December 1, 2012
This week both of my kids were teased at school. Neither incident was major. My daughter, age 8, was taunted on the school bus by an older girl who was just a kid being a kid. When my daughter stepped off the bus crying we immediately talked to the bus driver, situation was confronted, seats were changed and all was well. My son, age 6, tripped in the lunchroom and fell...teasing followed. Again, kids were just being kids...the situation was remedied and all was well.
How did I handle each? We asked questions about the situation, talked about what to do, worked through the feelings, tried to understand why other kids acted that way. But what I really wanted to say was, "the next time something like that happens tell the other kids that if they don't shut their mouths you're going to shut it for them". OH COME ON....if you are a parent and your child has been teased you can't tell me that the first thing you thought of was smacking the other child around a little bit. And no, I didn't tell my kids to do that.
We live in a society where bullying in any form is totally unacceptable and responsible parents are using new tools to teach their children how to handle the situations they are confronted with in a non-violent way. And I, being one of those responsible parents, am following suit. So, I told my children to ask themselves if they really are those names the other kids called them? How did they feel and what can they do to remedy the problem? I asked all the right questions to get them to work it through, I was Mother-Gandhi, we reached a peaceful solution and did not resort to violence.
What I really wanted to say was left unsaid. I left their innocent, peaceful, critical thinking, Gandhi like souls in tact. For now! :-)