Don’t Show how Scared You Are!
I was a victim of bullying in my childhood, but have learned how to deal with it effectively. I take this very seriously as many children and adults have committed suicide. This blog is a bit lengthy but I have packed as much information as I could. I also urge you to read Miriam Laundry’s website below.
I remember we had a bully in our neighbourhood he was always targeting us. He knew we were a soft touch because we never stood up to him. He would beat the stuffing out of us and run home. He was tall and wiry and must have been about five years older than ourselves.
Whenever parents complained about his bullying, his mother would adamantly defend her son and scream at us, that we started the fight. He would act as if he was the victim and would put on the waterworks in front of his mother.
He beat me up several times. I never told my parents. My mother hated violence and would take the passive resistance approach. My dad was a different ball game altogether. He was assertive and not afraid of confrontation. He told us to fight our own battles.
My Dad sensed I was not my normal self, all he said was ” You can’t run away from situations all your life.. sort it out and face it head on. ”You have to learn to fight your own battles”. Give this bully a taste of his own medicine, even if you are afraid don’t show it ”. His words gave me courage and it did wonders for my self-esteem. I felt ten feet tall because I knew he would have my back.
Fight back I did. I was walking home from school one day, as I approached my street with great trepidation, I saw the bully standing on the corner. I was prepared, I had a sharp stone in my pocket. He came straight for me – calmy, I took aim with the stone and struck him on the neck. He shrieked like a little girl. Petrified, I ran home as fast as I could.
I heard him scream and swear that he was going to kill me, but I dare not look back. I reached my front door and frantically turned the doorknob and hid behind the door.
My heart was beating so fast and my breathing was heavy. My mother had that worried look on her face when she saw me hide,” What’s wrong? she asked – I said nothing. There was a loud knock on the door and I ran into the kitchen and hid.
My Dad was witnessing the whole scene but stayed silent. He swung open the door. There stood the bully with blood streaming down his neck. “Look! look! what Richard did to me” he whined, what did you do to him asked my Dad? – nothing, he whimpered”.
My Mum and Dad believe in Me
“Alright said my Dad in his military tone of voice, I will give him a damn good hiding. I looked at my Dad shocked, thinking to myself, he just told me to stand up for myself, and now he is going to beat the crap out me.
From today all this stops, ”Leave Richard and his brother alone”. ”Do you hear me”? said my dad in his stern voice “Yes, nodded the coward as he ran off sniveling back to his house.
I was expecting his mother to bang on our front door at any moment and cause a scene. The neighbours avoided her like the plague as she could be intimidating at times and used language that would make a sailor blush.
My mother was very emotional and visibly shaken, she said that I could have killed him. My Dad looked at me proudly and shook my hand firmly. I knew what that handshake meant. I always remember this story and would often repeat it to my kids.
Lesley never came near us again. I would walk past him with a new air of self-confidence and showed him I was no longer afraid of him. Fear can paralyze You, but Fear can also liberate YOU.
I was twelve when this happened, but it left an indelible impression on me. As I grew older, I met many more bullies in my life especially in the workplace, I was not afraid anymore. I have taught my children how to be assertive and stand up to bullies without using violence.
My children were victims of bullying at school. They would never tell me anything. I knew something was up when my eldest son came home looking disheveled his shirt was torn and there was mud on his blazer.
He looked shaken and pale. I asked what happened, he said that one of his school friends dads roughed him up because my son was fighting with his son in the park.
The reality was that he and his friend were play fighting and the father just happened to come by. He reacted but did not find out what happened.
His Dad believed that my son was fighting with him. I was fuming but said nothing. I picked up the phone and reported the incident to the police.
The police came to my house and my son explained what happened. They asked if I wanted to press charges. I said it was not necessary. but an apology to my son would be the right thing to do. The Dad apologized to my son, but my son cut links with this friend.
Parents should not be afraid to challenge other adults who physically lay a finger on their children. My daughter was also bullied at school.
The head refused to listen to reason. We took our daughter out of school and homeschooled her for a year. She found another school where she flourished in her studies and social life.
My second eldest son suffered the worst because he would suffer in silence. I had to pry information from him with a crowbar literally speaking.
I was enraged when I heard from his school friend that during detention the teacher had locked him in the classroom. When my son tried to leave, he pushed him with such force that he had bruises on his back.
I was at the police station so fast with my son and showed him the bruise inflicted by the teacher. I spoke to his Principal who tried to play it down.
The special police child unit was at the school the next day and did a thorough investigation. Apparently, this teacher was victimising other boys at the school, but they were afraid to speak up. I had no hesitation pressing assault charges against the teacher and the school.
The principal tried to gloss over the situation. He eventually bowed under pressure from teachers and parents. They heard that the special police child unit was investigating this teacher for being violent on my son’s behalf. The teacher had to resign from his post. We never ever received an apology from the Principal or the school.
The point I am making is that my children had a right to be protected. Would You not do the same for your child? Not all teachers are bullies, I have some great memories of some of my teachers.
Words Can Hurt watch the Video
Bullying: advice for parents NHS
Knowing or suspecting that your child is being bullied can be very upsetting, but there are lots you can do to help tackle the problem. Bullying is one of the biggest concerns for parents, according to a support organisation for parents.
If you find out or suspect your child is being bullied, there are things you can do to resolve the problem. And you don’t have to find all the answers on your own. There are a number of organizations, including Family Lives, that can give you help and advice – see Who can help with bullying?.
How do you know if your child is being bullied?
Sometimes children don’t talk to their parents or carers about bullying because they don’t want to upset them, or they think it will make the problem worse.
If you suspect your child is being bullied, there are signs to look out for, according to the NSPCC
- Coming home with damaged or missing clothes, without money they should have, or with scratches and bruises
- having trouble with homework for no apparent reason
- using a different route between home and school feeling irritable, easily upset or particularly emotional
Read more about spotting the signs of bullying on the NSPCC website
An Amazing Teacher
I had the privilege of meeting Miriam at a Jack Canfield workshop in August 2019. She is very bubbly, confident and has a warm personality.
Miriam Laundry is a best-selling author and educational speaker whose message empowers children, teens, and adults to believe in themselves.
Her first children’s book, I CAN Believe in Myself, set a Guinness World Recording 2014 and has garnered many awards. Her new book The Big Bad Bully is coming out on 29 October 2019.