“A good listener is usually thinking about something else.” Kim Hubbard
A few days after my little girl came back from the park complaining about things like “Sharon pushed me in the chest today and I cried” or “Sharon grabbed my ball and ran away with it” or “Sharon slapped me on my face”, I decided it was time for an intervention.
A tender parenting moment, where Momma swoops in and empowers her baby with tips on defending herself. There followed a life lesson coaching, very seriously “Now, you listen to me young lady. You aren’t going to let people push you around like that. And you aren’t going to be bullied”
“What’s bullied mama?” Mini Me asked with wide eyes
“A bully is someone who purposely troubles you. Like, by hitting, shoving, name-calling, threatening… Kids bully for different reasons but you should remember it’s not about you – it’s because they want to feel more important, popular, or in control.”
“I’m going to tell you 5 things to do to deal with this, ok?” I held her hand and picked up each little finger on that little hand as I explained.
“First, Tommy thumb – remember you don’t have to feel embarrassed and ashamed to tell Mama what is happening. I am always here to help you”
“Second, Peter pointer – If they trouble you, you say STOP. Look them in the eyes and tell them ‘I don’t like this behavior. Stop it right now’. Say it firmly and calmly.”
“Third, Middle man – Try and avoid Sharon and Bethel for a few days. Just stay with your friends and don’t play with them for some time.”
“Fourth, Ruby ring – I know you get upset but try not to show it. If they are bullying you then it makes them feel more powerful. Just act cool”
“And Fifth, Baby finger – If they continue, tell the nanny or any adult around you. Also tell me if it happens again and I am going to speak to their parents.”
My daughter looked confident, powerful, happy. “Yes mama” she said. “I won’t let them bully me anymore mama”. “I’ll tell them STOP”.
We hugged each other – I felt a surge of love and motherly protection and fought the urge to not like Sharon anymore.
Next day, I enquired after park time “No one troubled me” said my confident and happy looking toddler. “That’s wonderful” I said. The day after, same report. She had done it, I had done it…so proud of positive parenting!
A few days later I found out the secret of our success from another child “Mini Me held up her baby hands and said STOP. If you continue my mommy said she would come and bite you!!!”.