By Mei Yee
Bullying … the thing parents fear about their children. Whether they are worried about their child being bullied or their child being a bully. So how would you deal with bullying?
This is something that can really only be answered either while it is happening or after. Sure you can teach your child the importance of being kind so this way they don’t become a bully. But what happens when they are the ones being bullied?
I decided to talk about this after my 11-year-old was bullied recently.
My daughter and three friends are in a group chat, where they talk daily with each other. Have told each other they are the best of friends. Well one of the girls threw a party and didn’t invite my daughter. Before you come after me, I completely understand it was her choice to not invite my child and that this girl was not required to do so. I even said it was her party and she could invite who she wanted but that wasn’t the bullying part.
One of the other girls (we will call her friend A) in their friends group asked my daughter if she was going to the party that same day, she didn’t know she wasn’t invited. And this threw my daughter off because she hadn’t heard of the party before this. So, she asked what time it was and where it was at. Well, friend A said she wasn’t sure, as she wasn’t going to be able to go. Friend B and Friend C had not said anything.
When my daughter told me about it, I immediately thought that she wasn’t invited and that she was going to be hurt since she found out about it. So, I asked if maybe they were playing a joke on her. As today kids “jokes” are just mean.
My daughter asked the girl whose party it was, friend B, as well as Friend C. Friend B and Friend C both said no there was no party. Friend C admitted that Friend B forced her to say no because she knew my daughter wasn’t invited.
When Friend B finally admitted there was a party, she gave about 6 different reasons as to why she didn’t invite my daughter. Which then led to Friend B and Friend C calling my daughter a bunch of names, saying hurtful things and making fun of her being autistic. She cried so much, and what worried me the most was her falling back into depression.
Not many know but there was a situation three years ago that had her feeling like she wanted to die. She even wrote it on a school assignment one day.
And while some will say this is mild bullying, the mental damage it did was great. She's terrified to go to school. Terrified to see this girl. Even asked to be homeschooled. She is worried that girl will turn others against her.
Studies show bullying is a learned behavior, but that it can be "unlearned" or replaced with more positive behaviors.
This is why kindness matters. So we can reduce the number of bullying cases we need to show our children how to spread kindness and compassion, not hate.
Mission Fat Hearts is a movement that wants to help with that. You can check out more from them here: Mission Fat Hearts