We can’t fight our kid’s battles for them

kids bully

photo credit: Aislinn Ritchie via photopin cc

The other day I found myself firing comebacks and smart responses during a very heated debate. Normally I would have been quite proud of myself for being so quick on my toes and having such clever responses… this time though was different. This time when I had clearly gotten my point across, I felt completely ridiculous since I was arguing with no other than a six year old.  I had been sitting quietly trying to mind my own business while I listened to a conversation between my son and his friend from school that he had invited over. The little boy continued to pick on James until I finally stepped in and ended up having a battle of the wits with a snotty little nose picking six year old. I would have felt really bad, except that this kid was totally unphased by it all and went right back to picking on my son. The thing that really gets me about all of this, is that no matter how many times this ‘so-called’ friend  tells my son that pretty much everything he says or does totally sucks… James continues to absolutely love this kid. It drives me crazy.

So after I learned my valuable lesson of  how it’s never a good idea to argue with my child’s six year old friends, I had a similar experience with my daughter Jocelyn. We recently went camping at a KOA in Michigan that was full of fun stuff for the kids to do. It was awesome. Jocelyn decided that she wanted to go and play at the little park up the road, so I walked over with her and sat on the bench while she went and played. Within seconds I overheard some older girls being mean to her. What is it with kids these days? Was there some kind of ‘how to be a bully’ workshop I was unaware of? Jocelyn climbed up onto the equipment and yelled down to the girls, ‘Anyone want to come on the spaceship?’. Adorable right? WRONG. These little brats looked up at her and replied, ‘Umm. No. We don’t want to play with you.’ And then they walked away while they laughed at my daughter. I seriously was going to blow a gasket, but having regretted my previous smackdown with my son’s friend, I decided to stay silent. Jocelyn came running over and quietly mumbled that she didn’t want to play anymore and asked to go back to the campsite. My heart broke for her.

Later on that night we had heard that they were having a little dance party for the kids at the campground with a DJ at the main pavilion. Naturally, my kids were super pumped to go. Jocelyn demanded that I find her a dress and do her makeup. Right… because I always pack dresses and makeup for camping trips. I managed to find a little sun dress in the closet and a butterfly necklace in a junk drawer. We were ready to dance our hearts out.

When we got to the dance party my kids went crazy… in a good way. They were dancing up a storm, and had a wonderful time. After a few songs, Jocelyn kept inching her way over to the middle of the dance floor. I couldn’t figure out why she was so obsessed with going over there. I suddenly realized that she saw the girls from the park that had been mean to her. Right away I was frustrated. I assumed, that like James, she wanted to continue to play with kids that were mean to her. As I stepped back and watched I was shocked at what unfolded. Jocelyn rushed the dance floor as her favorite Katy Perry song came on, busted out some hard core serious moves right where these little girls were dancing, looked them right in the eyes, flipped her hair and then walked off with more attitude than a sixteen year old. My three year old managed to relay ‘Take that bitches’ without saying anything at all. Unbelievable.

This story is for all the moms out there who are beyond frustrated with their child being bullied. No matter how bad you want to, you’ll never be able to win your child’s battles for them. You can try all you want and fight tooth and nail, but sooner or later they will have to learn how to stick up for themselves. Now that may be easier said than done, I know. I don’t know if James will ever stick up for himself like Jocelyn does, but what I do know is that I can’t fight his battles for him. I can certainly go to battle with him, but at the end of the day our children can only learn to stand up for themselves if we let them. To all you moms out there who are fighting the battle against bullying… you’re doing a great job, even if you have argued with a grade schooler on occasion.

Comments

We can’t fight our kid’s battles for them — 1 Comment

  1. You’re right…the kids need to learn how to handle it themselves, but it is hard to watch sometimes. Good for Jocelyn! Loved this post!