My daughter started school September 1st this year as a kindergartener, she was so excited and so thrilled, that is until her first day was over.
I realized she looked sad and I asked how it went, if she made any buddies… Her response is one that boils any parent’s blood.
“A girl pushed me, then hit me and said I was stupid”. It felt like someone punched my gut and I was being pranked, on her first day of school?! What in the world!
That same week she said “Today I knew she would push me, so I held on so tight to the pole so that I didn’t fall when I got pushed.. and it worked mom, I didn’t fall or cry”, she was proud but I was so angry. My heart just sunk to the bottom of my stomach, I felt terrible. I was a bad mom for allowing this. My vain were pumping liters of adrenaline, anger and frustration. My first thought was “why do people have children and not control them!”. (Told you I’m crazy) ha!
My husband and I had to teach our babe’s that violence is not the answer from an early age, to always try to talk things out and if someone wants to hurt them or they feel unsafe they need to run and tell an adult BUT if the other child hits them, my husband and I have given them permission to grab that child’s hands hard and say “NO!”.
As much as I wanted to hear her day’s were getting better, they weren’t. It was the same story everyday, for the following two weeks. So I took it upon my self to know who this child was. You could say my intentions were to set the kid straight a.k.a, talk to her and tell her she’s going to be in big trouble if she does it again. Yeah I’m real mature.
That same week a meeting had been set with the teacher, principal and myself to discuss how we were to fix this situation. They were all frustrated and it was shared that this child had been under watch since day ONE because of her behavior. We came to a conclusion that my daughter would be supervised and kept safe but my daughter needed to stay away from her. I started volunteering in class and without anyone telling me who this quick tempered child was, I knew. Not because I was a genie, but because I saw her pushing another child. The teacher approached her and told her that’s not OK. She just looked at her as if, for the first time someone had corrected her. She stared at her and I won’t forget her sad eyes. She stared at the wall later like, she was just a breathing child without love. My heart hurt for her. My heart was compelled and I felt God touching my heart. My intentions were no longer to “teach this child a lesson”, it was to show her compassion and love and to be honest with you, no one sent me to “teach” anyone anything.
How easy is it to get angry and whisper threatening words to a child? Only a coward would do such thing, yet as a parent were not scared to do it to protect our children.
To make her feel scared with stares? Easy right?
To promote violence by inflicting abuse through words? For all we know that’s all that child ever hears.
Once I started volunteering, I told the teacher I would love to interact with her and given the opportunity I had one moment when I was with her as a volunteer and I had a choice to make,
- I could be resentful and mean
- I can show her Christ.
I could of been angry and I could have said or do something mean to scare her to stop bullying my child BUT something inside me didn’t feel right, I felt like giving her a hug instead. The way she looked at me, she didn’t want to let go the first time I hugged her. As I spoke with her I realized this child didn’t have a home, not a physical one I mean the kind that my husband and I had built for our daughter’s. A God centered home with parents who chased after God. She didn’t have a dad. She had a mother who’s idea of “discipline” was yelling and hitting without explanation or reason. The child was broken inside. How could I, a Christian mom ever even think about treating a child unfairly when that’s all she gets at home? Did God not forgive my wickedness and filth? If this child wasn’t taught right from wrong, who am I to expect her to act as such a child who had the privilege of having discipline and love? My heart just hurt for her. It’s true children are sinners by nature and that’s why we as parents must correct them at a young age, however she didn’t have this. So to her, her actions were “ok”. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. After hearing my family’s frustrations and how bad she was I had to say something.
That night, I sat with Sadie (my little one) and Evelyn (our big girl) and told them how God comes for the broken Psalm 34:18, he loves children Matthew 19:14 and we should always Matthew 6:14, forgive. We should not be speaking badly of this girl, she doesn’t know Jesus, she didn’t have the luxury of having a mom and dad that taught her who her savior was. She was acting out what she knew. I explained to my daughters that what she did was NOT OK, that they have their right to defend themselves BUT I wanted them to know that, kids who act this way usually don’t have a family (we later found out, she didn’t) I explained how Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion for them Matthew 9:36. How Jesus wanted us to be the light, Matthew 5:14 how his word says that we should not repay evil with evil, 1 Peter 3:9, that a kind word turns away wrath, Proverbs 15:1. We prayed and agreed not to talk bad about the child but rather show compassion.
As the days went by that I volunteered, I enjoyed the time with this child. She was the only child who could not figure out how to use a mouse on the computer, the only child that could not understand their worksheet. As she asked me to help, I didn’t do it for her, I helped her. It took almost five tries, but she did it! She looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said “I’m smart! I did it! I’m not stupid!!!”.
I have her a high five and she gave me a hug, I realized that this child was in desperate need of something we all take for granted. Love and Jesus.
I have seen the difference in this child just from being around her and encouraging her rather bashing her with mean glares for what she has been .. Or not been taught. I am not saying It was because of me this child is behaving better, I’m saying I was one of the adults who saw the chance to help so I did. I will always protect my daughters but we can’t forget that we must go out of our way to show Jesus to those who don’t know them. I really want to encourage you all to see the child’s heart rather see them as a “problem child” and love them.
This teaches your children character too! My daughter’s now have learned that sometimes kids just don’t have what they, get everyday. That even children need Jesus, that we must be compassionate and go out of our way to help those who need it. That showing kindness pays off.
I don’t know about you, but I pray that from this, the child’s mom comes to the Lord. Maybe she will, maybe she won’t but the look on her face to know I didn’t stir up conflict and rather showed compassion was priceless. My children aren’t perfect and I know maybe one day I’ll be at the other side of the spectrum, where my child is harsh with others and I pray that compassion is also shown to my child.
The thing is God’s word has so much wisdom that it even helps with situations like these. We have learned how to deal with difficult children. I hope it always works this way, and if it doesn’t we can always still try. We love bullies.