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Introducing... the bully & the right hook

October 29, 2008 - 12:30 AM

We have had some real eye opener experiences with interactions with other kids this year, the latest of which has been "the bully."  Instead of running and hiding, we have pressed on to face these issues and get on a positive side of each of them.

The second to last one involved Zeke and a boy from his flag football team.  Thankfully, Josh and Zeke talked through the whole situation, prepared a plan for Zeke to calmly and kindly earn the bully's respect and ultimately friendship, and thankfully, by their last game, the bully had stopped and was really a nice kid in disguise.  (Praise God!)

The last one involves our little Miriam and a bully in her swim class.  Say what you will about people trying to make gender a non-issue, but we are treating these two situations completely different.  In regards to the bully in Miriam's class we are NOT using our quiet voices and verbal negotiations, though we are following a calm 3 step process...

We don't like Miriam to scream "no" while playing with friends in a selfish way, but she has permission to scream "NO!" at a bully.  We don't like Miriam to be a tattletale over and over again, but we told her to tell her teacher EVERY TIME it happens.  We don't like Miriam to push or shove her friends, but we taught her to shove forcefully when a bully is involved.

Did I mention Miriam is almost 4 and so is the bully? 

I went to the coordinator to discuss the situation and what I came to learn was both infuriating and sad at the same time... it turns out this boy picked on a little girl in his last swim session, but he was kissing this little girl and the little girl was so distraught she left swim lessons.  They spoke with his caregiver but they were not sure if the family understood. 

Now the boy is back in a new class and he is picking on OUR Miriam (though thankfully NOT kissing her) ...  AHHHH!!!  Over-protective side of me wants to take our little Miriam out of the class and never go back again.  Mama Bear side of me wants to hunt down the bully and his caregiver and do my best to strongly communicate the seriousness of the behavior of this little boy.  The compassionate side of me, wants to cry and pray for this little boy and his family... something has to be going on in his little world that is giving him all these crazy thoughts.

Now, just so you know - we are not purposely subjecting our daughter to this situation.  Thankfully the boy has been absent most classes (weird, huh?).  But, he did show up on Monday and Miriam using her 3 tools of shouting "NO!," telling the teacher, and shoving the bully if he got too close was able to get her point across and she was not scared in any way. 

Thankfully, Miriam is oblivious about the negative way this whole thing could go.  However, I AM going to seek out him and his caregiver on Wednesday (if they come) and do my best to communicate with them and I am praying that God will give me some insight how to love them and "help" in some way.

But even though I watch her like a hawk at her swim class we did give Miriam one more trick for her bag - a strong right hook, taught to her under strict rules, guidelines and direction from her father.  Heaven forbid, any bully ever tries something to touch our daughter, but Josh felt that [all girls] have the right to punch any threat when it comes to their body being violated, and I agreed, and so our 4 year old knows how to lay a punch. 

Don't worry about your children around our little girl though, she knows the rules really well and how the punch and the rules go hand in hand.    

I still don't know what to think about this though... at the age of almost 4, our self defense days are starting.

Response to Introducing... the bully & the right hook

  • Alicia M said on October 29, 2008 - 7:50 AM

    Oh wow- I didn't realize bullying started so young! That's got to be tough on you as a mom. I'll be sure to pray for that situation. When I was younger, there was a time when my older brother, younger sister, and I all went out sledding and this one boy was really bullying my sister. I don't remember how it went down, but I do remember that my brother ended up punching the kid and he got a bloody nose. I was really happy about it, but thought my brother would get in trouble with my parents for fighting. They ended up being happy about it too and it was really great to know that my older brother would protect us like that.

  • Maren said on October 29, 2008 - 7:59 AM

    That's great, Dana! I'm thinking of that with our two girls already as well...maybe some self-defense classes later on!!. The world can be so crazy and I agree that it's wise to teach especially girls how to physically defend themselves. I'm so proud of Miriam for not being afraid! You guys are doing a great job!!! We can't wait to see you sometime soon!!!

  • Charity said on October 29, 2008 - 8:41 AM

    I love how you took the time to explain both situations and how/why you handled them how you did. It was insightful. And while the situation is serious, and I truly appreciate everything you all did and why you did it. Matt's parents put him in martial arts classes when he got bullied and it was a good way that he learned both self-discipline and self-defense. We have every intention of finding a good studio early for our kids. And I don't think it's worse now - there have always been bullies regardless of age or decade - I think we're just more keenly aware as parents.

  • Blakely said on October 29, 2008 - 8:52 AM

    That's pretty intense stuff for an almost 4 year old!! It gives a mama-to-be a lot to think about as well. I'm glad to hear that Zeke's situation got worked out and Miriam is prepared to stay safe!!

  • Dana said on October 29, 2008 - 9:06 AM

    Yeah, I was really impressed by Josh's handling of the bully in Zeke's class, he really read the situation clearly and their course of action produced great results. It also helped too in Zeke's situation that the boy's dad was there during one of the games and he didn't let his son get away with it. Zeke's subsequent actions really helped to restore their relationship. And yeah, martial arts is great for kids, I have known lots of families do that with their little ones and we had planned starting it this year but decided to wait until next year, whoops, :)!

  • Sarah said on October 29, 2008 - 10:15 AM

    That is crazy that bullying is starting so early. But, sadly, I am not totally shocked. I agree with Josh that women should have the right to use physical force when put in a bad situation. When I was in college Jonathan taught me a couple of things, that thankfully got me out of a pretty sticky spot once. Also, just in my own opinion, I think the way you guys went about instructing Zeke and then changing it for Miriam is completely a-okay. There is a huge difference when the bully is the opposite sex, especially if the bully is a guy.

  • Rob said on October 30, 2008 - 11:03 AM

    Pretty impressive handling, Cramers. I definitely agree with Josh about girls having that punch available if they absolutely need it. And knowing both of you I can see Miriam not taking any gruff from any boy. that being said, I'm glad our first child is a boy so I can make sure he's his (any potential) younger siblings' protector. At the way Ben is going at this rate, I think they'll all be fine.

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About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

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   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
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