As a parent, it just hurts

I apologize if the following post is choppy. It has been very difficult for me to write, but I needed to say something.
When describing my 8-year-old son, I describe him as someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. He is sensitive, loves animals, and loves trains. He prefers small groups of people to large groups and does not understand sarcasm. He is a child who is exploring life and constantly asking questions. He has so much creativity to him. He is a great kid. I want him to be happy, and I want him to feel like he can be himself because he is great as he is. However, I worry that he is losing his confidence and wants to conform to be something he is not because of being the target of bullies.
Last night, I sat and cried in my office after putting my son to bed. You see, my son won a watch this weekend at our town’s Borough Day festival, and he was so excited about his new possession. However, after last night, he refuses to wear it. Why? Well, a group of boys teased him so much about it (among other things) that he took it off. The reason: the watch is pink.
My son didn’t care that the watch was pink. He thought it was awesome. However, his feelings were so hurt last night that he doesn’t want to go through it again. He doesn’t want to be a target. He is not always comfortable in social settings as it is. The whole thing broke my heart.
Here is my son in his childlike innocence having it ripped from him by other children! He is being told that he is not okay as he is, that he needs to be something he is not. He is only 8. I know he will be presented with people who don’t like him in life, with people who will pick on him, but why does it have to start so early? Why do these children feel the need to be so cruel? Why would anyone want to destroy someone’s happiness? Why do their parents allow them to be like this? On a more global note: why does our society constantly do this, find someone who is different or weaker, and exploit them? It just makes me sick.
Tonight, I sat my son down for a heart to heart talk. I was bullied when I was younger because my clothes were second-hand, my mom was raising me by myself, I was too chubby, I was a nerd…The list just went on and on. The thing is though, is that I did not have the confidence to take a stand until I was much older. I want my son to know that he can and should take a stand NOW.
I told him that I liked him just the way he is, and I am proud of him. I told him that there will always be people who don’t like you and that those are not the people you want to be around anyways. I told him that he would find the friend he needs by doing the things he loves. I told him that he needs to be firm when a child bullies him and that if the child doesn’t leave him alone after that, that he should tell another adult. I want my son to grow into a confident young man. I want him to be comfortable with who he is. He is fine just as he is.
He is a child. He should enjoy being a child, not being picked on by other children. I think the only thing that made the other night better for him is that one of his friends was there and was not like the other boys. His mom is a friend of mine, and I am very proud of him for not being like all those other boys. My son is very thankful too.
I think we all need to teach our children tolerance and that we are all different. When I read the news about how much bullying has gotten out of control, it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart even more knowing it is happening to one of my own children. It has to stop, and it has to stop now.



  1. Mike Rich
    September 30, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Another good post, Pricilla. An important issue that we keep hearing more and more about, and for the worst reasons. There’s never a good reason for it, although kids are kids. However, a child should never be ashamed of what he/she loves or is interested in. They need to find others who understand them for what they are and accept them.

    • bearhaven
      October 1, 2011 at 1:42 am

      This is such an impressionable time on them. What happens to kids now will help determine what kind of person they grow up to be. I want my children to grow into confident, well-adjusted adults. By the way, he put the watch back on today and even showed it off to a group of teenagers who were in my shop.

  2. Doodling Through Life
    October 1, 2011 at 2:31 am

    I taught 2nd grade and they were the same age range as your son. I know sometimes kids can be so cruel. Good job for believing in him. It makes such a difference for you being there for him :).

    • bearhaven
      October 3, 2011 at 4:44 pm

      Thanks. I just want him to be himself and have confidence doing it

  3. Dawn
    October 6, 2011 at 4:38 am

    This is something I fear for my sons too, who are 7 and 9. I watch the differences between all the children and their behavior and can already pick out some of the kids that are mean to other kids. It’s sad and scary. I get so angered when I hear about a bullying story. It sounds like you handled it well.
    New follower from the Thursday hop.

    • bearhaven
      October 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      I get angered too when I read those kinds of stories. It just seems like bullying is becoming worse. I just don’t understand why.
      Thank you for the follow. I am following back 🙂

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