As I was putting Junior to bed last night he told me that he has silent lunch today. When I asked why he proceeded to tell me about a run in that he had with a fellow student in his class, henceforth referred to as “Butch”. “Butch” is actually smaller than Junior, but has been bullying him since last school year, when they were also in the same 1st grade class. I spoke to Junior’s 1st grade teacher last year about the antagonizing, which she had also witnessed, and she separated them and kept an eye on the situation. However, Junior and “Butch” ended up in the same class again this year and the situation hasn’t really improved. What has changed is my approach.
This year I have focused on trying to teach Junior how to deal with “Butch” (and other potential bullies) versus trying to get the teacher to control and/or discipline “Butch”. [Sidebar: Junior is not the only recipient of “Butch’s” antagonism. He is an equal opportunity bully. He has a VIP seat right next to the teacher’s desk, so she can keep an eye on him and to help prevent further disription in the classroom.] “Butch” is the typical bully – “alot of bark, but no bite” – and the best way to handle those types of people is to ignore them. I am trying to help Junior realize that he (we) cannot control “Butch”. He can only control himself and how he responds to “Butch”. I am also trying to teach him that, unfortunately, bullies are a part of life, even in adulthood. And that the sooner he learns to deal with them, the better off he’ll be.
Image credit: womenandshoesmag.com
My husband and I volunteer at the school regularly. “Butch” happens to be one of the students that my husband works with on his volunteer days. Interestingly enough, he has uncovered that “Butch” is bullied at home by older siblings. Which leads me to my next observation – bullies are often recipients of bullying themselves. I have tried to help Junior understand that he (Junior) is not the one with the problem, it is “Butch”. Last night, I prayed with Junior for help, confidence and strength in dealing with this situation. Tonight, I believe we will also pray for “Butch”.
Mama Bears, what advice do you have for this frustrated Mama?
Until next time-
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV)