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| Judy Helm Wright, of Missoula, Montana is a wise woman with a global message. As an author of over 20 books on Amazon, she writes about Responsibility, Respect & Resiliency.
Judy is a popular motivational speaker and has worked all over the world with families and groups just like yours.
You will find her warm, witty and wise as she guides and mentors others to be their best self.
My Child is Being Teased – Mama Mouse into Mother Lioness
“He is picking on me because I have big ears.” “I hate school.” “Nobody likes me.” “My friend called me fat.” “Someone texted lies about me.” “Mom, you have to do something.”
As I teach parenting classes around the country, many lovely well-dressed, calm and intelligent women confide in me that they turn into a Mother Lion when their children are threatened. They are embarrassed to admit to the whole group but share privately that no holds are barred when a bully picks on their baby.
They say that all of their protective instincts rise up and they become ready to do battle. I know how they feel, because I have felt those same feelings when my child was teased or bullied. But my children let me know in no uncertain terms that if I over reacted, they would not share any more confidences with me. This may have happened to you as well.
What’s A Mother To Do?
It is so easy to have a knee jerk reaction when our children are being teased, taunted or bullied by others. Our minds immediately jump back to sixth grade when we too were teased or picked on. We remember how horrible we felt and we want to protect our son or daughter from going through the same pain.
We want to expose the bully and teach him a lesson. And while we are at it, we are going to say the things we couldn’t say 25 years ago. We want to fix this problem and we want to make the world a safer place, or at least one little corner of the playground.
Remember We Are Adults
No matter how angry we are about teasing, taunting or bullies, we need to support our children as a rational sounding board. Focus on your child by asking questions (not interrogating) and remain calm.
Tell your child that you are concerned about him or her and will do what you can to help. Perhaps the child will simply want to talk about it, or may want to do some role playing on words to say. Empower your child by asking what they want your next step to be.
You may want to talk to the teacher or principal and ask them what they have observed. They will be in the best position to understand the relationships between your child and others. They may want to keep a closer eye on things or bring the subject of empathy and kindness up in the classroom, without using names or specifics.
Big Problem or Small Conflict
It is scary for children to see their parents act like children. They are embarrassed when an over-protective parent scoops down to save them. It makes them feel even more victimized and helpless.
They need adults who will help them solve problems and to find solutions. They do not need or want their moms to attack or bully the bully. It may have been a one time incidence or a misunderstood rough housing on the playground. By next week, they may very well be best friends.
They want their story to be heard and they want to have the power to say what happens to them in their lives as much as possible.
Fine Line of Parenting
As parents, we walk a thin line between being nurturing, loving and understanding role models. If we are too over protective, they will not learn the negotiating skills necessary to survive socially in life. However, if we react too strongly to tales of teasing, we may miss giving them some necessary social skills.
However, if we ignore what they are telling us, or dismiss their concerns they may feel we don’t care.
Mother Lioness nurtures the inner strength of your child and follow his/her lead in making sense of the Playground jungle.
I have confidence in you. Listen to your heart and your child and you will know what to do next if your child is being teased or picked on
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