For the first time I experienced someone bullying my six year old. Jonathan came home and said a little boy gave him two wedgies among other verbal abuses. Then when I told him I was going to speak with his teacher and the principal, he retracted what he said. Only a few seconds later, he said it was only one wedgie. I couldn’t believe my ears. I felt so disheartened knowing that my child was experiencing bullying—and at such a young age. He seemed scared at the thought of me speaking with school administrators.
The bullying situation was definitely a teachable moment for all of us. I called the school to speak with the teacher and they immediately responded to my concern. Besides speaking with both boys, they are keeping an eye out on the playground and for classroom interactions. When the teacher spoke to Jonathan, he said the little boy never bullied him. Only a few seconds later, he acknowledged that he had told me about the bullying.
Six years old and scared. How the world has changed since I was six? My only preoccupations were being able to play outside longer, not finishing my food, and trying to feed cartoon characters that were hungry. The world is so different, yet we are the same—individuals yearning for acceptance, love and security, just as young children. I reminded Jonathan that no one is supposed to touch him. He has a right to his personal space. Together, we have a responsibility to put a stop to the bully. He wouldn’t want someone else to bully his little brother, David, right? Jonathan agreed. I was proud of Jonathan for saying that and for standing up to do the right thing, no matter how difficult it must be for him.
I know this is a conversation that I will continue to have with both Jonathan and David, teaching them about putting a stop to bullying and standing up and doing the right thing. They are such intelligent, streetwise and compassionate little boys. I certainly want to inspire them to do what is right, empower them to take action, and contribute to make a better environment for themselves and others.
Today reminds me that motherhood is evolving as children grow. I think it’s time for a sweet indulgence–will you join me in having a cupcake? Dulce de Leche cupcake sounds so good right about now!
Guiding Lesson: Eve, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have a child who is hurting and is afraid of potential harm. This must break a mother’s heart. When you bring your child into the world, you don’t think of the pain that may be inflicted, but of the possibilities and wonderful things he will contribute to make it a better place. When they are little, you believe that you can protect them from being harmed. I guess this situation has awakened you to the reality that protecting your son like you used to do is changing. The outside world can be very cruel and it is time to help Jonathan develop a healthy and strong sense of who he is, what is acceptable behavior and how to respond to those who have not yet learned to relate well with others.
Jonathan is very blessed to have a mother who will take action and not overlook this. Do you realize the tremendous impact it will have on him? Your actions are telling Jonathan that he matters and that no one deserves to be treated like this. You are helping to give him a voice to speak truth and reach out to find resources to address difficult situations. Empowering him is the best thing you can do. You can’t always be there, but the lessons and examples you teach him will be there to guide him when he needs it. This is what children need–to know they have the tools and confidence to deal with the world around them. And it doesn’t hurt to know that their mom believes in them and will be there for them no matter what.
Now about that Dulce de Leche cupcake, do you think there is enough for both of us?