One day while I was waiting with my daughter for her school bus. She asked me “Why are you not dropping me like my other friends to school?”. I told her because I don’t have a car. So she said very furiously “I hate the bus and i don’t want to go to school by bus anymore and I hate everyone in the bus.”. That was new for me because Thalla is loved by everyone at school. She is that kind of girl that is loved by her teachers and friends. I asked her WHY?? She told me that there is a girl at the bus, that is older than her, keeps making fun of her everyday. She pushes her from her chair, takes her food, her colors and keeps making funny voices whenever Thalla is speaking. I was so angry and I couldn’t say anything. All I wanted to do at that time was to take my kid back home, give her a big hug and let her sleep in my lap. BUT I SHOULDN’T DO THAT, RIGHT?….So, Should I tell her to fight back?. No, I don’t like this attitude at all. It will encourage my daughter to be violent, plus she already told me that the girl is two years older than her. So, it will not make any sense. All of these thoughts came to my mind in a second, while I am trying to find any words POSITIVE to say to Thalla. I finally told her that she is a very nice girl and everyone at her class loves her so much even the parents. I told her that it is the girl’s loss that she doesn’t know her well and how nice and helpful she is. I asked her to try to neglect this girl and try to avoid her and if this happens again, she has to tell her teacher. I gave her a big hug and prayed that she will not face such a situation again. I went back to our apartment doing nothing but reading everything about bullying on the internet. Checking what is the right thing to be done as a mother. All I cared about is not to let Thalla lose her self confidence and feel weak.
I started to compare what I have read with my reaction and what I have said to Thalla. I wanted to know whether I made the right thing or not. I wanted to learn how to make my daughter ready for those situations and be strong enough to face them. The first thing that I have read was that I must have made my kid ready. I must have discussed with her before that she might face those situations in real life. I must have give her a brief talk that not everyone is nice and sometimes due to lack of confidence people tend to annoy others. The thing is, I didn’t want my girl to be scared of school. I wanted her to love it. But it seems I was wrong. ( I remember I read in a book before that parents shouldn’t only share with their kids the love, hugs, kisses and fun times. They must be so realistic when it comes to parenting, they must show their kids that there is sadness and anger. They must make them ready for the world outside their door.)
While I was reading the book, I was not convinced. I was convinced that kids must receive all the love and the positive feelings at home, because this is the most important thing about childhood. This is the memories that they will cherish forever. But it seems I wrong. Even my six years old kid faced a very bad situation at school and I should have made her ready.
Back to the articles, The word that I have bumped into in all the articles was REASSURING. It is very crucial at these situations to reassure our kids that we love them and that they made the right thing to tell us. We have to reassure them that it is not their fault, but it is the other kid’s fault. They are not the weak ones and anyone might be bullied, it is the other kid that is weak and trying to prove for himself that he is a strong kid with those acts. I was relieved when I read that, because Thalla wasn’t afraid to come and tell me. Some kids are reluctant to tell their parents and feel embarrassed because they are not reassured. Because they don’t trust their parents reaction. They might ask them to fight back, or to stand up for themselves. I remember when I was a kid, the thing I hated the most to hear from my parents was “Stand up for yourself”. The kid at this time needs to be loved and feel safe.
Those are the things that a parent should tell his kid:
- Try to avoid this kid and avoid the places where he is staying in.
- Try to ignore him and ignore his words.
- Tell the teacher or the principal if this kid keeps bullying her/him.
- Talk about it freely without any hesitation.
- Do not Bully back.
- Move around at school or at the club with your friends not by yourself.
- Most importantly, to feel good about yourself.
For me as a parent, all I want in my life is to raise happy, strong and self confident kid. I don’t want them to have any scars from childhood. But it is not only me that will affect their personalities. Of course, I have the biggest part, but still the outer world will play a major role in defining their personalities and who they are. I should keep giving them all the love that they need but I must make them ready and talk more about mean people.
Bullying is something that nearly everyone face in their lives. No one was born a bully, it is a learnt behavior. But unfortunately the kids being bullied are the victims, they are the ones who feel ashamed and sometimes they lose their lives because of that. We must stop bullying and know how to treat it well. We must know how to face it and stop it at schools.