During dinner this evening, Little told me about something that happened at school:
Little: Hey, you know there was a bunch of guys who tried to pick a fight with me the other day and they won’t back off, so I told my friend to punish them for me but she didn’t. [bottom lip starts trembling]
Otter: Wait, hold on. So, you asked your friend to step in and punish these guys for you? First, I don’t think it’s great that you expect your friend to punish people on your behalf. But before you went to ask her what did you do? Did you tell them to stop?
L: Well, you know…yes, but they won’t stop so I cried.
O: Hey, I have heard you scream stop from the bottom of your lungs whenever I do something you don’t like. Just imagine them with my face and tell them to stop!
L: But what if they don’t speak English?
O: Lucky for you, French people also understand and use the word “stop”.
L: But what if I get in trouble?
O: Get in trouble for yelling stop? Then you explain to the adult what happened. Also, why are you the one who’s worried about getting into trouble? Don’t you think they should be the ones to worry about getting into trouble for bullying? Let’s practice!
[Little and Otter practice fighting back and Little ends up laughing]
Little: Wait, but what if I laugh at them?
Otter: Even better. Stand up for yourself in the face of your bullies, stand up tall and laugh. Show them that they cannot hurt you.
Sometimes I think I should take some the advice I give to my kids and put them into practice in my own life.
It is undeniable, having kids gives one courage.
Image: Suzi Eszterhas