Bullying has become a big topic in the last few years. I’m sure at some point in our lives we’ve all experienced some form of bullying, whether it be verbal abuse or physical. Maybe even mental or cyber bullying. My son and his friends experienced a bully in town while they played on their skateboards this afternoon.
The sad part is the fact that my son tried to befriend this 15 year old. He even stayed the night at our house. This young man who we’ll call “Jack”came from a broken home. His father is a nice man, but clearly on skid row. The dad is the type of guy who is constantly getting arrested for not paying child support. ( He has more than one child.). Jack’s dad is one of those guys who will work for beer and a pack of smokes. You know the type.
Jack just recently started living with his dad in a flop house in our little town. Despite the “Eddie Haskell” vibe he was putting out, I still felt sorry for him. After all, the kid was helpless. He didn’t choose his parents, his surroundings or his circumstances. I thought I could help Jack. We opened up our home to him. He seemed to be craving a normal family life, and I truly wanted to help him.
The longer he was at our house, the more I noticed his true colors. I could hear him swearing, talking about drugs and becoming physically rough with my son. My son no longer wanted to be around him, so after Jack went home I told my son he wouldn’t ever have to hang out with him again.
My son has some very good friends in our downtown community. Children who’s parents own shopes on Main Street like my husband and I. These kids are also homeschooled like my son, so they have a lot in common. They are great kids and I feel blessed he has such nice, well mannered and well behaved friends.
My son expressed to me a great concern that was troubling him. He was worried Jack would come around and bother him and his friends. Jack is entirely too hardcore for his friends. He didn’t want Jack swearing or talking about sex and drugs and embarrassing him. There are a couple girls that hang out with them,too. He was concerned about the girls being offended.
Unfortunately, Jack caught up with Jesse and his friends this afternoon. I was busy at work when 3 of the children came to me, telling me Jack was bullying them. He was spitting and swearing and even becoming physically aggressive. The kids didn’t know what to do. All they knew is they didn’t want to play with Jack. They were asking me for help.
I walked over to the parking lot where the kids were playing. Jack saw me and rudely said to my son,”Hey Jesse, why is your mom here?” It was obvious he didn’t appreciate me being there. I questioned Jack about his behavior which he adamantly denied. I think me just being there gave the kids the courage to stand up to him. They told him they didn’t like his behavior and explained how uncomfortable he was making them feel. After a few minutes Jack got on his bike and ride away.
I had a talk with the kids after Jack was out of sight. I told them how proud I was of them for doing the right thing. It would have been easy to start acting like Jack with the swearing and what not. Yes, I was there, but it was the children who had the courage to stand up to him.
So how come, as I watched Jack ride away, I felt so sad and sorry for the kid? Being shunned by a group of his peers must have been painful for him. Yes, he was acting like a real jerk, but my heart still broke a little. He’s just a kid. A kid who has no stable family. He doesn’t live in a nice home and I doubt he is eating 3 square meals a day. It would not surprise me if the abuse in his home is commonplace
Before he moved to our town he lived in Detroit where I’m sure he had to be tough just to survive. He was never taught any better. I bet his heart was broken riding away on his bike. I know mine was.
I understand Jack had to learn a lesson today, and I sincerely hope this will open his eyes. As a mom, my heart is broken over the events of the day. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do for the boy, no matter how hard I try. I can, however, pray for him. I pray his circumstances will improve. I pray he will stop bullying. I pray he will have a successful future. All I can do is pray, and I ask that you all pray for him as well. Where there is life, there is hope. There is hope for Jack. There is hope for all the bullies. I can’t help but wonder what kind of home life these mean kids have.
So next time you or your child encounters a bully, remember that child is probobly living in abusive, deplorable conditions. I’m in no way condoning their actions, nor do I think your kids should have to put up with the abuse. Teen suicide is at an all time high with bullying being so rampant. I just ask that as you say a prayer for that child who is being harassed that you consider prayer for the bully. It may be the only prayer that is ever said for them.