When your children are bullied, you often don't know it. I'm sure I'm unaware of most of the things that have happened to my kids, but the things I did find out, broke my heart. I wished I could be placed in their shoes and soak in all their pain like a sponge.
There are books that tell you how to handle every situation. The problem is these so-called experts don't know your kid. They don't know your specific circumstances. They don't seem to understand the mom that can't reason logically when their child is in pain. They don't tell you how to get over that primal urge to strike back.
I have a daughter that is far beyond her years. She often doesn't understand the silliness of other girls her age. She's always been a fierce defender of the underdog, which unfortunately has ultimately made her the target.
Last night I picked her up and she was visibly upset. I couldn't understand through her sobs. After 20 minutes of probing, eventually the story came to the surface.
A large group of girls were gathered and she was in the middle of it all. One of the girls told a joke and was using the term retarded. She was making fun of the mentally challenged. My daughter stopped the joke and told her it was inappropriate and she felt very uncomfortable since it wasn't anything to laugh about.
The conversation halted.
Minutes later, my daughter then became the victim of insults hurled by the joke teller. Not only did she let my child know that she absolutely wasn't better than everyone in the group, but really just a loser on so many levels. The attacks were relentless. Nobody joined the rant, which is good, but all my daughter saw is that nobody stood by her side.
As an outsider, it's cut and dry. What's there to worry about, your daughter did the right thing. She's better off without all those kids. She made the right choice - hooray.
Not so much. She has to be around these kids for a good long time. I want to encourage her to stand up for what she believes in, but also want her to emerge from adolescence without too many scars.
I tried to think of everything I've read and how the experts say I should handle this. I told her next time, maybe do it in private. Although I backpedaled a little and said it was good for those other girls to hear you stand up for those that don't have a voice. I went back and forth for an hour with my awkward words of wisdom.
She was comforted a little, but nothing sealed the deal. I then decided to jump into her brain and think like she does, so I leaned over and whispered, "One day you're going to be a great lawyer. You're going to be the one that defends the little guy. All this doesn't matter. It's just practice."
That was the only semi-smile I got all night. I just have to hope I've given her enough of a foundation that she's able to stand her ground today and look at the bigger picture.
There just isn't any book or expert that can tell you what to do. They can only guide you in the right direction and you hope you choose the correct words and actions.
I don't know if I fixed anything, the only thing I can tell you for sure is that Bullies Suck.
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