This post is sponsored by Chase – a strong supporter of the Bully Project, a program committed to ending bullying and ultimately transforming society. Learn more here: www.jpmorganchase.com
“Mommy, why is that kid mean to me?” Landon asked looking up at me with confused eyes.
“I don’t know, baby,” I say unable to explain the other child’s behavior.
It’s hard to believe that at the young age of four Landon is already coming up against what I would consider to be bullies. There are a couple kids in his class that name call, push and shove and taunt other children.
It also happens sometimes when we’re on the playground. A bigger kid will shove Landon or call him a name. Landon always backs off. Sometimes he runs to me and buries his head in my lap, completely defeated.
That’s when mama bear comes out. It may not be what I’m supposed to do but if it’s an older child and the parents are nowhere to be found, I will tell them not to do it again. The kids are usually shocked that I would say something. But if there is one thing I am as a parent – it is AWARE.
I believe it’s the parents duty to be aware of their child’s surroundings. We can’t do anything about bullying if we’re not looking.
After someone says or does something mean to Landon I have a heart to heart with him.
I get down on his level, “You know you can stick up for yourself, Landon, right? If someone pushes or hits you, you hold your head high and tell them not to do it again.” He usually nods his head in agreement and rushes off to play with newfound confidence.
I don’t want him to be afraid. But I also want him to know that he can tell me anything. I want to let him know that when someone does something mean to him, at the playground or at school, he should always tell me. We can’t do anything as parents if we don’t know what’s going on. It may just be an innocent incident. But as kids grow older, bullying can have more serious consequences.
And yes, I will probably be that annoying parent who is always reaching out to my sons’ teachers. I will stay on top of how they are doing in school. I will even ask the tough questions. Do they get along with other kids? Is there anything bad happening that I should know about? I will even talk to other parents about their school situation. I think parents sticking together is what can make a big difference in how our kids interact.
Again, I think that’s how we can ultimately combat bullying. By staying on top of what’s going on in our children’s lives. By speaking out when we see or hear something that just isn’t quite right. We have to follow our guts when it comes to bullying and stand up for our children.
After all, we all want the same thing for our children. We want them to be happy and get along. I think we can accomplish that.
Have you encountered bullying? If so, what did you do think/do about it?