There’s something you should know about me. I’m fiercely loyal. Meaning, if I love you or even know you at all, I stick up for you. I do not let people bad mouth you. I shut nay sayers up super quick, while zipping my mouth shut as well.
I don’t like gossipers. And I especially cannot stand bullies.
This is why the following has ripped me a new one.
I don’t really know what hole my head was in when I was surprised that my five year old daughter was being bullied at school today.
I was bullied in first grade, I remember her name and the shape of her face and what she brought to eat for snack.
I’ve been bullied as an ADULT by many women near and far. Some women knew me on a personal level, others just from social media. That didn’t stop them from ripping me apart. Calling me every name in the book, and shoving a bit of religion bashing somewhere in there.
Why should my children be any different?
As parents we hope for the best for our children and pray fiercely for their protection. Sometimes bad people make bad choices that affect our children’s well being. What then? How do we handle this mistreatment?
I’ll tell you my immediate response. I was LIVID. IMMENSELY PISSED. Ready to call up the bullies parents and let them have a piece of my mind. Ready to pounce on this child that has ruined my babies first week of Kindergarten. My innocent, sweet child. She may not be perfect, but dammit she is kind. She is compassionate.
And now she is afraid of school.
I wanted to do everything in my power to shield her from evil and protect her every move. I began to rack my brain for where I went wrong in this parenting thing. Why didn’t she have the confidence to stick up for herself? Why didn’t she step aside and tell the teacher?
I’ll tell you why! She was intimidated by this girl. She had convinced my child that telling the teacher would do nothing but make things worse for her.
This my friends is where manipulative people begin. It’s where their tiny stomping grounds start.
They can only thrive and succeed if they have people that LET THEM.
After I let my pregnancy and Mother bear hormones get the best of me, I let my husband get in a few key phrases. He mostly just listened to me scream and yell.
” You know what happens next don’t you?”
” I go to jail for my behavior at school tomorrow?”
” Maybe, but she learns to stand up for herself.”
I hate it when he is right.
The mother is there to fix all the things, or at least want to. The father is there to offer sound advice, and when necessary bail the mother out of jail.
This parenting thing is no joke. It’s not for the faint of heart, or the pregnant. But sometimes we don’t get that choice. Often we are forced to do and to love and to be things we are not capable of until we just are.
We find ourselves standing tall , the only reason being God, when we are so very tired. Our legs trembling with exhaustion from trying to hold things together on our own.
Our arms wrapped around our children so tightly, as to not allow any other linking arms in. We feel we are the only safe ones, the only ones with pure motives.
Then finally, we understand that as our children grow we need to release our grip a bit, allowing other linking arms in. Some we know, some we have no control over.
We just have to trust, and know that our arms held them first. Our prayers protected them first. Trust that they come back to those arms when other embraces aren’t safe.
We are their beacon of peace. Their haven of love.
One that they will always feel safe in, regardless of what else is going on in their lives.
For now we are going to focus on our children learning to have self respect. Enough self respect for themselves to know that when someone is mistreating them, that they have every right to do something about it. In grace yes, but in a passionate love for themselves.
If we cannot love ourselves first, we cannot effectively love others.
To not allow manipulative people into their linking arms. To slice their tactics in half with one sentence. To not entertain bullies, or allow them to hurt someone else.
Show your children kindness, let them see you live it out. Then they will know they need to be treated with the same kindness you are giving out.