I am a mom whose kids have been bullied and I’m not going to put up with it anymore. I have written this post 100 times in my head and it never comes out right. But I need to get this out so I am asking you to bear with me and just try to follow along as best you can. I can get a little emotionally charged!
I have not made it a secret in recent days that my daughters, ages 11 and 13 have been victims of bullies. Each in a different way, which makes is super fun at home to deal with. We have dealt with exclusion, name calling, chastising and most recently physical abuse.
When we first started dealing with this exasperating problem 4 years ago, we decided we’d handle it at home. We told our daughters to be as friendly as you can to these people that are hurting you. You never know what they are experiencing at home, they may be acting out because of their own issues. It didn’t work.
Next we told our daughters to just ignore it. If a comment is made, act as if you didn’t hear it. If you are given the “death look”, as we came to call it, act as if you didn’t see it. That didn’t work either.
Finally, in the middle of year 3 of this problem we told them to search out other girls that are being treated this way. After all, you can’t be the only ones, right? We were right. There were many being treated bad in their respective classes. This has helped to an extent. They each now at least have a support group of their peers. But the looks, remarks and now shoves, continue.
Last night I attended a Rachel’s Challenge assembly. What a moving experience that was. Rachel Scott was only 18 when she died, but her eloquence and wisdom was well beyond her years. She wrote a school paper discussing the codes for her life she wanted to follow. The main theme was to be kind. Something as simple as that, but it was so powerful because she was already living this code. She “targeted” the disabled, the kids left out, the new kids. She made it a point to be kind to these groups just in the hopes to brighten their day. After her death, her parents received many phone calls from people Rachel had been kind to and how much just her small act of kindness impacted their life. She saved one boy from suicide!
It’s so incredibly easy to JUST BE NICE to someone. I was just chatting with a friend on Facebook about it. Hold a door open for someone, smile, let someone cut in line. Really, would something so simple take so much time out of your day? No. And not only will you help make that persons day better, you will feel good as well.
Even though being nice to the bullies has not worked in the past, I have re-encouraged my girls to try it again. Maybe with this new awareness in our community, it will mean more to the bullies now? I don’t know. Maybe I’m grasping at straws. At the very least, I know I am raising my children to have integrity, a kind heart and compassion. I want my children to make a difference with their time here on earth. They know the hurt of being bullied and we have all taken Rachel’s Challenge and will not be the cause of anyone’s pain, but instead their joy.
One thing has been running through my head the last 2 weeks. My daughter(s) may not be anyone to you…but they are the WORLD to me and my husband. Just like YOU are the world to your parents. Think about that the next time you want to call my daughter(s) a name, shove them, hurt them, exclude them. Think of how your parents would feel if someone was hurting their baby.
I can tell you from experience it is heartbreaking.
Love ya kids, go out & be nice to someone today.