They Are Overcoming Bullying and You Don’t Know How to Respond

A Mom’s Advice During Bullying Awareness Month

First, do not avoid anyone just because you do not know what to say. Of course, you do not want to say the wrong thing and inflict more pain, but an e-mail, a card, or a voice mail saying just that can mean so much. Just knowing someone cares can provide comfort. Complete silence says no one really cares.

Second, while I appreciate that you have concern for the parent and believe me I am grateful for your support; it means more when you express your love and support for the child. Those who imply they feel sorry for the parent seem to be implying that they do not understand the severity of the pain the child is experiencing. In effect, they are implying that the child is inflicting pain on others by being wounded. This doubles the pain of the parent who knows this is not the case.

Third, if you know the child, please acknowledge her by sending a short note saying that you are thinking of her. Please realize your support matters even if the child cannot respond during this time. However, if you do not know the child, it is okay to let the parent know that you are thinking of them. All support matters to the entire family.

Lastly, please do not assume that all is magically okay when the child is no longer in the environment where the bullying took place or if she has returned to school. Deep wounds might not heal quickly despite appearances. But, if you continue to show your love and support, you will help them to heal more quickly.

I believe in the healing power of God’s love, so I like Gary Zukav’s quote.

Today I am grateful for all who are helping to educate others about ways to create a bully-free world and for those who continue to give my family love and support.

Delightfully Different Showcased

Delightfully Different Showcased

Mahalo to Chloe Rothchild and Special-Ism.com for showcasing my novel! Chloe even explains how she relates to the story. 

“I just had the opportunity to read a wonderful book, titled Delightfully Different by D.S. Walker. This book tells the story of a girl named Mia, and her family’s journey to love and acceptance through her special needs journey. As I continued to read this book, the story got so good I just could not put it down. I had to keep reading! Mia’s story is one that you may find yourself able to relate to….Read More

 

More…

Reflections: Where Do I Begin? 10

The last two days I have sat in this swing trying to decide how much I want to share with you to explain why I have been MIA. I realize no matter what I say it will not fully explain everything. It is impossible to see through someone else’s eyes or to completely understand their feelings no matter how much they share.

We recently passed the one year anniversary of leaving my daughter’s former school. We also passed the one year anniversary of my brother’s first surgery due to his cancer, and it has been one year since my fall and subsequent lumbar compression fracture. We are all three still facing challenges. Yet, we are all on the road to recovery.

Those who read M’s blog know she wrote a letter to her former school on her blog around the time of the anniversary. I am so proud that she chose to do so. She released her frustration and is continuing to work toward her goals although overcoming bullying is not easy.

Her anniversary coincided with the release of Lee Hirsch’s movie Bully in local theaters. Those who have been reading my blog know that the poor response it received in Honolulu disappointed me. I sincerely hope the schools will do a better job once it is on video.

I am especially disappointed that M’s former school made no effort to take the students to see it as I encouraged them to do, but they are making baby steps toward their bullying problem according to the chaplain and the elementary school assistant dean. I know both of them have their hearts in the right place and they both still express concern for M.

The high school dean is a different story, but I will not get into that here other than to say that M. still deserves an apology from the school and my request for this has fallen on deaf ears. Still, I will not give up. A new headmaster will be arriving in July, and I hope he will see that giving my daughter a formal apology is the right thing to do.

My brother had his fourth surgery recently, but he is on the mend and hopefully in a few weeks he will have his last surgery.

I was 80% better until I had a bad virus a few weeks ago. Now I am starting over with my walks and my exercises. I have faith I will get back to 80% since it really is only reconditioning and not another injury. I am still aiming for at least 90%, if not 100%. I am taking care of myself as I promised when I joined the Oxygen Mask Project.

Overall, life is good. M. is interacting with her friends again. I had a fabulous mother’s day. M. cooked my breakfast. My hubby and son and I went to see The Avengers. M. saw it the day before with her friend. Hubby even cooked lobster for dinner, so yes, life is good and I am still grateful.

“Bully” 3

I was first in line to see it this morning. Initially, it looked like I would be the only one there, but thankfully a few more showed up.

Kindness Matters - Photo of My Car Magnet ©DelightfullyDifferentLife

Kindness Matters! It’s just one of the take away messages of the movie, Bully. It is the message that the kids need to get and that some are getting as they join in the cause to help prevent bullying and to support the victims.

There are more important messages for the adults!

  • Blaming the victim for not telling you is not acceptable especially if you gave them empty promises of protection in the past while they continued to be tormented.
  • Scolding them for not forgiving their tormentor is not helpful either.
  • Apathetic attitudes regarding the severity of the problem are not helpful.
  • Excusing meanness that does not result in bloody noses or broken bones is also inexcusable.

We see teachers, parents, principals, vice principals, law enforcement, and bus drivers letting kids down again and again. One child takes matters into her own hands and threatens her tormentors with a real gun. FYI one boy had threatened to sexually assault this teenager, so it is not like she had not been threatened. I do not condone taking a gun to school, but I do understand why she did it, and I found the sheriff to be offensive when he said that she had no cause for this action because she had not been physically assaulted. He thinks she should be locked up for a hundred years despite the fact that the gun wasn’t fired, and she had never been in trouble previously. You’ll find out her fate if you watch the movie.

I will be writing a longer review for Special-Ism for publication on the fourth of May, so I am not going to say more about the movie itself right now. I merely hope schools will encourage their staff and students to see the movie.