Good morning to all my wonderful readers. I love that the sun is shining and it looks to be a great day. I fed my birds this morning at the window. I cannot believe how much they are eating. I fill the tray with an entire 2 quart picture of seeds and in a blink they are there eating and then gone, and so are most of the seeds. Lately it seems I need to feed them twice a day. I think I may have to get prepared for a rough winter.
Anyway, it is on to today's story. Bullying is a problem, has always been a problem. I am thrilled when I am asked to come into a school and do a bullying program. Most of you probably don't know that storytellers even do such a thing. Good idea to bring up at a teacher/ parent conference or even just suggest to the school.
I remember back when I was a young girl. There were two types of kids...the typical, good, sweet kind, and the bully. They are of both male and female genders. They are the kind that think they can push you around. Most kids are taught not to fight back. I am not in any means advocating that a child fights back physically, but that they at least should learn to tell someone. I remember walking to the drugstore from my house one day. There were these two girls that were bullies and saw me. They waited until I was on my way home. I had a bag of things in my hand...in those days, there were no plastic shopping bags, just the old brown paper bag. Well, as I passed the alley where they were hanging out, then began to follow me. The taunted me over and over and then one of them jumped in front of me. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was taught to always be a lady. They began egging me on and then one girl grabbed at my shirt and yanked down the one side that was buttoned on the shoulder...tearing it down. At the same time, she had ripped the bag out of my hand and all the products in it spilled out from inside, and, of course, the bag was now torn open. I stared her down and ask her whether she was finished yet? I think the element of surprise caught her off guard. I puffed up as though perhaps I looked as though I would fight. I think she got so caught off guard that they left. Little did they know I was shaking like a leaf inside. I bent down and gathered all the items that had been strewn about, It was a difficult walk home because I basically had to use the bottom of my shirt to carry the items. Till this day when I am gathering things and don't have a container to carry them in and use my shirt...that day just flutters right back to my mind. I never said anything at home because, well, I stood up to them and they never bothered me again...but I was the lucky one.
Now years went by. I got married and had two girls of my own. One day I heard the girls talking softly in the bedroom and overheard that my youngest child was being bullied by a bunch of girls.
It was set that she was supposed to meet them in an allocated spot and fight...if she didn't show...she would be a chicken. Well, we all know that this is just the beginning of what would happen. She would be the target for the rest of her life with these kids if she didn't show. Now, of course she wasn't going to tell me...and of course she had no intention of showing up....first mistake!!
So I waiting until it was 10 minutes before the scheduled "fight" was supposed to happen. I told the girls to get in the car, I had to go somewhere...never telling them where. When I drove down the street to where they were supposed to meet, I prayed that my plan would work. I couldn't let my daughter become the victim to these bullies. I had to teach her to stand up for herself, even though I suspected she would me madder than all get out at me. As I approached the area where the circle of girls had gathered....I could see the panic in my daughters face through the rear view window. I pulled right up to the circle of girls and told my daughters to get out of the car and let me do the talking. Well, immediately you saw the horror in all the girls faces, right along with the daggers they were throwing at my daughter. I preceded to tell them that I heard that there was to be a fight there at 4. I then told them I hope they didn't mind, but that I came along in case anyone really got hurt and needed to be taken to a hospital. I told them to rest assure, I was not there to stop the fight, just be there for any emergency. I was really trying to save face for my daughter. Well, if you could have seen those bullies. They all backed down and denied that there was any scheduled fight! They made up excuse after excuse.
I asked them whether they were sure or not...because my daughter would never back down. I could feel the intensity of anger coming from my daughter. She probably never dreamed that they would back down.
After all the girls dispersed. We got back into the car and drove back to the house. I told my daughter that the worse thing in the world was to back down from bullies or she would be the victim the rest of her life. I emphasized the courage that you need to muster up and stand up to others. It doesn't mean you need to fight with your hands. I means to fight with your intelligence and brains.
She saw that what we did worked, because I had simply told the girls that my daughter was willing to fight for her honor.
Now this may not be the solution to every situation where there is bullying, but it teaches one to stand up for their honor and integrity. It shows the others not to mess with them. It also gives them a sense of security that they never have to keep looking over their shoulders for the next time. Bullies are around us our whole lives...but they also learn who not to mess with.
Bullies come in all sizes. From kids, to boyfriends, husbands, wives, children, friends, parents even.
How many times have you heard of abused children, abused wives and husbands, even abused older parents, heck, even abused young parents who are afraid and hover in corners? We need to teach our children to use their intelligence and brains and give them the skills to avoid it. To set the records straight.
I know that my individual reputation is that no one wants to have to ever fight me...Not because I am a bully, just because I won't put up with anything!! Play it straight. Be honest. Stand up with pride. Let others know you won't be taken advantage of. Be strong, but most of all learn what is right and what is wrong and how to use that every day of your life!