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My little boy handed me a note from his teacher. Along with a flower he had picked for me himself. With a tremendous amount of uncertainty in his eyes and a heart overflowing with regret.

He was truly sorry even before I read the words written on the note in bright pink handwriting. He was visually remorseful for everything that I was about to read.

“Rockefeller was involved in a pushing incident. We all talked about keeping our hands to ourselves and being a kind friend.”

Really?! Pushing?! My son?!

Yes!!!

Could our prayers FINALLY have been answered!?

I really couldn’t believe it! My husband and I had only been BEGGING our son for all of last year to please stand up for himself whilst his bully made him his own personal punching bag. But to no avail!

Taking A Toll

Letters to the teacher were not working. And the damage was really taking a toll physically, emotionally- even financially with this bully not only forcefully taking my son’s lunch money off him but also destroying his personal property.

In fact, I refused to buy my son the lunchbox that he desperately wanted until he started back at school this year, just so I could be sure whether his bully would still be in my son’s class – in which case I wouldn’t be investing in anything nice for my son just for the bully to intentionally break!

Believe me, I feel awful having to let something like that dictate whether I can buy my son an expensive lunchbox or not. But honestly, from experience it simply isn’t worth the heartache of not only having a bully jump on your child’s lunchbox until it breaks – but then not being able to afford to replace it!

My emotions were all over the place. But I couldn’t let my little boy see how I felt. And so I remained completely neutral.

Neutral

“Tell me exactly what happened,” I said to him as his tiny little six-year-old-self stood in front of me looking in my eyes trying to see where he stood with me as I sat in front of him.

We held hands. And he began a story which not only blew my mind, but made my heart burst with pride.

“Mummy, today I was playing with my friends, but then I saw the bully punching a boy even smaller than me. I ran over and yelled at him to stop three times. But he wouldn’t stop. And I was scared so I pushed the bully off him so the little boy wouldn’t die.”

Being Brave

My son had just done something for someone else that he has never even been able to do for himself. Something which no other child has done for him. And something I desperately wanted to know he was capable of doing. Being brave. Not feeling defeated. Standing up for what is right.

I was concerned that my son was allowing this bully to hurt him out of fear. But now I could see that my son allows this child to do what he does to him because just as everyone else does – he expects this behaviour from the bully. And their hands are tied.

Just last week the bully punched my son in the face and was sent home with a note to his parents. Yet no incident report was given to me. Because it’s a one-sided hopeless case that can have no resolution other than accepting that this is just the nature of some people.

Excuse!

No matter what the age, or the severity of the violence, the action plan remains the same – consider the perpetrators background, their environmental factors and learn to grow to accept their nature as a reflection of what they have been through or how they were nurtured.

It may feel like a tremendous excuse, but in it lies the greatest lesson of all!

Choice!

Everyone has a choice. Either we can use our challenging experiences as a step under our feet and rise above,  or we can use the trying situations we face as a scapegoat to hurt others.

My son could use the violence he faces from this bully and turn into a bully himself seeking joy from bringing harm to others. Or he could choose to learn from it and rise above.

We have rendered teachers powerless when it comes to resolving bullying issues. And yet, when it comes to dealing with it ourselves at home, how many of us know how to solve the problem? Or even want to.

Turning the other cheek is a fantastic way to live your life, and I am proud that my son is capable of being the bigger person. Stopping someone from being beaten however takes a great amount of courage and I am beyond grateful that he has enough compassion to protect others even though he has never defended himself.

How Do I React?

If we are not careful, those behaviour communication cards that our children bring home acknowledging actions which do not comply to a high moral standard could, with time, turn into far more serious letters from law enforcement officials. And I can’t deny the fact that my little boy brought his first home yesterday, regardless of his intentions, he did put his hands on another human being.

If I high-fived him for rescuing someone it could set him down a path to more letters from the school.

So rather than congratulate him, I will remain neutral. Remind him how important it is for him to keep his hands to himself no matter what awful behaviour he witnesses and continue to hope that eventually the bully’s behaviour stops.

If my son witnesses violence in the future, he will notify a teacher, so they can issue the bully with yet another letter to their parents. And the unwanted physical contact can repeat itself as it has done for over a year now.

After all, the only other outcome would be for the school to brand my child as the bully for trying to do the right thing and stand up to the violence himself due to the school’s lack of power over such situations.

Sometimes it’s only when your prayers are answered that you realise the gravity of what you asked for. I wanted my son to stand up for himself, but in reality he is brave, especially when taking a beating from the bully and not fighting back.

