“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 NLT
When I was a child my responsibility was to do well in school, do my homework, do my chores.
When I was a young adult my responsibility was to do well in school, be responsible at work, and maintain integrity in both fields.
When I was an adult my responsibility was to do well at work, become successful, and tend to my obligations.
When I became a wife my responsibility is to make sure I am serving my relationship with respect, integrity, honesty, and to put forth the time necessary to make things work.
When I became a Mom my responsibility is to make sure I am there to support my children, offer protection, guidance, love, patience and understanding. It is to be their number one teacher and defender. It is to raise them well so they can be adults serving a positive purpose in their lives and those they will influence, including their children.
When I was born, I was born with faults. Some faults were derived from my nurturing, too. And in these faults I have ebbed, flowed, grown, and fallen backwards down a slippery slope. In my faults I suffer, but in this suffering I will learn. Will I make the same mistakes again? In some yes, and in others no. It is in the suffering of poor choices that we change based upon intent. When I yell at the children, or argue with my husband, I will learn from those moments and attempt to not repeat for the intentions are to be stronger and more humble of my relationships. When I extract my talons on those that pray upon my children, I will make mistakes and suffer for those but I will also repeat them with the intention of protection.
But when do we go too far in protecting our children?
When do we step back and allow God to take over?
When are our kids ready to face a bully without you?
Each year I try to let go a little more and give more power to the kids. I backslide, a lot sometimes, in the loosening of the umbilical cord, but more so with one over another based on personality more than maturity. So, here I must learn and grow as a student of God. I won’t get this right, and much of it has to do with my own background, but if I fail in being protective and maintaining my kids trust as well as exceeding knowledge of how much I love them, I rather that than to fail for not being there.
In thinking of this blog post I, as I typically attempt to do, did some research and found this wonderful website pitting God vs. The Bully.
Devotional for Kids
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials for we know that they are good for us – they help us learn to be patient.
“And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.
“Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5: 3-5 The Living Bible
Everyone in the world has some kind of problem. Rich people, people in powerful positions, like the president of the United States, the popular athletic kid in your school, and even the person who’s bullying you.
In fact, the person who tries to bully you may have bigger problems than you do. Because he doesn’t know how to handle them, he takes his anger out on you. Sometimes bullies look so big and strong, but underneath all that show, they can be scared wimps with poor self esteem.
What can you do to protect yourself from bullies and to help other kids who are being bullied? Praying about it is always the first step. I’ve learned prayer works. Prayer helped me as a kid and as an adult, prayer is my first line of defense. It’s through prayer and reading your Bible that God can tell you how to deal with your problems – like being bullied.
There are lots of stories about bullying in the Bible, but the one that comes to my mind right now is about David and Goliath. Goliath thought he had it all together. There was no way could an ordinary soldier, or kid like David, could conquer him. Were he and his army in for a big surprise!
David had God on his side and it was God who gave him the idea of using his slingshot and five small stones. It was God who gave the Israelites the victory that day by making that little stone hit that small unprotected spot on Goliath’s forehead.
Don’t ever underestimate the power and ability that come from having God on your side. In the Bible in 2 Chronicles chapter 16 verse 9, God says that His eyes search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect toward Him, so He can show His great power by helping them. If you are God’s child, this means you! You may not always be perfect, but God sees you through Jesus, who died for your sin.
You should always tell your parents or teacher or leader of the group where you are being bullied what’s going on. Sometimes they can stop it; other times they can teach you how to handle it. Bullying that hurts you physically should always be stopped immediately.
It isn’t good for your parents or even your teacher to fix all your problems for you because then you will never learn how to deal with people. This is all part of learning people skills too. And it’s as you learn to handle your difficulties that you grow confident and knowledgeable in all things of life; that’s what makes you mature and capable.
Sometimes bullies pick on kids that don’t have a lot of friends, or look like they won’t fight back. You don’t need to be popular, or extra good looking, or be funny or tough to win over bullies. The Bible says, “My strength comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” [Psalm 121: 2]
You can be strong and confident because you know God loves you unconditionally. In the morning as you pray, ask God to prepare your day and give you wisdom so you know how to handle each situation and problem. You have a big God – the same one who helped David conquer Goliath. He can handle your bully too.
Going deeper for parents
We need to be available for our children and sensitive to their needs. Talk with your child; ask him how things are in his world. Bullied kids can be so intimidated they won’t even tell their fears to their parent or teacher. Ask their siblings or classmates how your child is getting along with others.
If your child is being bullied, try to talk to the bully’s parents. Most parents want to stop undesirable behavior in their kids and will seek help for their child. But sometimes a parent will be in denial and become angry with you for even suggesting that their “sweet” child is a bully. Sometimes they will say your child deserves to be bulled, and needs to grow up.
We can’t fix every problem for our children but we can help them avoid them and handle them in the best way possible. Sometimes the bullying only ends with a move or when the school year ends, no matter what we do.
Build a strong relationship with your children. I It’s important to teach your children life skills and people skills so they feel competent and confident. Spend time with them and know them. Know their friends and how they spend their time.
Pray with your children. Read to them how God was faithful to biblical heroes and gave them strategies to deal with their problems. Your children will find new strength in your and God’s unconditional love.
Role play strategies with your child on how to handle bullies without escalating the conflict so he doesn’t get hurt. Tell your child to avoid being alone with the other child. Teach him how to get support from the other kids to use peer pressure against the bully’s behavior.
Be your child’s advocate. Learn all the information you can by talking with your child and with his teacher and friends and other students who observed the bullying. Ask the teacher and principle for adult intervention. If they don’t become involved, contact your school’s superintendent. Don’t tolerate bullying and don’t teach your child to tolerate it.
What about you? Do you feel like you can’t help your child because you are being bullied too? Yes, adults can also be bullied.
The strategies I’ve written about also apply to you. Find a counselor or mentor to help you look at the situation from God’s perspective. God says we are to acknowledge Him, put Him first, in all our ways and He will direct our paths. The action and responsibility falls on us but He is faithful as we obey. He works it out.
Article Source: http://www.wahm-articles.com
Want to know more about how God can help you every day? Check out my new book The Lion Tree at RuthWillms.com
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So, you step in, and you advocate for your child… Then what happens?
I’ve done this and the response from the outside world, the judgment, the criticism, the looks, and the comments can cause doubt. Ask yourself the following:
- Were your intentions to hurt the bully? or to protect your child?
- Did you attempt to contact the parents? In some cases contacting the parents only opens you up to being bullied. In some situations the children are acting on the parents displayed behavior. You will know if this step is even worth the effort by history.
- Did you threaten the bully unkindly, unjustly, or in an illegal manner? You can absolutely threaten to file a report against them, or take further, proper, action if they continue to hurt your child. It would be wrong to go against God’s values and teachings, in addition to the law, to do anything beyond following proper protocol.
- Has your child done everything possible to remove themselves from these situations, or to deal on their own to no avail?