Pity the Bully Love your ChildMay 7, 2000 Write an essay on this topic.
If you have read my prior opinions you will know that had a hard time in school growing up due to various learning disabilities. I could not play sports well as my eye hand coordination was almost non existent. Furthermore I was picked on a lot because of my problems and had to endured a lot of insults and physical attacks. Now that I look back at that time I realize that they helped mold me into a compassionate lawyer who helps saves peoples homes and keeps kids out of jail and into proper learning environments.
How the Help your Child:
1. Explain to your child that kids are cruel and that their opinions are irrelevant. Insults are just mere words and should not affect you unless they are spoken by someone you respect.
2. Be your childs friend. If your child has trouble with making or keeping friends be your childs friend and do things together as a family.
Make them understand that blood is thicker than water and its your family whose opinion you should truly value. One word of caution while you want to be your childs friend you must also set boundaries and explain that while you love them and enjoy doing things with them you are still their parent and must act appropriately when their behavior is bad. I loved going to the movies with my parents and playing golf with my father and would not trade those experiences for any amount of friends.
3. Explain to your child that life is long and that people develop at different speeds. From fourth grade on I spent 11 hours a day studying and being involved in school work with one or two hours of play time. As I could not play until my school work was done it usually occured around 7-9 at night and involved playing games with my sisters and parents or watching tv with the family. My parents explained to me that at this time in my life my job was to learn and do well in school, and that there would be time for social interaction when I was older. In college I learned social interaction with people as they had also grew up and were no longer bullies. I had learned most of what was learned in college in high school and could spend more time interacting with people.
4. Parents must also explain to their children that people change based on the choices they make. I remember that the most popular kid in high school spent so much time being popular that he did not have the grades to go to college. Furthermore I remember my parents moving and one of the movers was a star quarterback in high school. He was injured in college and did not take the opportunity to get an education and ended up being a mover.
5. Explain to your child most bullies have learning disabilities that have not been diagnosed and that the frustration of not being able to achieve in school manifests itself into bad behavior. Furthermore, these children want other kids to feel bad about themselves, as misery loves company. Explain to your child that they should be pitied as they were not given the chance to succeed and that the frustration their feeling is not of their own doing. Attempt to have your child talk to the bully and explain their situation and maybe the bully can see the similarities in their lives and seek help.
6. Most important explain to your child that physical violence is not a solution. Words from someone you do not respect should not be taken seriously and therefore should not hurt your feelings. However, if physical violence is unavoidable teach your child how to defend themself. Explain that they are never to strike first and physical attacks should be used only for defense and with enough force to flee the situation. Tell your child to then go to the principal or a teacher. Explain to your child that it is not snitching or tattletailing to tell on the person who attacked you. Rather you are being a hero and protecting all the kids from a person who could harm them. Furthermore, you are giving the attacker a chance to get help and change his ways before it is too late. Remember 20 years ago physical attackers were usually using only their fists. However, in this day and age weapons such as guns and knives are too readily available to children (whether bullies or seemingly normal children) and therefore, contacting a principal or a teacher is of the utmost importance. It may save lives of many children by preventing any future tragedies before they begin. It is important to know that the earlier a bully is caught the easier and more likely he can be reabilitated.
In the end you should not worry about teasers and bullies rather you should build your childs self esteem. If he is happy being with himself and his family then the teasing and bullying will fall on deaf ears. Combine the self esteem with some self defense and your child will be protected from the bullies as they only attack people who cannot protect themselves. They can not risk losing face by losing a fight to a kid that they thought they could bully. Remember bullies take the easy way out. Teach your child the opposite value. Your child should understand that through hard work he will make it in life and as he grows up he will interact with people who have matured and find true friends.
P.S. Children must know that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. As you age your physical strength will decrease but your mind will increase. (Due to your life experiences) Students at Northwestern University have a great cheer. They Know that their sports team will usually lose as they place more importance on academics so at the end of a game they yell " You may win today but we will be your boss when you graduate".) Knowledge not strength will make you child sucsessful in life.
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