him up or anything and perhaps it was just bad luck for him that things happened in that particular way and the other boys were not being overtly malicious but just reacting to things in the only way they know how...

Anyway, I am glad that this episode is over and that we all agreed to put it behind us.

PS: Actually I think my son very "sart ki" in that when people ask him.. "Why you not happy issit.." in  a menacing manner, he actually gar gar reply, "Yes, I am not happy.." Hahahahaha... I dunno if I would be that brave to do that!:)

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<*ANGEL*> said...

To the person who wrote to me in the comment section...

I am unable to contact you since you left your comment as Anonymous. Just wanted to tell you that I read the 2 comments that you left and regardless of what Ace said or did not say.. this incident is already over. Ace has learnt his lesson and put it behind him. And I hope you will too:)

I thought hard about how to answer you and I think I will answer to you, how I will answer Ace or talk to Ace if he had done or written the same thing as you... So this is kind of from a mother to a son type of answer and I hope you appreciate the thoughts, love and concern that went into that and understand that my intention is to answer in a helpful way and not meant as a way to blame, judge or scold anyone:)

<*ANGEL*> said...

I have already talked to Ace about the various points you mentioned in the two comments and both of us are no longer upset at anyone involved in the incident and we totally forgive everyone... ourselves included, for everything that happened... So I hope you will forgive yourself and everyone involved and put it behind you too.

I must say I was upset on Ace's behalf because he always spoke highly of you as a friend and keeps telling me what a wonderful friend you are... and so it came as a terrible surprise that the person who passed the leaf to the boys was someone who he said is a good friend... and therefore, it was extra hurt and pain for him. And despite that, after he got over the pain, he still says you are a good friend. I think it is because he also knew you are not a bad person and that you did not know that they will do that (like you said)... PLUS... he realizes he has to take responsibility for how he answered the boys... which led to what happened...

<*ANGEL*> said...

I thank you for taking time to feedback me about what my son has been doing in school, I must say I actually contemplated just reading and forgetting everything without repeating to him because you know, I think this is between you and him. I shouldnt really be involved.... I did decide to tell him about this in the end and I urged him to go talk to you and settle it amongst yourselves;)

And also, perhaps you should take some time to think about your friendship with Ace...

If you don't think your friendship is important... it doesn't matter what he does or does not do, right? ;)I know my son can be a little bossy, loud, quick tempered and hao lian:) hahahaha... (I understand Ace quite well actually because we spend ALOT of time together and we talk alot:)) But I love him anyway despite all that:)

If his friendship is important to you... and that is the reason why you took time and effort to write to me twice... then perhaps you may want to think about this...

I am not sure if that is what a good friend would do. I wouldn't go complain to my friend's parents about what she is doing wrong. As a friend, I would have gone to her direct to tell her how I feel and settle it with her direct... Because I really value her friendship. It's not very cool to go behind someone's back and complain to their parent about them.... you know :) I think if Ace did that to you, you would have been very upset, right?

It is like for example you talked in class... and someone saw you talking.. and instead of telling you "shhh... teacher coming.." they quietly go and tell the teacher.. "XX was talking in class, pls do something about it..." Extra not cool if that someone is your FRIEND:)

If you have something you are unhappy about concerning Ace, please go and talk to him direct and iron out the differences. I have learnt very early in my parenting journey to trust Ace that he will sort out his own problems and that all I have to do is support him and love him. He is not a bad kid and will listen when people talk to him using their hearts... And he does make effort to change and become a better person when he gets constructive feedback too.

I know being 11 years old is not easy and it can be highly stressful trying to manage school and trying to find yourself and who your true friends are... It isn't easy for Ace too you know:)

But the good news someone who has been there before... I can tell you that all these will pass, after PSLE, you will look back and think you had a great time in YNPS ;) And as you grow, you will find many of the dearest and sweetest friends you made were those you made in primary school:)

All the best to you for you in your coming exams:)Jia you!:) And I really hope this reply is helpful for you.

Love, Ace's Mum, Angel