Creating a Bully-Free Zone

This is a pretty tough post to write, because it admits parenting flaws. For some reason having a special needs sister has not made Rebecca the empathetic and compassionate person we had hoped. We found out through yesterday’s debacle (read post before this) that I have a child who was being a bully……and not just this one time….it had been happening for a while.

There is a fine line when empowering girls that they do not become so “all that” that they take it out on others….and this is what had been happening. She had repeatedly been very mean to a boy in her class….so much in fact that the child was begging to be homeschooled, or transferred to another school. Yesterday I spent my morning first in stunned disbelief, that she had failed regardless of her Christian values and upbringing. Secondly that the self-esteem I have worked so hard to build and preserve in her….she was destroying in someone else. It is heartbreaking to face the reality that your child is not who you thought they were.

I am raising a mean girl, and that is unacceptable.

I spent time talking to the principal who expressed his concerns because other children were following her example so the school has decided that in-school suspension, and stripping away her student leadership team title for the rest of the year are to be her punishment from them.

When we discipline her for this there are three things I want to see happen.
1. An immediate consequence for punishment
2. A plan for character development
3. A plan for retribution and reparations

So here is what Rebecca will be enjoying for the next few months: She will have no softball season this year…tryouts were last weekend but, she has not began practices or games yet. Her social life comes to a halt: no friends over or her going anywhere for at least the month of March.

With all this spare time I have freed up for her now comes part two character development. Since she has a problem with kindness and compassion she is now our local nursing home’s newest volunteer. Here she can continually work with others who cannot help themselves.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time on the phone talking to he boy’s mother and we both agreed that not only did she have a lot to prove by showing him kindness and learning to get along….she also needs to rebuild his self-esteem and make sure that he will no longer be afraid of her. We are working on some activities in the coming weeks so that they can spend time together to repair a relationship so that our kids can get along for the next three years they will be at school together.

So there you have it….an imperfect parent trying hard to raise a better child. What would you have done?