My 14 year old is having a huge Birthday Party this weekend and there will be plenty of fun and DRAMA. Of course this is a normal part of the girl life…but when does Drama cross over and become bullying?
The subject of bullying has been weighing heavy on my mind and heart lately. I think because it has come up in a couple of conversations I’ve had with friends and then I saw on the news that a young teen took her life due to bullying recently. She was a beautiful girl..I didn’t watch the story, so I don’t know details..so anything I talk about in this post is not related to her in any way. I’m just saying..it broke my heart.
Sometimes I wonder if as Christians we are training our children to be victims? I mean we teach them to love God, love others, turn the other cheek, submit, obey..right!? That is what being a Christian is all about and yet at what point do we tell them it’s ok to say NO, STOP, I DON’T LIKE THAT!
It’s a delicate balance of training up our children in this hectic world. Living by Christian principals but living in a world that says “It’s all about me!” no matter how much it hurts you!
I can tell you that after raising 4 other grown kids, that it was not as bad back then as it is now..one reason..is this, 2 Timothy 3:1-4 says this about the last days:
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”
I’m sure there are lot’s of other factors that “professionals” could tell you the reason for this trend..but never the less, it is a reality that we MUST train our children to deal with…
My 14 year old daughter comes home nearly everyday with some sort of drama story..sometimes she is part of the drama and sometimes not. But oh how she loves to tell the stories. LOL Some of her stories are based on the bullying that takes place at her school. Just the other day our 14 year old neighbor boy was bullied..right after he got off the bus.
So what are we to do?
- Children MUST learn to work out there “stuff” at home.
- They must learn to say “NO”
- They must learn to be ADVOCATES for the underdogs.
What I mean is this..
~~We must be available to listen: Our children work out their drama at home a lot of times. They carry on about this and that (from there point of view) Sometimes I think that half of the things they tell me are overly exaggerated..but it’s not to them…and they tell me so.. So I listen.
~~Listen carefully for clues that this is more than just Drama..observe body language and facial expressions..is this a light conversation? Angry? Emotional? You know your daughter…listen and watch for clues.
~~Give short .. yes I said short solutions, if needed. Like say “what would Jesus do in this situation?” or “That girl must really be hurting inside to act out that way” Many times they are not looking for solutions..they just need you to listen..Um just like us. Don’t you hate to be “fixed” and Sometimes the light bulb goes on in there head and they “get it”.
~~Standing up for oneself is not seeking revenge..it is self preservation..think about that.
~~Teach them to fight back and stand up for themselves! Yep you heard me right! For the record Jesus did not always walk away…remember his anger at the tax collectors at the Temple. Now many use this scripture as an excuse to get and be angry..that is NOT what I am saying. I’m saying teach your children to stand up for righteousness!! Do it…you have God’s permission and mine. Teach them to say “NO” even when there is a price to pay…
This year my daughter has been bugged by a girl that just hates her. We’ve talked about it a lot..or she has anyway. My daughter is very good at confronting..yay outside of the house…sometimes not so yay at home..part of training right?! LOL Anyway my daughter had had enough from this girl and I agreed. Words were not working and this girl was getting physically pushy. One of her teachers saw what was going on and asked them to work it out outside of the classroom, even though they saw what was going on. I love Teachers..but I hate the way that some turn their heads away these days..
My daughters solution: “if she touches me again I’m going to smack her, and I don’t really care if I get sent to the Principal” Hmmm well honey is that a good idea? Is that God’s way..
The truth is this..most all of the time if a bully knows that someone is going to stand up to them..they will back down!
Kids cannot always run to a Teacher or Principal..they must learn to stand and confront there abusers. With heavy school schedules, and not to say the ridicule they would get from other kids from tattling..they must learn to stand up for themselves.
Now I am NOT saying that they should never seek help from an authority..sometimes you just have to. I have on occasion, when my kids were younger, suggested they talk to the school counselor. They did and things got worked out. For the most part however we must teach THEM how to say “NO”.
Once kids learn to stand up for themselves, then they should become advocates for others! Children need to learn to take a risk..step out and help others that are being bullied. This is how bullying is STOPPED! When kids learn to say “NO” and stand up to others and help them to say “NO” then bullying is stopped. God calls us too look after those that are in need. This means kid too!
Remember that boy in our neighborhood that was being bullied when he got off the bus..my daughter stood up to these boys and said “stop!” Guess what tactic she used..she say’s..”they think I’m hot and I know it..so I just told them to stop and they walked away” Ok..I don’t remember teaching her this one..but my point..kids need to learn to use there own internal resources..to be able to come up with solutions..even if they are not perfect solutions.
Why is it so hard for us as Christians to teach our kids to say “NO” ?? It was hard for me…but I say that it is a necessity for survival..let me leave you with this scripture so that you do not think I am just a bully myself…LOL
Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
And that my friends is the ultimate goal!
How about you..have you been bullied? Have your children been bullied? What did you do about it?