Keeping Calm When Your Kid Is Being Bullied Is Easier Said Than Done
I found out recently that my 5-year old was being bullied on the bus and when I was told it was by older children, I nearly lost it. I was slightly ashamed at the rage I felt. After all, those teasing him are still kids themselves. It seemed cruel of me to want to knock their heads together, but I don’t know that any parent can control how they feel when they find out someone is bullying their child. With my limited experience, I can say that keeping calm when your kid is being bullied is easier said than done.
I have written before about how my son is small for his age. I have worried for the last few years that he would be a target for the jerks at school because of his size. He’s such a wonderful and confident kid– part of me hoped that would be enough. However, it would seem the types of kids who bully other kids seek out the ones that seem happy with themselves. I suppose kids who bully are insecure and seeing a happy kid who makes friends easily could rile them up. Whatever the reason, hearing this was happening to him was a knife straight to my heart.
The details of the situation are upsetting and after hearing them, you may understand my rage. A fifth grade boy was pulling his hat over his eyes so he couldn’t see and taking his backpack from him. He was backing into my son with his own backpack and squishing him into the window. Another boy, a second grader, was pushing his head into the seat in front of him. Typing that out brings fresh tears. The thought of my son feeling any fear or humiliation makes me sick. It is a parenting nightmare, for sure. One I had hoped to never experience.
To their credit, his school is handling it beautifully. My rage subsided when we saw how responsive the principal was to the situation. The problem kids have been spoken to and likely punished (we were not told the end result- I believe discipline issues are confidential.) We were told that the bullies are now sitting at the front of the bus, where the driver can keep an eye on them. Our son is happy to have these kids moved away from him and has gone on his merry way but my husband and I are still reeling a bit. We know this is probably only the beginning. He is in kindergarten and our daughter is in second grade- we have many years of school left to go.
Of course, we are doing everything we can to pump him up mentally and give him ways to handle it when someone is teasing him but we are obviously still concerned. Luckily, our daughter is a source of comfort for us all- it was her that told us all about it to begin with and she had already gone to the principal and even the bully’s teachers to let them know what was happening before we even knew. It was great to see that he has her to defend him…but how we wish she didn’t have to. That’s a lot to ask of a second grade child.
This is it, guys. This is parenting, warts and all. Sometimes, I wonder if I knew how much pain my heart could feel if I would have become a mother anyway. If I knew what it was to be so deeply vulnerable, knowing that your kid’s hurt is your hurt too, only multiplied. I know the answer, but still- it stings in ways I cannot describe to think of someone looking at your child and seeing anything but the perfection you see as their parent. I keep calm only for his sake, knowing that my hysteria would only make it worse. He will never know that in my darker moments, I have thoughts I am not proud of. Put yourself in my position and tell me you wouldn’t feel the same way.