Bullying is not always something that we are prepared for handling as parents. But, unfortunately, it is almost guaranteed that at some point in your child’s life that they will encounter some form of bullying behavior from somewhere.
Reality is, bullying happens in every school, group, club, social situation to any child no matter the personality or background.
My daughter is strong and independent so it was difficult to come to terms with her coming home complaining of being pinched and called names by the same child daily for over two weeks.
Initially, we tried to coach her to respond in kindness and if she still felt uncomfortable to approach the teacher.
After the second week, she told us she had shared what was happening with both the teacher and the director of the school but that it continued anyway.
My husband ended up having a discussion with the director of the school about the subject after several weeks of our daughter being distraught over the matter. The director responded with a less than comforting statement that they were aware of the situation and would continue to keep an eye on it.
That evening over dinner my daughter broke down in tears and stated that she did not know why the other child hated her but that she wanted to go to another school.
This is when I decided that I would share with her a life lesson that I should have helped her with from day one. This is the life hack that my dad taught me when I was young and was being bullied for being different.
My father sat me down and said:
The next time that child makes fun of you, look them straight in the eye with the biggest smile on your face and agree with them as passionately as you can. Simply say “You’re absolutely right! Thank you!!!”
I did as he said the next opportunity I had and it worked. I shared this with my daughter that evening and she went to bed with a grand smile on her face eager to try out her new tool tomorrow if needed to combat the bully’s statement.
When I picked her up from school the next day she ran to our car and exclaimed “MOM! IT WORKED!”
She further told me that the child just looked at her confused and then turned around and left her alone. In fact, my little confident human told me, “Mom, I can’t wait for someone to make fun of me again!”. I am not sure I would go that far but I can tell you that this momma is very thankful for an old life hack passed down for generations.
I hope that you can continue this tradition in your own family of facing bullies with kindness and smiles.