We were talking at the dinner table about what to do when bullied. My wife, the one who pioneered homeschooling in my family, surprised me by disagreeing with my position that my kids not let themselves get pushed around.
She said that such behavior might get them suspended. She said that Christ taught that we should “turn the other cheek.” I know that’s what He taught, but in the actual practice of the thing, how does a kid do that? How does a parent teach a kid to turn the other cheek when that kid is being bullied?
Bullying hurts the victims in several ways, right? Physically, emotionally. It cuts us deeply when someone seems to deliberately want to hurt us and then goes out of his or her way to do so. We wonder what’s wrong with us that someone else would want to do a mean or violent thing to us.
So that’s a tough situation to be in, and how do you teach a kid to turn the cheek in that situation? I know that Christ taught that, but I’m torn on this issue here.
Because I essentially said that doing the right thing has consequences, just like doing the wrong thing does. If defending yourself gets you suspended, so be it. By putting our kids in public school, we essentially are agreeing to the rules and protocols set out by the school. And there are rules and consequences of fighting.
I understand that. And I support my kids defending themselves and getting suspended because of that. If my kid stops a bully, stands up for himself, and gains a certain confidence from the experience, I don’t mind if he gets suspended at all. In fact, I’ll take that day off work, and go see movies with him all day.
I came her way plenty, agreeing that of course the kids ought to go through channels and stuff, but am I completely off base in trying to teach my kids to not let themselves get pushed around? I let myself get pushed around a lot as a kid, but when I finally learned to assert myself, my life changed significantly. I still have a long way to go, and I’d like my kids to have a leg up on this issue.
What’s the right thing to teach my kids about what to do when bullied? And by right, I’m talking about:
* Right based on true principles
* Right based on what’s best for my kid
* Right based on what needs to be done to stop the bullying
* Right for me as a parent
Weigh in. Pass this post along and let’s start a discussion. Just so you know, I’m perfectly happy to find the bully and put the fear of God in him. I don’t think that’s the best thing, but if it ever came to that, I’d do it.
For now, I am not sure where to go with this.
I did not take the position that they should “let themselves get pushed around.” I disagreed that they should use violence. Especially given the child you were addressing–let’s face it, he has a few years and a major hormonal kick-in to go before he can stop a bully by “putting him on the ground.” In the meantime he’d just make things worse. And that’s assuming it’s ever the right thing to do, when there are other options.
Okay just a couple of days ago i got suspended for standing up for myself and I really didnt care. My dad didnt care cause I got my confedence up! SO I THINK YOUR ASSUMPTION IS WRONG!
I think the concept of turning the other cheek is geared toward adults because they are more capable to taking violence or financial exploitation without their senses of selves being harmed. There are limits, however. God might encourage someone to take a punch without swinging back, but he wouldn’t encourage someone to let themselves be raped. This is because one only hurts the body whereas the other degrades the spirit.
For children, bullying is more like the latter. Being ridiculed, exploited, and victimized while being helpless to stop it are all degrading to a child’s soul, and I don’t think God expects the child to put up with it.
It’s true, you didn’t take that position, specifically.
I think we might fundamentally disagree on the nature of violence. You question in your comment the utility of violence… ever. I don’t think violence is ALWAYS the answer, or even usually the answer. But it is SOMETIMES the answer. It’s an unpleasant tool that needs using sometimes.
I don’t think I stretch logic by imagining potential scenarios wherein violence was necessary and seeing them as analogous to this issue. If someone attacks any of you in my family, I will use violence to protect you. I will use vicious violence to keep my family safe. If someone attacks me for any reason, I will defend myself. I believe that self-preservation is a God-given instinct and I don’t think God wants me to be a useless martyr.
ALL BULLIES DESERVE DEATH !!!! And anyone who disagrees with me to any slight degree, you deserve to die a sick and slow death =D
That’s a bit extreme. You’re entitled to your own opinion, of course, even if you’re wrong.