So, we go to school and we encounter bullies.
But bullies are everywhere. They are in school, they are in the park, they are their in our workplaces, they are their are our homes …
The truth is a bully is where ever we allow the persona of a insecure loud person to overshadow ourselves. A bully is like the overcast created by the clouds over the bright and beaming sun. But what we need to note here is the overcast can’t remain forever, the clouds gotta move, the ray’s needs to shine and find their way out.
The journey from home to school and back; in the big green bus can be overwhelming in the beginning but we make some of our most wonderful memories right there, chatting, jumping around, eating, singing … This is the first flight to independence in a child’s life, unsupervised by their parents. From a hesitant petite girl I saw my daughter blossom into a confident naughty girl … I knew it would happen, I knew she would cherish the trip daily. And then, we encounter the bullies.
The usual, slang and indicative gestures .. but how should a 7 year old be interpreting what F*** y** means … or the middle finger signifies !
What next ?
Okay! I am the mom, I should know what to tell her, how to deal with this. So the F word meansssssssssssss …. get lost, bugger off, go away, shoo …. urr how should I be explaining this to her ?? I don’t want to say the wrong thing but it’s wrong to introduce her to these slang’s at such young age anyways. My mind’s full of do’s and don’t, occasionally a bit pissed with those boys & the teacher who accompanies the children in the bus..
And then, “Mom don’t worry, I just turn away and ignore the boys, like I cant hear them.” She smiled and she got busy doing whatever she was doing already.
For the moment the topic died a calm death, but it kept lingering on in my head. What am I silently teaching her; to put up with the bullies by not giving them a befitting reply; to ignore boys when they use explicit gestures to get your attention; what example am I setting for a young girl who has to face a much challenging world soon enough on her own. I slept with this thought and woke up with fresh energy to answer some rather awkward questions of my little one. So we started all over again :
Me : So what happened in bus ?
She : Nothing !
Me : hmm.. okay ! You said something about two boys showing you the middle finger.
She : Oh yeah… they do it all the time mom they keep doing it right into my face but don’t worry I always look the other way and pretend they are invisible to me.
Me : Darling do you know what the middle finger signifies ?
She : Nope
Me : Okay. So the next time these boys show you the finger or bring it close to your face, don’t look away don’t pretend that you cant see. Obviously you can see and it effects your peace and calm. Right ..!!
She : Hmm….
Me : Look them in the eye and ask them to lay off ! If they don’t get it the first time tell them to back off , just a little more firmly this time ! And if they still don’t get it then please by all means use the finger locking technique you have learnt at your JUJITSU class and repeat back off now. Just ensure you have a calm face and a intense stare. It’s important to be a nice person, it’s important to be polite and do the right thing but first and most important is your safety. Everything else follows. By all means defend yourself first. I want you home and safe everyday. Period
She : (Big smile …. )
You’d be thinking, I just encouraged my daughter to get violent; is that correct parenting ! Would it be correct to tell her to retaliate with another slang or is it better for me to encourage her to use a self defence technique when a bully is stepping into her comfort zone.
I did what I thought was the best, and my daughter never cam back feeling over shadowed. Not that she needed to use the technique on the boys ( I secretly asked a senior in the bus to look into the matter), but the confidence that I saw my daughter carrying their onwards must have been enough to ward of the bullies. I know she will remember this conversation forever.
I learnt as parents, we teach our children many thing; but we need to constantly reassure them of themselves, of their capability to fend for their own self, their capacity to face every challenge on their own, and to be ready to get beaten in a challenge and bounce back for round two. They will not win always, but the fact that they tried is good enough to walk with their heads held high.
Certainly, my little girl will remember forever that if needed be she can beat a bully. Certainly my girl knows, if she wouldn’t, her mom would seriously hurt the bully. It’s the confidence I gave her that I received from my mom and we will pass it on … Self Defence is no offence