Which now provides me with the opportunity to pray for the bully, their parents and family in hopes that they are able to break the cycle of violence before it’s too late!

How would you have reacted in this situation? Tell us in the comments below!

  • How awful. Why is that the actual bullies get away with it for indefinite amounts of time, yet when the ones who’ve been taunted for a long time finally react and get in so much trouble? The world can be so unfair and unjust. I wouldn’t have punished my kid for this

    Reply

  • I wouldn’t taken the matter into my hands long before it got to that stage. The principle would be seeing me everyday until it stopped and the bullies parents would have been spoken to by me many times

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  • I personally would of high fives him, rewarded him haha

    I guess I would make sure the message was clear though, what you did was Amazing but if you become the bully then I won’t be proud of you.

    Reply

  • I think you’re little boy did the right thing!!!

    I know kids are taught 2 wrongs don’t make a right but when the behaviour of a bully is consistent there is only so much you should have to take. Good on him for standing up for another smaller child

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  • Hate all this bullying

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  • Bullying is getting out of control and I worry about when my son starts school. I think this little boy did the right thing by helping the other child

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  • This happened to my son. He was being jumped on and the boy was trying to ride on my son’s back around the school grounds. His cousin was there and told the bully to stop. When he didn’t his cousin pulled him away from my son. I couldn’t believe it when it was my nephew who got suspended for a week and the bully was allowed to carry on as usual. I did thank my nephew for looking out for my son and put in a very strong complaint to the school about how they dealt with the situation. In the end I stepped in and told the bully’s Mum what was going on. The bullying did cut back for a while but next time he tried it my nephew, my son and a lot of their friends just ignored the bully to the extent that it stopped altogether.

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  • Oh dear I had tears in my eyes. It is a dilemma, be proud he helped another child whilst maintaining that sense of responsibility and hands off approach. I think your child did the right thing regardless however do not play into too much. Explain he was very brave and that in the future tell someone. If that doesn’t work contact the school and ask their advise. Good on your boy!

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  • very delicate subject that requires much thought

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  • Wow I would have told my child to punch the kid back! I’ve always said to them, walk away or ignore 1st or 2nd time if they do it again then clobber them back and I’ll deal with the school let them come see me about it. I know it’s bad but that’s how I feel.

    I’m so proud of your son though! If that was my kid I would have high fived them & hugged them told them how proud I would be I wouldn’t be able to help myself. BUT I would also make sure they are well aware of the consequences for getting involved because it wasn’t their fight so they need to understand both sides.

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  • Bullies often are bullied themselves, so know no different, but that’s no excuse at being a bully!
    Good on your son for sticking up for the other kid. My son is the same & I’m always saying to him violence doesn’t solve anything, it’s best to walk away.. he still struggles in dealing with bullies but is becoming more resilient. Maybe you could speak to the parent(s).. you’ll soon have your answer. If not monitor it yourself by being at the school & stay to observe any behaviour.. Surely they have staff on duty?!..
    No child should be bullied!

    Reply

  • Unfortunately a lot of bullies have parents that don’t care, in my experience anyway. We can teach our kids to be kind, not to harm others and to be resilient.

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  • This is exactly hat has happened to my granddaughter. She was picked on ever since she started school and the school did nothing to help her. Now her little brother has started school and she saw him being picked on by bigger boys one day and went to his aid. He was being choked and she pulled the boy off her brother and got in trouble for putting her hands on another pupil and the bully who has a slight learning disability was let off. He is a very large boy and has done this to many children boys and girls at the school and his disability is giving him a pass on the violence. One day he is going to really hurt someone and the lack of action by the school is disgraceful.

    Reply

  • I would be so proud of either of my kids if they did that. In all honesty it’s the school’s fault for not doing something about it. Obviously, the kid has problems and that’s why he is acting out in this way, but it still needs to be stopped. Talks need to be had with parents and failing that, the child should be expelled. I know that’s probably not the ideal thing but he needs to learn that his actions have consequences.

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  • My son has been the victim of relentless bullying through his primary and secondary schooling and we handled it many different ways depending on support. What we basically found was that schools are not up to handling things at all. We always felt they would protect our son, keep him safe, document things (as I had done), only to find both schools let him down time and time again. In the end we left, and they understood, but seemingly were at a loss as to how to handle it. Know your child. Support your child. Do what is best for your child. And if you need to move them from their school, do it.


    • I agree, but sad you had this experience !

    Reply

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