I am so very thrilled to host Rachna on my blog for today’s post! Long-time readers may remember that she graciously invited me to guest-post at her blog with my article on daydreaming, Calvin and I. For newer readers, Rachna is the blogger of Rachna Says and Rachna Cooks; she is a talented content writer who currently resides in Bangalore with her husband and two boys, and she is a personal friend with whom I have amazing mental sync; it’s just amazing how we think alike on so many issues.
One of these issues is childhood bullying. Even though I am all for protecting my children, I feel that it is worth equipping the child to counter bullying before stepping in as a parent. Often child bullies do get disarmed when they see their intended ‘victim’ standing up for him/herself. This following write-up is Rachna’s take on it! Take it away, Rachna!
I looked with distress as he came teary eyed to me yet another time. Someone had called him names. I was irked, really irked! This was a daily situation. Playing as he did with an older bunch of boys, he was exposed to cuss words, insults and episodes of bullying almost on a daily basis. It is rightly said that a playground is the place where lessons in life are learned and unlearned. Where you learn to balance the competitive spirit for self with teamwork; where you know when to hold back and when to give in full force; and where you also learn to push your way through with your talent as well as your persistence. If you are younger, you have to prove yourself harder just to get a chance. And there will be many times when someone will railroad their way through and not give you that batting chance you deserved. You will have to figure out your own ways to fight your battle just like you have to in life.
I am all for parents not interfering in matters of play with other kids. But what happens when someone picks on your child every single day making derogatory comments or abusing him? How do you teach a lesson to such brutes? Again, I feel that a parent must only intervene if there is physical violence of some kind. But verbal bullying can leave scars too. So what do I do? I teach my son how to get back at the bully by using his wit. Use his deficiency and poke fun at that. Use humor more than anything else. And keep picking on him till he backs off. Having a confident demeanor helps as well. Don’t cower under pressure. Yes, it works! And it may seem a cruel way to deal with things but then that is the way life is. You will come across children that will surprise you with their viciousness. And trust me; these same kids are chicken in front of their parents. They know how to manipulate their parents who anyway assume that their kids can do no wrong. Many such parents often get belligerent when confronted about their kids.
Failures and frustrations are an inherent part of our life and how to deal with them is one of the biggest lessons that we can give our kids. They cannot and must not expect to win always. They also should know that life is not always fair and that parents cannot always set things right for them. Sometimes taking the hard way can make them hardy. And they should know how to dust themselves up after a fall and get back on with the game.
How do you handle name-calling and vicious bullying of your kids?