Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Bullies Beware


I wrote this a couple of months ago. I wasn't going to post it, because it is very, very personal. Most of the time, writing is my therapy. Many blog posts sit in the que, never to be shared. But then a friend of mine posted on her blog about her son being bullied, and I realized how rampant it is in today's society, and I decided to share my own post. The summer has gone a long way toward healing our hearts from what we experienced this year, and if this post makes even one person think differently about bullying, then it is worth it.

Bullying. There is such an extreme amount of it today. Just look at the news. Frankly, I think it has always been around. But the truth is, today, there is so much of it going on, it boggles the mind. Especially with girls. Girls are the worst, aren't they? Of course boys are bullies, too, but they are usually more obvious about it. Girls are sneaky and conniving and unforgiving. Girls can pretend to be sweet when they aren't. Either way, girl or boy, I cannot stand bullies.

To the girl who bullied my daughter this year, know this:

Know that my daughter isn't a victim. She's stronger than you, smarter than you and frankly, much nicer than you. She purposely didn't engage in your twisted little game. She didn't stick up for herself. She isn't the kind of girl to participate in the drama of tit for tat and who was right or wrong. In other words, you just weren't worth her time. You didn't matter that much.

But know that I saw you hurting her. Yes. I personally witnessed an incident. And it took everything I had not to go after you and ask you what you thought you were doing. But I restrained myself, knowing how innocent you portray yourself to be. You aren't one to be trusted. You are dishonest, which makes you dangerous.

Know that your lies will catch up to you someday.

And to the girls who jumped on your bandwagon without getting the real story, know this:

Know there are two sides to every story. Did you really believe the lies degrading my daughter's character? Did you truly think it was like her to do the things that were being said? Or were you just so jealous of her that you eagerly believed such garbage? Why would you turn your back on a friend based on someone else's testimony? How could you forget what a good friend my daughter has been to you?

Know that there will be a next time, because bullying isn't exclusive to high school, and you will come across this exact scenario again. Next time, you should investigate. Don't always take one person's word over another person's without talking to both parties. Draw your own conclusions. Research. Seek the truth. Don't be so quick to judge.

Know that you were the victims in this charade of friendship. You fell prey to a controlling, conniving personality. And you lost out on a great, loyal, mature, sweet, fun friend. You are under a bully's control. And you are a bully in a group of bullies.

To all of you, to the group of bullies, know this:

Know when it comes to my daughter? She's okay. She's more than okay. But you did hurt her. You hurt her deeply. If that was your intention, then pat yourself on the back. Yay you! You succeeded. But she's stronger because of your treatment of her. You taught her one of life's biggest lessons - the only people you can really trust in life are immediate family. Friendship is fickle, and true friends are hard to come by.

Know you missed out on a great friend, someone who was true and who was always good to you. And now you are stuck with your same old comfortable tribe. Good luck with that. And thank you for showing your true colors. Better to learn sooner than later you aren't to be trusted.

Oh, and one more thing. When someone bullies my kids? I take it personally. You are bullying me, too. I wanted to tell your parents, but I knew you would lie about it.

To all the parents out there, I say this:

For the love of God, check in with your kids. If you think something is strange, ask them about it. Investigate. Don't always assume your kid is perfect and right. Don't think your kid doesn't need advice. If something seems strange in their story, don't always believe they are telling the truth. Help them come to the real truth. Human brains are not done growing until the age of 25. Don't bury your head in the sand. Talk, really talk, to your kids. Check in with them. DAILY. Bug them. And if you think something weird is going on, look into it. Life is tricky, and none of us are perfect. But bullying is preventable. A little parental guidance goes a long way.

4 comments:

  1. Kudos to you, Bobbi Jo! I LOVE that you do this blog. And your kiddos will be ok- know that all of your parenting struggles will pay off a thousand times over as you watch your "little ones" become grownups that everyone admires. Your hearts will overflow...

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    1. Thank you so much, Kim! This was one of the hardest things I have experienced as a parent. I know you are right - she will use this someday. It will make her stronger than she ever knew she could be. Sending you a hug!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this. My daughter was bullied this last school year by a girl and a boy her age. The girl physically bullied her and the boy both physically bullied her on the bus and verbally bullied her in the classroom. It was affecting her schooling and also caused her to have severe anxiety attacks in the middle of the night :-( We finally went to bat for her at the school and gave them the ultimatum to fix it or we would ourselves. They didn't like our option, so they made the right moves finally and she excelled the rest of the year.... thank goodness. It was heartbreaking to see how badly she was hurting from it all. And we felt helpless. Because we talk with our girls about what is happening in their lives, we were able to pick up on this easily and help her out. It's amazing how some parents brush the bullying off as "it's just their age." Wrong!!! Not acceptable. Teach your kids to respect others and treat people nicely. It's not that hard.

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    1. Oh my goodness! That makes me so sad, but you are exactly right. People don't even talk to their kids anymore! I really try to talk to my kids. And if they are in the wrong, then they own it. But when someone hurts them, it just kills me. I wanted to tell the parents, but when your kids get in high school, things change a bit. I am SO GLAD you made the school do what they should have known to do on their own. When I see a kid being rude to another kid, whether I know them or not, I say something. Thank you for your sweet comment, my friend! Sending you a hug!

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