From the mailbag:
"Dear Mama Bear,
My 11 year old is continuously coming home crying because she's being teased and hit by other kids at her school. I really worry about her self-esteem! However, I do not think fighting solves any problems, so how can I help her stop the bullying?
Baffled in Texas"
You don't think fighting solves anything?
You….really….don't think …. fighting solves anything?
My gosh, another bleeding heart liberal parent. Sigh…..
Allow me to give you a brief wee bit of an alert; you have roused up MamaBear and riled her up more than a Soccer Mom whose darlin' little angel just got sidelined for kicking the coach.
You've been warned….
Well now, isn't that just peachy!
You see the pain and agony your child is going through, but because of your own personal values, you choose to forbid her of the one action that might actually do some good.
Why not simply give the kids who are tormenting your child a couple of iron bars to complete the beating, aye?
Right now, it seems like you're laboring under the delusion that 11 year olds can be reasoned with and be expected to behave like normal sane human beans.
Lady, from what planet of milk-toasted-ness do you hail??
The plain fact is – bullies look for victims.
Victims are kids who cannot or will not defend themselves.
With me so far? Yes?
Well then, allow me to deliver the following startling fact into your pollyanna life, okay?
Bullies will take things to the nth degree, even up to causing the victims to commit suicide, unless they are stopped.
You don't want a dead kid, right?
Didn't think so.
I'm assuming you've already gone to the principal and board of education to demand action.
But even that….that's kinda sorta useless because bullies can accost your child in the bathroom, after school, before school, on Facebook….anyplace where your kid is unprotected for more than a few seconds.
Some bullies can *only* understand physical retaliation. Let me tell you a brief story; I was bullied like you mention when I was 12 years old. I was told by my idiot school counselors that "Fighting wasn't allowed" and that "I'd get suspended" if I punched back.
My parents, bless their souls, told me:
Listen. You fight back, you get suspended, we'll reward you. Case closed.
The next day, I crazily beat the hell out of the ring-leader…and they stopped picking on me from that day forward.
I think not.
BiT, kids who bully are vultures. Plain and simple. They're scum of the earth.
You owe it to your child to give her permission to fight back and permission to stand up and say to herself, "I will *not* accept this treatment."
You cannot save her nor can you stop the bullying. It has to come from within *her*
Here are some resources for dealing with bullies:
And here are some videos to watch.
Bullying is a serious, serious *serious* problem…and you simply have to give your child to answer the bullies in ways they *understand*.
And none of this sparkly rainbow "fighting solves no problems!" junk; that will be a real comfort to you if your kid decides to escape it all by suicide.
You are your child's main source of strength and inspiration. Give her the tools she needs to *stop* being a victim and *start* discovering her own inner greatness.
It will stay with her for a lifetime.
Thus speaks….Mama Bear