Our kids go to school expecting it to be a safe place. We have every intention of them being the “cool kid” and living an easy breezy life. But for some kids, that’s not how the world works.
I have personally been the recipient of bullying in school. I have been the girl that spent her day crying in the bathroom because some kid was calling me names. I raised my child to be respectful of other children and to never make fun of them for no reason. He was taught how not to be a bully.
A couple of weeks ago my son came home telling me about another boy at school who was being picked on. He went on and on explaining how other children were picking on his friend in the school bathroom. He couldn’t figure out why these kids could be so mean to his friend.
I did my best to be the responsible parent and explain to him that sometimes “kids are just mean.” And that you have to find a way to just blow it off. And that is what I suggested he say to his friend.
This “bullying” went on for weeks. With stories that my son came home telling me about him defending this other kid from these jerks. And I tried to take the highroad guiding him on his way of maneuvering around this bullying.
I did all the things that I have been instructed as a parent to do. Tell my child to tell his teacher, tell my child to just walk away, tell my child to tell the bully to stop. But it continued.
Finally the situation escalated to involving my son in this bullying. A little boy put his hands on my son’s friend. My son, being a black belt in taekwondo, decided to intervene.
He may or may not have told this bully that he “had no idea who he was dealing with.” And he the bully continued.
One day when I picked up my son I happened to overhear a conversation between the bullies mother and the teacher. It went like this…
“your son put his hands on another classmate. Your son hit another kid in the face with a plastic container. Your son pushed another kid in the bathroom.”
As a mother, hearing those words, would ignite an immediate response from me. My son would not have walked out of that gymnasium without embarrassment for his actions. He would know immediately that that type of behavior was not acceptable. And he would be made to apologize to that child immediately. Right?
I literally watched the mother of this child nod her head, initial the sign out sheet, and walk her child out the doors of that afterschool program without a word of reprimand. It was like nothing happened. I stood outside of my car wondering if she would actually address what she had been told.
She gave her son and oh so sweet hug, said “I hope you had a great day” and walked out without a second thought.
And the conversation I heard her have with her son in the parking lot had me appalled.
“Where do you want to go to dinner? Wendy’s or McDonald’s?” Really? Really? That’s it?
There was no reprimand. There was no threat of punishment for his actions, there was no acknowledgement at all of his actions. Your kid is a bully. And you are validation this actions by not reacting.
I wanted to intervene. But I didn’t.
I refuse to accept that parents are blind to the bullying issue. I refuse to believe that parents hear concerns like these and go to bed at night without addressing them. I refuse to accept that there are parents out there that think that it’s no big deal that their kids are attention seeking jerks.
I think maybe parents don’t know how to approach these situations. Maybe these bullying tactics are just a reflection of their home lives. Maybe mothers realize that their kids are portraying their father’s actions in school and say nothing. I don’t know. But I do know this…. your kid is a bully.
And when you are being told directly that your kid is a bully, you should address it. Immediately and without hesitation. And when you don’t, you condone it. And they think it’s okay and they will continue it as long as it goes unaddressed.
And as hateful as this sounds….. I hope that one day, their bully kid directly picks on a kid like mine with the ability to defend himself. Someone who will put him in his place and make him cry. Call it cynical ….. it is. Your kid needs to have his ass kicked. And I won’t apologize if my kid is the one that does it.
My son has been trained that if a kid puts his hands on him, he is authorized to defend himself. And he will. And I won’t apologize for him, and he won’t be reprimanded for it. Keep your bully in check before he meets a kid like mine.