When Older Kids are Bullied – a Mother’s Story – Part 1

older kids bullied

This is a picture of my youngest son, Bud.  We homeschooled Bud until the 7th grade.  He finished both 5th and 6th grades together so he could skip up and enter 7th grade at a public middle school with his friends.

Bud loved 7th grade.  He is an attractive and pleasant boy and made lots of new friends.  The problem was that some of the boys he knew from the neighborhood were jealous that Bud was getting so much positive attention when he was so new to the school.

One day, about two months in to the school year, Bud was walking his bike home from school so he could talk to a couple of his walking friends.  They had only got as far as the sidewalk in front of the athletic fields when Bud was knocked off his bike from behind.  An 8th grader, who had knocked him down, jumped on Bud and started punching him in the face and ribs.  Fortunately, Bud’s friends started screaming for help and a neighbor across the street from the school came out and scared the bullies away.

For some reason, Bud decided to finish walking home – about a mile away.  When he got home he told me what had happened.  I immediately took some pictures and called the police who sent an officer out for an “informational report.”  I have since found out that an “informational report” usually means the police are not taking you seriously.  The officer also told me I should contact the police officer assigned to the school.  I called but had to leave a message as it was after school hours.

The next day my husband and I drove Bud to school and asked for an immediate meeting with the principal.  We relayed the story of what had happened.  The principal questioned both my son and the older boy separately and fortunately the older boy confessed.  The principal notified us that the boy had been suspended for five days, but apparently if he had not confessed there was nothing the school could do.

Later in the school year Bud came home with the bruise you see in the picture above.  An older boy, again one whom Bud had considered a friend approached Bud and his friends at lunch demanding money.  When Bud refused, the boy punched Bud hard in the ribs and once in the face, then calmly walked away.  Bud refused to report the incident as he was unsure anyone would support his claim for fear of retribution.

When Older Kids Are Bullied – Part 2

When Older Kids Are Bullied – Part 3

Tips and Tricks for Dealing with Childhood Bullies

 

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The Year of No Fear

Last year I started a new tradition. At the beginning of the year, I picked a theme for personal growth.  2010 was my year of forgiveness.  My husband, Art, and I went through a Lenten study on forgiveness at our church in March of 2010 and I was finally able to do something I thought would never be possible. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do; I forgave the man who murdered my biological father.  The latter was finally achieved by understanding that justice is not mine, but God’s.  It is not to my benefit to continue to harbor anger against someone, no matter what they have done to me.

Mind you, forgiveness doesn’t have to mean forgetting.  The old adage, “Forgive and forget,” is just not fair.  Forgetting about a heinous crime is not possible and forgetting that someone has perpetrated abuse on you could prove dangerous if the perpetrator chooses to repeat that abuse.

no fear
copyright 2006 Mike Lao

2011 is my year of “no fear.”  I started the year reading A Course In Weight Loss
by Marianne Williamson.  Lesson 1, titled “Tear Down the Wall” has an exercise in which we are asked to imagine that all our painful feelings are bricks in a wall that is keeping us from trusting and fully connecting with other people.  We are to name our feelings, write them down on slips of paper and then attach names of people or events to each one.  The emotion for me that had the most events and people attached to  it was fear, but I also noticed that I had quite a few people still attached to anger.  It was then I realized that sometimes, fear and lack of forgiveness go hand in hand.  Our reluctance to forgive can cause a lack of trust towards people who have never hurt us.

Currently I am in a study focused on Renee Swope’s,  A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself and Live in the Security of God’s Promises.  This book is all about losing our doubt and fear of failure and moving on to the life and goals that God has intended for us.  An exercise Renee suggests is to make a timeline of painful moments in your life.  Doing this exercise, I came to see I was again harboring some anger towards people from my past, including toward myself for things I had done to hurt others and myself.  Fortunately, I watched Melissa Taylor‘s vlog from October 13, 2011,  and learned  another aspect of forgiveness.  As Melissa says, “I have to keep reminding myself that I forgave that person.”

Renee Swope suggests that we pray over each event, asking God to “heal your heart and your hurts.”  She also reminds us of another reason why forgetting about our past is not an option: “God could use my mistakes and hurts for His greatest purposes.”  As an example, as a result of being rejected and teased by other children, I taught my children to reach out and friend those who others made fun of or ignored.

As Rose Sweet writes, in her book A Woman’s Guide to Healing the Heartbreak of Divorce, “Forgiveness is a process, not an event.” I see that the year of forgiveness and the year of no fear may alternate on my calendar for the rest of my life.

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