Today I held my son while he cried so hard that he shook. My son has always been the type that while he may not have a lot of friends, he is very loyal to the ones he does have. Unfortunately, some of the children he thought were his friends are horrible bullies and don’t deserve to have him as their friend. The whole concept finally sunk into my son today.
As a parent and someone who was bullied as a child, it has been hard to watch this unfold over the past year. I have talked to the parents. I talked to the kids. I told my children they could not play with these children. We are even putting up a privacy fence to keep those kids from peeking into our yard. We are also installing gates and locks to keep them out of our yard and from stealing my kids’ outdoor toys. As someone whose job is to make children happy and bring joy to them, this whole situation makes me sick inside.
However, tonight before my son went to bed, I had him listen to the song “Mean” by Taylor Swift, and I made him a copy of the lyrics to the song. I also told him that this is just a small phase in life. He will meet people like this at all ages. However, people who make fun of others and bully are compensating for something. They see in him something they wish they had and will never have. They can only take away from him emotionally what he lets them. So he has to be strong and ignore them. He is awesome, and someday he will grow up and do amazing things, and they will still be bumps on a log.
I want children to know that if they are being bullied, they need to tell someone. They need to fight back (and I don’t mean physically). They can’t let it get to them. I let a lot of what my bullies said and did to me affect my self-esteem. I still deal with it today. While I have more confidence today, it is still a work in progress. I don’t want my son to be like that. I want him to always know that he is awesome and that he needs to tell me when people are doing wrong to him.
Have you had to deal with bullies? If so, what have you done to fight back? I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, below is the song by Taylor Swift that I played for my son: