How do you feel when your child is getting teased? How do you feel when your child is getting bullied? Well before you answer, let me give you, my answers. Bothered when the teasing is unnecessarily harsh especially from family members. And I feel an extreme anger when my child is being bullied. I am sure most parents share the same sentiment.
Now obviously we need to break down the difference. A bully is defined as a blustering, mean, or predatory person who, from a perceived position of relative power, intimidates, abuses, harasses, or coerces people, especially those considered unlikely to defend themselves. Teasing is defined as to irritate or provoke with persistent petty distractions, trifling jests, or other annoyances, to bully, harass, or torment.
Now obviously by definition, a bully is more serious and can have disastrous consequences for the victim as we have seen in the rise in suicides of children and teens. Even adults have been driven to a point of no return when it comes to bullying and ridicule. However, teasing though not as serious an offense can be quite upsetting and unsettling for a child.
We are always told to rise above. Don’t let the said bully get the better of you. Don’t let someone’s sense of humor or teasing cause you to lose your temper. You are supposed to take the high road. But it tends to be a different response when it is our child that is on the receiving end of the bullying or teasing.
When our child comes to us with problems with a bully, we speak and counsel our child. We go to the teachers and/or principal asking for help on the matter. We try to rehearse ways they can defuse the situation on their own. You want to jump in and handle it all for them. You want to save them from the pain and humiliation, but you also want them to learn how to stand up for themselves.
However, when you have a child who has special needs or limitations, it becomes even more frustrating, infuriating, painful and you find yourself using a lot of choice words when referring to the bully/teaser. Why would someone’s child feel the need to bother, mentally torture, become physical or bully another child just because they feel they can?? Especially when they can clearly see there is a limitation in the child.
To me, one of the most stressful and painful moments of my life has been when I have had to deal with a bully bothering my daughter or son. Getting them dressed for school in the morning as they fought me and cried or dropping my child off at school with tears in their eyes because they had to face that bully in their class. Then I would cry while driving off to work, worried about how their day would be like. I would call the school to check in on my child. I would send emails to their teacher and copy their principal if I felt I needed to in order to get the situation resolved.
You feel a desperation and you kick yourself because you worry you are pushing those vibes to your kids. You just want it over. You just want that child to leave your child alone. You dream about your child becoming like the character Ralphie from the movie ‘A Christmas Story’ where he finally gives Spud Farkus (the school bully) a taste of his own medicine.
But when you finally have a resolution to the problem of the bully, you find yourself breathing a sigh of relief. It’s over. And if you never had to deal with this situation with your child and you don’t know what the hell I am talking about then I am very happy for you.
As we all say being a mother has its ups and downs. Being the mother of a child with developmental delays and limitations can have some more intense ups and downs.
And if you are currently going through a situation like this then know you are not alone. Give your child some extra hugs and kisses. Make sure they know you are there to help and be a source of comfort. And most important, let them know you will always be there to for them and fight for them. Having your child know they can come to you with any issue that is troubling them is so important. It keeps the lines of communication open.
Well, that’s all for now. Stay safe and make good decisions. Remember, those rides to school can be one of the most informative.
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