Probably not the proudest moment of my life but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this!
So, I was the eldest sibling & I had 3 sisters who just doted on me. Along with this, I lived with cousins (younger than me) & a gang in school/college with such strong personalities that we couldn’t be bullied. So, quite naturally – all this resulted in a very fertile ground to make a bully out of me. But I wasn’t a bully you see in those high school movies – the mean ones! I usually bullied them to get my work done like bribing them to complete my assignments, having a ‘remote-will-always-be-in-my-hand’ rule etc! And despite all this, they all turned out to be fine individuals thereby proving my point – I wasn’t that bad after all..
So, why am I thinking about this now? Because one of the 2 things have happened:
1. Every act of my bullying has had a greater & opposite impact on my son OR
2. Karma is acting like a b#!@ch.. And all the bullying I did is coming back to haunt my son..
Yes! Sam is getting bullied. It’s not those physical hitting, being cruel things. But rather emotional like “You don’t do this, we’ll not play with you!”, “You tell your mom & we’ll not talk to you”, “You’re such a baby that you’re listening to your mom” etc. I’ve been constantly counseling him about this since I’ve heard but each story I hear every other day shows my counseling isn’t being effective.
I’m made a list of options/strategies I should use to deal with this:
1. Get involved & talk to those kids myself & prevent them from doing so. My in-laws have tried this & it has backfired as the bullies tow the line when they’re around & give Sam grief later! So, don’t think my intervention will achieve a different result.
2. Take this to be settled among parents & have their parents talk to leave him alone. But no parent will teach their children to bully so clearly them talking to the bullies may have same effect as option 1
3. Teach Sam bullying! It’s not the most ideal solution but hopefully this will help? But I’m forced to think am I solving an issue or creating a much larger one?
4. Empower Sam to stand up to them. I’m teaching him karate, making him play sports to increase his strength. I can make him stronger by this but he’ll still have to find the courage to stand up to them on his own! Even adults like us do things for “social acceptance” then is it unreal to expect a 6 year old to do things because he wants to be accepted?
5. Patiently listen to his concerns of them not talking/not playing with him & giving him a way out. Either have him play alone or play with another group. Choose his friends for him who I know won’t bully! But is that escapism or dealing with the problem effectively? Am I stunting his growth by taking decisions for him?
I’ve been thinking about these options for a while now but haven’t acted on either if them. Right now my strategy has been to wait n give him some more time to figure it out. I’m sure many kids in school do get bullied – for being smart, dumb, short, fat etc. And after school just turn out fine. So, all I want him to know right now is – that I’m always available, that there’s nothing he needs to change about himself & that there’s nothing that he needs to hide from!
Let’s hope this strategy (before I actively intervene) gets him through life like it got most of the people I bullied – through!