The Day My Child Was Bullied

Our child was bullied a few weekends ago. Of course, all parents know the day will come but we never expected it so early. He is only 3 years old and the bully was only 4.  In the grand scheme of things, this kid was just being mean and won’t affect Buckner long term. But it affected my husband and me. To see that a child could just be mean for the sake of being a little punk was hard for us. It opened our eyes to the fact that these days are coming and was a reminder to be ready for it.  But how do you really prepare for it?

Our Bubble

We live in a bubble right now of an amazing pre-school where respect and empathy are taught and expected on a daily basis. His little group of friends are already so caring and kind to each other.  So we were surprised when a bully came into our bubble. We were at a birthday party where we didn’t know many of the children.  Buckner was enjoying playing with the toys by himself. I love that Buckner is quite confident doing his own thing. He almost has the attitude as if to say, “You can join me if you want but this is what I am doing right now.”  Even though he is content playing by himself in large groups, our child is also very welcoming.

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I’m A Big Boy!

So there he was playing by himself when two boys cornered him in the jump house. One boy started to flick a party mask at him while Buckner tried to wave the boy off.  Then the boy shouted at him, “You are a baby!” Which, of course, is probably the worst insult you could give my little guy at this time. So he defiantly responded, “No I’m not. I’m a big boy!” My husband could tell our little boy’s feelings were hurt as he approached the scene to end the conversation.

The Bad Boy

The conversation ended when my husband approached but now Buckner knows.  He knows there are mean people out there.  There always will be.  We have done our best to keep him from knowing about the unkind for as long as we could. Now we have to teach him wisdom to recognize hatefulness and the confidence to deal with it.  I have prayed about it a lot since that instance happened.  I want to teach him to understand that another’s actions do not have any reflection on his importance and value. I pray to understand how to teach Buckner to be confident enough to not fall prey to being a bully one day himself but to be so strong to stand up for the kid who is bullied.

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Buckner handled it well. We left the party not too long after the incident. And once we were in the car, he told me about the “bad boy.” That was the last time he brought it up but not the last time I have thought about it.  Maybe the afternoon had more impact on me reminding me to stay focused on finding all the ways to raise an empathetic and confident little guy. We thought the sleepless nights of newborn life were hard but each day the skill level of parenting must advance.

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