Sometimes, situations hit our households in ways that we could never imagine. I often think about the subject of bullying and just how I would advise others to deal with this type of thing.
I was never bullied growing up.
In fact, I was one of the more popular kids as I was automatically initiated in as part of the “in” crowd. I can only assume this was due to the fact that my older siblings had already paved the way and earned our family respect in the neighborhood.
However, I wasn’t as fortunate to miss the bullying dilemma with my own child.
I can recall like it was yesterday when I noticed a change in her behavior when she was in the seventh grade of elementary school.
It started with her lack of enthusiasm to attend school, coupled with her change in dress and actions of becoming withdrawn and insecure about her looks. As I continued to pry, she let go and finally told me exactly what was going on.
She was being bullied.
Not my baby, this wasn’t happening to her…to us.
After I picked my mouth up off the floor and got control of my emotions we sat and talked this thing out.
These “mean girls” for lack of a better description of what I actually called them, had my daughter petrified.
She was downplaying herself by not wearing her hair in the cute fashionable hairstyles she once wore, she no longer wore her jewelry to school, she was in uniform so there was no change in dress but she totally became someone I didn’t know and I couldn’t figure out why.
Sometimes, we as parents miss the signs that are right under our noses as we attempt to make a living and better our situations for our families.
These girls were making her feel ugly from the inside out and of course I had to constantly reassure her of her beauty and intelligence.
Now comes the whammy, she pleaded with me not to go to the school and tell the administrators. At that time, these “mean girls” were carrying box cutters and she feared that they would retaliate and slash her face as she walked home alone from school.
Of course I was livid and felt helpless as a mother.
I knew that it was my obligation to protect my young. I didn’t want to betray her trust and I didn’t want these “mean girls” to get away with this mess either so I was torn.
Ultimately, after careful deliberation I ended up transferring her out of the school into a much smaller Christian-based school with one-on-one teacher-student involvement. She began to excel.
I too felt as though I was bullied in this situation but I knew I had to do what was best for my child.
My advice to mothers is to pay attention to the signs no matter how subtle.
My advice to bullies is to stop this action at once! It’s damaging in more ways than one.