It was around this season that my husband and I began looking for a good school for our first son (Abel). After we visited a number of schools in our area, we found one school that was close to my husband’s work. I was home with our daughter (who was two) and our little one was four or five months old.
Just like many married couples, my husband and I didn’t have any clue what it meant to be parents. So, we bought Dr. James Dobson’s books on parenting. Oh, how I bless Dr. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family! I wonder if Dr. Dobson knows how many families, children and marriages God rescued, salvaged, and saved through his books and radio messages! May the LORD bless him and all who belong to him!
So, I always read Dr. Dobson’s book and I learned that I needed to pay close attention to my little ones when they begin to go to school. Why? Some little kids can be victims of bullies.
After Abel went to kindergarten for two and three months, all of a sudden he began to be quiet. I always studied his face in the rear-view mirror when I picked him up from school and I asked him different questions, such as, “What did Ms. Matthews say today?”
On this particular day, my son gave me very quick answers to all my questions turning his head to the outside. Imagine, my daughter was sitting on the left side, my little one was in the center and Abel was sitting on the right side. I couldn’t get him speak that much.
The next day, he didn’t look that much excited to go to school, which was very strange for Abel who always loved to go to school. I was a bit worried and all my mother instincts and intuition antennas were up. Then that day, I dropped him off to school and picked him up around 1:30pm. When I began driving, I noticed that he looked a bit sad and I asked him one simple question, “Is everything okay?”
He was a bit hesitant to answer and then he said, “Yeah, everything is okay” – and he paused and sighed and said, “But” and he stopped.
“But what Abel?” I quickly asked.
“Mark sometimes kicks me for no reason.”
I felt like somebody dropped a ton of bricks or a bombshell on my head. “Mark who? Who is Mark? Why is he kicking you?”
He wanted to calm his mama down, and he smiled and said, “I don’t know, Mom. He is a second grader and I see him during recess time. He comes and kicks me and laughs at me.”
I don’t know if I can describe what I felt at that moment. I tried my best to hide my anger and if I remember it right, I continued to affirm him that no one could hurt him anymore. I got home and waited patiently until my husband came home.
My Berhan is not an emotional person. He doesn’t get angry easily. I couldn’t hold back my tears telling him the whole story; how I’ve noticed Abel losing interest to go to school for the last three days or so and how I’ve found out the reason. He called Abel and asked him different questions to understand the situation well. Then he calmed me down and hugged his son saying, “You have nothing to worry about anymore. I will take care of this, okay?” I could see the relief on my son’s face.
Then the next morning, my Berhan got up early in the morning and said, “I will drop Abel to school.” When I heard that, I knew something good was going to happen. So, I said, “Okay” and I added, “You need to speak to the principal of the school, and Abel’s teacher too. This is a very serious issue.”
Then after a couple hours, my Berhan called and told me the rest of the story.
So, he dropped Abel to school and parked his car and followed Abel to the playground. Until the school begins, kids play in the playground. So, Berhan spotted Mark in the middle of the field, bossing around all those kindergarteners, first and second graders. Berhan went directly to the baseball Mark was throwing to another boy and caught it and he threw the ball back to Mark. Mark was very excited that a big boy was interested to play with him. So, he threw the ball back to Berhan. Berhan threw it back to him and after few exchange of balls, Berhan held the ball and went to Mark and bent down and said, “Nice to meet you, Mark. This is Mr. Banko, Abel’s dad.”
The bright and handsome boy, Mark, took the ball from Berhan and said, “Nice to meet you, Mr. Banko.” And without wasting more time, Berhan, shaking Marks hand, said, “Mark, if you ever touch my son again, this is the person you are going to deal with. Okay?”
Mark, looking at Berhan’s serious face, replied, “Okay.”
And that was the first and last day Mark ever bothered Abel; not only that but from that day on, Mark turned out to be a bodyguard for all small kids in that small school.
Sometimes, the answer for a bully is for one MAN to stand on his way.
It is good to teach our kids about the effects and consequences of bullying so that they won’t turn out to be bullies or victims of bullies. Being bullied at that informative age is the most dangerous thing that can happen to a child.
So, if you have little kids in informative age, giving them your undivided attention and studying their body language and listening to what they are saying can be the most precious gift you can ever give to your kids. You may save them from a bully who can destroy their future. You may not get a chance to come close to the bully. You may need to pull your child out of a school where your child gets bullied but whatever it takes, you need to step up to the plate to stop a bully before it is too late. ///
P. S. A bully can be a boy or a girl.