Truth be told: What to do if someone bullies your child
How would you react if you found out that someone was bullying your child? Has your child ever been bullied? Both of mine have and it breaks my heart. Bullying is not something that I ever went through, unless you count my little brother holding me down and letting his saliva dangle over my face. Don't pretend that you don't know what I am talking about, you know you do!
Honestly, the entire concept is foreign to me. I'd never experienced it until it happened to my children and I have to say, I would have much rather preferred that it happened to me.
I won't go into details because I'd go off on some mama bear tangent reliving the whole thing but here is the jist of it. Both of my girls are friendly but slightly shy in new surroundings. They feel more comfortable when they have a friend. If they have a friend, they feel safe. This may come from always having one another as built in best friends.
My girls always seem to pick the alpha female in the room and gravitate towards her in an attempt to build friendship. My girls have strong pretty strong personalities and are secure in who they are and alphas don't like that. There's only room for one alpha female at the top. This is when alpha girl decides it's time to ignore my girl, rejecting her friendship and breaking my little girl's heart. They don't understand why they are being singled out, insulted or just plain ignored and, eventually tell me about it.
There is an odd loyalty amongst little people. They prefer not to burn bridges because they may need them later. They might tell me about someone being mean at school but they won't tell the teachers. I assume it's because they need to get it off their chest but they don't necessarily want to get the bully in trouble in case there is any hope that they might become friends down the road. Also, they know mama will tell them they are awesome and be on their side.
You want to know what really happens? I get SO pissed off. I can't stand it when someone hurts my children. I go into a blind rage and I want to hurt the bully, but more so, I want to shake their parents. I'm not that nice mom who speaks about diplomacy and turning the other cheek. I explain to my children that bullies are weak, sad people. They are small and generally don't have a lot to offer the world.
I teach my children to tell on bullies. I teach my children to stand up for themselves. If your child lays a hand on my child, I've already given my child permission to hit back because really, if your child is a bully, your child is an asshole. I have a zero tolerance policy.
I will contact the principal. I will meet with the teacher. I will have them call the bullies parents in for a meeting with me. I will do whatever it takes to keep my child safe because I will not have my child's self-esteem obliterated because your child has issues. If that means paying a bigger kid to kick a bully's ass, I am not above that. My children are my first priority, always. They always come first before everyone and everything else.
I refuse to be the parent of the kid who goes off the deep end and throws herself in front of a moving train or off the nearest bridge because your kid has bad manners and a bad attitude. Not my kid!
As for parents who say that bullying is just a part of growing up and our kids need to learn to deal with it, I call bullshit on you. You are a lazy parent who doesn't want to take the time to reprimand and parent your child. No child should be a bully and no other child deserves to be bullied, so let's all just teach our kids to be kind. Life is already too hard without adding bullying to the mix.
Image via Flickr/ Zalouk Webdesign