Friday, September 9, 2016

What do Bullies Know Anyway??

Sometimes I like to dive right into a story and tell it from the inside out. Other times, things flow out of my fingers with a definite beginning, middle, and end. Today, however, I'm not sure where to start. I have a secret subject swap topic in front of me. When Karen assigned it, I felt like I knew exactly what to do with it. I probably should have started writing right then, but of course I didn't.

Part of my pause is because I haven't actually written anything in a long time. Life has had too much going on. I also haven't read anything from my blogging friends in a while. I hate feeling disconnected from that part of my world, but other parts (like moving) are taking precedence right now.

The other reason I hesitate is that I hate telling this story. Any part of it. I hate that this story exists in our family and in the world.

What am I talking out? Here. This is where I'll start:
Your “Secret Subject” is: How do you handle it when your child is being bullied -- and the bully's mom is doing nothing about it? It was submitted by:
Frances has been bullied and picked on quite a lot. At one point, I had thought it stopped, but it actually turned out that she had stopped telling me about it. That was worse than the actual bullying: the fact that she had gotten so used to it that it didn't seem noteworthy anymore.

In trying to be objective about the situation, I can see a lot of reasons why my daughter would be the butt of someone else's jokes and comments:

  • She doesn't wear the latest designer fashions. In fact, most of her clothes are hand-me-downs or from the second-hand store. She also likes to make some...shall we say...unique combinations out of them. She wears skirts with pants, stripes with plaid, and colors that make her happy, but might not compliment each other.
  • She hangs with the less-than-cool crowd. Currently, her friends include an autistic boy who needs help understanding social cues in the classroom (Frances sticks close by and whispers clues in his ear), a girl from Iraq who speaks very little English and needs help navigating middle school society, and a kid with anger issues who frequently blows up in class.
  • She's smart and enjoys learning about complicated things. She does well in school and grasps concepts fairly quickly. She enjoys analyzing things and talking about how pieces fit together. She thinks knowledge is fun.
Being objective is good. It can give you some clarity in an otherwise murky situation. It's hard to be objective about your own children though. Everyone thinks their kids are the smartest, best behaved, best looking ones around, right?  If I take a look at those same characteristics of my daughter through a mother's eyes, this is what I see:
  • My darling, you are unique and creative. You have a flair for originality. You like to surround yourself with what makes you happy. You take what life gives you and make the best of it.
  • Sweetheart, you see people with your heart. You can look beyond the surface of a person and see their true worth inside them. You know how to reach out and connect with lots of different people.
  • Love, brains will take you much farther in life than beauty. And you know where true beauty lies anyway. Keep learning; keep questioning, keep trying to figure out how things work.
Ultimately, Frances has stopped telling me about a lot of the comments she's gotten, because she's mostly stopped caring. She has learned an inner strength that will be quite useful through the rest of middle school and beyond. She hasn't quite found her niche yet, but she will.

So how do I handle it when my daughter gets bullied? I help to build her up so that she knows what's really important. And people who disagree? Don't need 'em!

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 11 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado
Not That Sarah Michelle
The Bergham Chronicles
Spatulas on Parade
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver
The Lieber Family Blog
Confessions of a part time working mom
Southern Belle Charm
Never Ever Give Up Hope

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