If you think that one of the happy byproducts of homeschooling is that your children don’t have to deal with bullies, you would be wrong. Bullies come in all different shapes and sizes. And they can even go to your church.
There is a kid in Emme’s Wednesday night church group that has made her life, um, difficult. This particular child takes delight in calling my daughter “stupid” among other more colorful words. And my daughter is not alone, as this child has also picked on Emme’s cousins and other children.
At first I had a discussion with Emme that included your typical What Would Jesus Do type of dialogue. At dinner one night, I gently suggested that this girl might be friendless and lonely, and was acting out trying to get attention, so it might be a good idea to engage her in conversation. “Like what?” Emme asked. Well, like “how was school today?” or “what did you dress as for Halloween?”
She looked me square in the face and said, “Mom, she came to the church Halloween party dressed as the devil.” Cailey chimed in that this was indeed true, and went on to describe the costume.
Blink. Blink. I re-thought my strategy. And in my head, I screamed “Avoid her. Avoid her like the plague.“
The last straw came when I one week, Emme left the Wednesday night meeting in tears. It seems that this girl told Emme to say a word. Emme, having never heard this word before, asked “What’s ****.” At that point, the bully chimed in loud enough for the class and leaders to hear, “EMME JUST SAID ****.”
The leader, who Emme just adores, admonished Emme and told her that was inappropriate. Emme had enough good sense to realize she had just been duped and she was highly embarrassed. I asked her what the word was, and she said she didn’t remember, but thought that it began with “F”.
The mama bear in me came out, claws extended. I was prepared to march myself up to that classroom and have a private COME TO JESUS meeting with this child, while introducing her to the business end of my crutch. Which likely wouldn’t have been a good idea, because lately I’ve discovered that I have absolutely no filter on my mouth, and what with 50 years of pent up anger that I surely am harboring, I’m certain to be looking for a new church.
While wearing a prison issue day-glo orange jumpsuit.
Instead, I spoke with the leader of this particular children’s ministry. He was wonderful, and knew that there were issues with this child and he would make sure that this didn’t happen again.
Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to introduce myself to this young lady, and scare the tar out of her with my highly refined stink eye.
Until one day Emme pointed her out to me at church. I whispered to Fiddledaddy, “Oh good grief, I think she could take both of us.”
There’s only one thing worse than your child being harassed by a bully. Being harassed by a bully that is bigger than your angry mama bear.
Things have died down for the most part, and in the last couple of weeks she hasn’t been picking on my child. But from what I’m hearing from other kids, she has not changed her ways. I tell you, I fight with the feeling that this kid should be kicked out of this Wednesday night group. Which is pretty much NOT WHAT JESUS WOULD DO. I’m sure this church group is exactly what this child needs.
It certainly has been a learning experience in our house, as most real life unpleasant situations are. I’ve instructed Emme to pray for this girl, while maintaining a safe distance…HEY, I’m flawed. I’m human.
Have you all had to deal with the bully issue? And if so, how do you keep from letting your maternal instincts land you in hot water? 🙂