My heart is ripped apart – I look at my sweet innocent treasure, the bump on his head, the wound in his heart and my eyes are filled with tears of anger, desperation and frustration. What do I do when my child is bullied in school by kids that see violence as normal behavior? And what do you do with the humiliation that’s involved with the whole situation?
The incredible power of… forgiveness
your little angel started his first few days of school, filled with innocence and vulnerability, on one hand he is an adult, and on the other he is still your baby, and then one day he comes back from school upset and angry , tears coming down on his cheeks and his eyes are mad with anger, yes, these two kids bugged him in school again, the school bullies. Your heart is ripped apart, tears of pain and anger are chocking your throat and in a second you will both burst into tears, but will it help? probably not. so what can you do?
All roads lead to Rome?
So what road to choose? maybe I should teach him to stand up for himself? Maybe send him to a Judo or Karate class that will guide him to fight back? but how would that eliminate the amount of violence that is already rising in his environment? and what kind of message is it sending? and between you and me, what exactly are his odds in front of bigger and stronger kids? maybe I could just teach to run really fast? or maybe I could get the principal involved? but would that help him cope with it? won’t it degrade his self esteem? plus you can’t solve all of his problems forever…truly a complex situation.
It is very likely that addressing the issue affectively will include more than one solution, plus along the way you would need to remember that a big part of the following developments would be completely out of your control.
Light under the Spotlight
If you will allow me (like I left you any choice, right?) I would like to shed some light on another perspective, one that usually falls in between the lines. And I received this perspective from my beloved father, god rest his soul, who was a simple and supreme man of his time.
He was a WII holocaust survivor, who lost everything he had in the war – his parents, family, his youth, health and possessions, in fact the Nazis took everything he had, an unthinkable wrong in today’s reality, but my father (as opposed to others from his generation) didn’t leave the war an angry, bitter individual, on the contrary, he was still an affectionate, loving, gentle and especially forgiving person.
My father was mostly a man of action and we didn’t get to hear long speeches, or many stories but when he did say something it was memorable. One time after one of us was very angry towards another person, my father would smile a kind grin and say: “So bless him”, we would all look at my father dumbfounded… and my father continued grinning and say “Well, bless him the lord will bring him cure and wisdom, and he will be well, so then he would stop bugging you”.
Many years later, while researching, learning and constructing the layers of my life’s beliefs I realized that sentence conceals a whole mindset and personal philosophy which forgiveness is one of its pillars.
Excuse me? Really, forgive me, but there’s a line!
So now it’s your turn… yes, I can read your thoughts and at this moment you’re thinking:
Excuse me? really? forgive me but forgiving a bruise, an offender, a bully, he doesn’t deserve it! and a blessing? you really think my son would agree to bless the one who harmed or humiliated him for no reason at all? I mean really, there has to be a line!!
And I know, well I’m sure you are right. I experienced it on my own flesh and blood daily, and there isn’t a bigger heartache than wrongs being done to our sweet beloved babies. So don’t confuse the meaning of the word forgiveness, I definitely do not mean forgiveness that humiliates the forgiver, one that is forced by him and leaves him in an underdog humiliated position.
On the contrary, I mean forgiveness from the empowering place.
Forgiveness that understands the one who hurt me from his humiliated, weak, small perspective. Forgiveness that understand the hurtful side as a weak and frustrated
And only from that place I forgive him.
Of course, that does not mean his actions are okay, worthy and acceptable or no one has to set his boundaries.
Defiantly not, we must still enforce all of these things, but that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with you, and it isn’t the purpose of forgiveness.
The purpose of forgiveness is first and foremost easing you and your kids pain.
It’s purpose is to strengthen you,
And instead of your child remaining in the underdog humiliated place he can move to the strong empowered place.
And yes, of course, there are many more things to do with your baby and the whole gang but I will discuss that some other time. In the mean time I’m inviting you to visit this video post which will clarify this topic a bit more. (link to Bully video post)
To your success and mine!