With school starting soon, I think it’s a great time to bring up the topic of bullying. We hear about bullying and it’s easy to become desensitized to it. Some people think the kids are just softies and need to grow some thick skin. Others think they need to learn to fight back. Whatever your response, I think we can all agree on the fact that its wrong.
I expected bullying to go on at school. I even expect it some when kids play with other kids in the neighborhood. I was not expecting it in the place in which he was bullied.
My son, who is 7 and has auditory processing disorder, has the sweetest heart. He is compassionate and will stick up for anyone being picked on. He’s not perfect, but he loves people, from young to old. He doesn’t see the problems that any child has to overcome. He sees an adaption. He comes up with ideas in order to be able to play with them or include them so they don’t feel left out. I love that about him.
So when I found out that he had been punched in the mouth at the place I least expected, I was upset. For one reason, I felt like the other parent needed to have it brought to their attention that their son had done something to mine. That didn’t happen, but I still wish it had. He was punched so hard that he complained about his mouth hurting for 3 or 4 days and was in tears because it was hurting. The other boy also knocked a tooth loose in my son.
After this incident another boy took up trying to trip my son as he walked down the hall. He also apparently thought pushing my son was hilarious. I’m thankful that there were two boys who have been true friends to him. They have stood up for him and helped him.
For me to watch my son go through this and the problem not be addressed with the other parents has frustrated me some. It has broken my heart that my boy (who is no perfect person, by far) has been picked on because he talks loudly or because he has trouble following directions because he misheard it.
So for those who are in the position of authority or leadership, please listen to the parents. I beg you.
Don’t sweep this problem under the rug. If you pretend it doesn’t exist, then it most certainly does not go away. It simply gets worse.
Talk to the parents of both children involved. Even if the child who is bullying is the child of a well-known person, please don’t let that influence your decision to not talk to the parents. Who cares if they give money to your program. I get that’s a factor. I do. But is a child’s life not worth more than that? I get that the child doing the bullying may have problems. Address them while keeping the other child safe at all costs.
Check in with the child being bullied. Listen to them. Please don’t single them out in front of everyone, but ask them how they are truly feeling. Form a relationship where they can trust you.
You’ve been placed in this position of higher authority to love on and protect the children in your care. From a mom of a child who has been bullied, please do it. Please don’t ignore it. It’s my child’s life being affected and so many others that we may never know about.