A few months ago a family moved in near us. On our block all the kids play with each other before and after school.This little boy immediately had targets. He was so mean! He even bullied ME! As an adult I didn’t take any of that! But the other kids would end up in tears. They were scared of him. He took their things, hit, insulted and was just mean! He would come to my home and insult me and my kids and have complete disregard to my rules and parental authority. He is what I considered a bully!
When I told my husband about him he immediately said that kid was not aloud around our kids or home. I had a slightly different view. I wanted to use this as an opportunity to teach my daughter how to stand up for herself and he kind to all! She and I had many talks about how he needed kindness and to be loved. But I also explained that no one has the right to treat you that way and you can stand up for yourself but without being unchristian. So she gave it a try.
Over the next few months it was clear to me why he was the way he was. This is usually the case with these bullies. They are mean to others because they are insecure or have a bad issue that others do not know about. This was true of this boy and I knew he needed love. So I wanted more than ever to show my daughter by example how you can can show kindness without letting them bully you.
I watched as she would tell him flat out NO! She would tell him the rules and tell him when he was not being nice. The other kids started doing the same. Instead of shunning him and letting the bulling continue they allowed him to join them but with a different attitude.
I am happy to say that after several months this little boy is so kind to all the children! He still has his home issues that I see but he no longer takes it out on the kids. One great example was this morning when my kids wanted pop tarts. I took some outside and the other kids swarmed and insisted that they have one. This little boy was quiet so I asked if he wanted half of mine. He said
“No, I don’t want anyone to go without.”
AWWWW! My heart melted! I knew he had a sweet spirit in him! He just needed love and kindness to let it out. I have seen such a change in him and I really think it was because the kids took a different approach than most to deal with him. He is now a friend who comes over and plays outside everyday and is very kind. He even showed my daughter (very patiently) how to ride a scooter!
I know this will not be the case with all bullies but I pray that my daughter learned that sometimes mean people need others to show them extra kindness. If we start when they are young there is hope for the future!
Have you ever been affected by a bully? Have your kids? How do you teach them to handle it? Please take a moment to share for other readers who may need advice!