When I was in grade six I was bullied.
I would burry my head under the covers and wish I didn’t have to get out of the bed and endure another day at school listening to the song my peers had made up about me.
I begged to stay home and pretend that the names they had written about me on the bridge didn’t exist, or the things they were going to throw at me were a simple misunderstanding and I wasn’t their target.
But I wouldn’t get to stay home.
Walking to school with my brother, who became one of my best friends throughout the most horrible time of my life, I prayed the whole way that they would forget about me that day, that I could blend into the walls of the school, but most of all I prayed that they would be my friends again and forgive whatever it was that I had done so wrong to make them hate me.
I wanted so badly to trade places with anyone else. I missed having friends to talk to and whisper with, I missed hanging out after school, and I missed the security a group came with.
It was one morning, after weeks of torment, meetings with the school, parents, and peers who refused to let up that my mom left me a note on the table that read “be yourself, your real friends will love you.”
I kept that note.
I tucked it away in my pocket and carried it for a very long time.
It was the reminder I needed during a time when I wanted the very people who were making my life hell to turn around and accept me again. But those peoople were not my friends.
Even when they were calling me their friend they would make fun of me, leave me out, manipulate me, and lie. And they did it to each other too.
What kind of friendship was that?
After reading my mother’s note over and over again I realized that this wasn’t the kind of friendship I wanted to be apart of.
But that wasn’t easy.
I was in grade 6, missing a social crowd, and being teased.
It was through intervention, a group of girls who took me under their wing and befriended me (and are still my friends to this day), and lots of parental guidance that I got through the bullying.
But it doesn’t just go away on it’s own.
Children, especially today with social media, require attention from their parents. They need to feel as though they can come to their parents to talk to them about what’s going on in their social lives in order to discuss the spider web of emotions they’re going through.
Bullying comes in several forms and although you may think your child isn’t a victim they may be hiding it for various reasons; embarassment, threats, feeling unheard, not wanting to bother you, etc.
Take time to talk to your children about bullying, about their day, and really listen to them.
A note changed my life.
A few words might change your child’s.