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Friday, January 11, 2013

Dear Little Girl Bullies

Dear Little Girl Bullies,

You could be any age, but for my purposes I will address this to the 6-12 year old range.

I have come across you a few times in my short life as a parent.  I want you to read and listen and learn and change as a result of this letter.

I am well aware that my little boys may cause you distress.  They probably provoke, annoy and are bothered more than they should.  I, as their mother, seek to address their deplorable behaviour and attitudes.  I would appreciate your help in coming to me if my sons have caused you problems in any way.  That aside, I'd like to address your deplorable behaviour.

I used to think little girls were sweet, harmless, angelic creatures who were a positive inclusion in my child's life.  I used to think little girls would be a blessing to my sons and inspire them to kindness, mercy, grace, understanding and soften their rough edges.  I now see that little girl bullies are also a blessing to my child, but in another way.

I see you as a blessing because you teach my child patience.  Your disturbing attitudes, mockery, put-downs, instigating, attempts to incriminate and otherwise wreak emotional havoc in my child's life are a blessing to him as he grows.  He will learn that some people can't be trusted.  He will learn that innocent friendship isn't to be had by all.  He will learn to guard his heart.  He will learn to grow in kindness towards those who mistreat him.  He will learn all these things - yet I fear for your loss little Bully.

Because you lose out.  You lose the opportunity to develop what could be a lifelong friendship with my wonderful son.  Do you know I continue to relate in a very distant way to my classmates of my childhood?  How might I feel if in my early years I had mistreated them?  How do you think you will feel as you grow and change and move on in life knowing you left a trail of bitterness and enemies behind you?  Have you thought about what your attitudes and actions mean for your relationships for the rest of your life?  Have you considered how your reputation may be smeared by the nastiness you engage in on a day-to-day basis?

I would say 'shame on you' but I won't.  Instead I will simply ask you to leave my child alone.  I would ask you to open your Bible and meditate upon the following verses:

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful for building one another up."

   "As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;  ... in hard work... in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;  in truthful speech and in the power of God."

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness...,"


"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."


Those are just a few to start you off - there are many more where they came from.


I am not mad at you.  Just disappointed.  Just sorry for what you are losing.


I do not mean to make it sound as if my children are innocent.  Every day we struggle with being bullies to each other in our home.  This is what family life looks like for us.  They over-step their bounds.  They fail.  They are embarrassed, undisciplined, bitter, not always repentant, judgemental, graceless, unkind, rude, difficult.  You name it - our children struggle as any do.


We as parents continue to deal with these difficulties in family life.  I would simply ask you to not add to our burden.  Seek to be a joy, to think of others more than your immediate gleeful pleasure of having victory over your chosen victim.


That is my advice to you, little Bully.


Grow up.  It's high time you learned to.


I'm not asking for perfection.


I'm asking for humility.


Joy.


Love.


Grace.


Kindness.


Peace.  


Change.


Growth.


Thoughtfulness.


That's all.  Not a tall order is it?  Okay, maybe it is.


But I just needed to get this off my chest, because you know - I only have a million things to do today what with five kids and a Mother-in-law to attend to, and your baggage is wasting my time.  


You're welcome to come talk to me any time.


Your friend and patient adviser:


Sarah Logan


P.S.  A note to parents out there:  What would you do?  What would you say to your kid about coping with a tormentor?  What would you say to the child who is malicious against your own?  I'd love your input/feedback!


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