Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bullies. To sum them up, they suck! And you encounter them at every age and stage of life. I honestly don't remember truly being bullied in school, but I do remember that a boy in fifth grade told me he would "go out with me, but I wasn't pretty enough". To be honest, the "pretty enough" words have followed me all my life. Maybe that's a result of being bullied about my looks. I wasn't one of the cute girls in school. I definitely went through my awkward phase just like everyone else. Although, there were those girls that never did and I envied them. Still do!

So when my six year told me on the way to school today that he didn't like going to school because of the bullies, my heart broke. He's in Kindergarten, just starting his school career, and I'm already dealing with not liking school for reasons that are out of my control! And I hate that someone so innocent and sweet is dealing with something so hateful. Bullies! They suck!

I remember it truly started around the age of three when a little boy joined his preschool class late in the year. McKinley had a toy that the child wanted, and instead of asking (I know, who does that at three), he just took it out of McKinley's hand. Well, McKinley pushed him and took it back. Was he being a bully, I asked myself? My dad said no! He was telling the kid that he wasn't going to take his bulling ways and took matters into his own three year old hands! 

With Kindergarten comes new discoveries. McKinley found the friends that are more like him and I'm so thankful for that! I love listening to him talk about the boys who have similar interests and what they do during recess and centers during the school day. However, there are days when he tells me that "today wasn't a good day" because one child was bad all day and upset the class. Or upset him specifically. And for a while, it was daily. I've witnessed the bullish behavior in class myself and it's upsetting. And the fact that's it affecting my child's experience in school is even worse. 

Bullies. In my opinion, these are the ones who are sad inside. Are troubled about something. Are angry. And they don't really know how to deal with these emotions, so they take them out on other people. Treat them poorly and try to bring them down to their level. I said all of this to my child and told him that sometimes there just isn't anything we can do to help them. They are who they are and sometimes never change. 

So today, when he told me that he didn't like school because of the bullies, I told him that unfortunately, there are bullies throughout your life and everyone needs to choose how to deal with them. For me, I will continue to be kind and nice to them. You know the age old statement, "Kill them with kindness". I will not fall prey to their attitude and let it change mine. I told McKinley to continue to hold his chin up high and to be the kind, awesome kid he is. To be the good guy. That's all anyone can do. And then he asked, "What if they tell me I'm not a good guy?" Again, heartbreak. I just reinforced that the fact that he is a good guy and to simply ignore the ones that say he isn't. Because let's be honest, the bullies are simply not the good guys! Again, they suck.

Is your child currently dealing with bullies? Have they been impacted by the attitude and nastiness that comes with bullies? How are you talking to your children about them? What advice can you share? I'm all about the kindness rule of thumb. That, and continually reinforcing to my child that he's awesome! And that nothing, or no one, will change that!


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