I have been struggling with an issue at home recently.
It’s related to my 13 year old daughter.
She had a best friend for the last two years. She lives on our street, they take the same school bus, they are in the same class at school, they eat lunch in the same lunch room and now the friendship is over.
The problem is that the girl (bully) has recently, or I have just found out) been “bullying” my daughter. Now, I come from the Bronx, NY and when someone messed with you in any way, you had to either stand up to them (fight), or become their door mat. As I grew from fearful to fed up, I didn’t allow it. I fought. This led to no more bullying but it changed me in a way that I do not want my daughter to become.
My daughter, a very good basketball player, has decided not to play on the town team because she is afraid to go head to head with the girl (bully). She is full of fear and dread. I will not stand for it!
So this is a fine line. The girl (bully) isn’t physically messing with her. She’s doing it in a way to undermine my daughter’s confidence. You know how girls are. The whispers and the stares. The rude, underhanded comments, and worst of all, the feeling of betrayal. It isn’t something I would or could go to the teacher about because frankly, teacher’s can’t do much unless it’s physical and they usually, inadvertently make it worse for the child.
What to do?
I decided that I will take matters into my own hands. I know for a fact that when a child has one friend they can count on and trust, they usually make it through fairly unscaved.
My plan is as follows:
- Daughter will find a friend, confidante at school not related to the group she hangs around with now.
- Daughter will watch bullying (cyber bullying) movie with me and we will discuss how this relates to her situation.
- We will begin to walk past her (bully) house every day together to build up her confidence.
- I will inform school psychologist of situation so that if my daughter needs to talk about it at school, she can.
- I will sign her up for basketball camp this spring and summer.
- I will role play situations that come up at school and help her build confidence regarding her ability to defend herself non-violently.
- I will teach her how to defend herself with a few ju jitsu moves. (just in case)
- I will continue to monitor her and discuss what’s going on.
- If necessary, I will home school (I was a NYC teacher) her until she develops the self-esteem she will need to go it on her own.
- Lastly, I will love her unconditionally regardless of how I feel or what I think she should do. I will affirm her feelings and accept her fears for they are real to her.
She is a beautiful, creative, artistic, musical, kind girl.
I don’t want to end up finding her in her room one morning
hanging from a rope!!!!
That my friends, is the reality of bullying in a lot of cases.
Every child must know that there are always options and that they are always loved!
A boy in the middle school “died instantly” this past week. He was in the seventh grade! I know what died instantly means but not having the facts, I will not write what I think (know) happened.
Shame on all of us parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, neighbors, special people, etc, if we overlook any child’s fears and issues because we think they are silly or not a big deal. It’s a new world and we have to change with it.
Peace be with you all.