Today there is a video going viral on social media that shows a mother asking her daughter to repeat her experience with bullying at school and on the bus. The little girl is obviously embarrassed and doesn’t want to talk about the incident. Her little brother, maybe a kindergartener witnessed the most recent round of bullying and repeats the words of the bullies (which are quite shocking and disturbing). Watch the video here.
Earlier this year I had to help my kindergartener deal with a bully at school. She found strength by listening to the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles. We talked about how being brave is “doing something even though you are scared”. We role played saying mean things to each other and responding. But what seemed to help the most was finding the other kids who were also targets of bullying (or even worse in some ways – being completely ignored).
After weeks of not wanting to go to school, there was a breakthrough one day. I’m not sure what changed, but Olivia finally had the courage to say “You are mean, and I don’t like it and other kids don’t like it and we want you to go away.” After that, there was never another problem. And the next week, Olivia actually invited that person to be her guest at snack time. I’ve never been more proud.
I wish I could help this little 3rd grader from Minnesota. As I listen to her struggle to tell her story my heart breaks for her. I hope by sharing my own experience with bullying and how my family handled it, it will encourage more brainstorming and discussion.
Do you have an experience with bullying? Ideas for handling it? Leave your comments and let’s discuss this important issue.