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standing up to a bully is all about self-respect


for three years now, i’ve tried to coach one of my daughters on how to deal with a miserable bully.

i’ve said things like: take the high road, be the bigger person, ignore her, find someone else to play with, talk to your teacher, try to let it go.

i’ve never said: fight back.
until yesterday.
enough is enough.

we’ve had heartwrenching conversations about how mean people can be – how it’s so important to learn to deal with nasty people because there are a few in this world – how useful it is to know exactly who you are in your heart of hearts, and why it’s beneficial to develop thicker skin.

until yesterday.
enough is enough.

my daughter and her ‘bully’ have been talked to by third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade teachers, and the principal. they’ve even had ‘friendship counselling’ in an attempt to resolve the issue.

it ain’t workin’.

yesterday, my little girl was told (yet again) that no one likes her and that the reason she has to see the counsellor is because she needs at least one friend. and that the kids in the class are going to start an ‘i-hate-jane club’.

in the past, i believed my daughter needed to know i thought she could take the high road and be the bigger person. i made sure that we were always kind, analytical, patient and responsible in our advice. we encouraged her to seek help from teachers and reminded her that the ‘bully’ is often someone who is hurting themself; someone who lashes out at others to feel better about herself.

until yesterday.
enough is enough.

she can still take the high road – and practice self-respect.
she can still be the bigger person – and not be a doormat


so yesterday,
i told her i trusted her ability to handle it
that i didn’t want her to take another moment of abuse
that she had my full support and that i had her back
that it was time to take action to stop the bullying

yes. i encouraged her to retalliate in whatever way she felt may be necessary to take a stand and turn the tide.

(let’s be really – i did not say ‘get crazy on her ass’)

i did say:

its time to confront her
the next time she scowls at you, ask her why she is so mean
ask her why she is such a miserable person,
ask her what HER problem is
puff out your chest and stand taller
be willing to take a punch (it can’t hurt worse than a pinch from your older sister)
and be ready to defend yourself.

what kind of mom would i be if i day after day continued to say:
sit down, swallow it, take it, put up with it, endure it

she deserves better (you deserve better)
she’s worth it (you’re worth it) 
she can say NO MORE! (and so can you) 

i need her to know that i trust her judgement and her capability to handle this situation. i need her to know that she is worth my support and advocacy. that she deserves to take a stand for her Self.

do not let anyone take one single second more of your confidence.
your spark. your joy. your RIGHT to be here and to LOVE your life.

enough is enough.

most bullies continue to do so because they find someone who will ‘take it’. find your limit, then draw a line in the sand and be brave enough to say ‘i’m ready to reclaim myself.’

(*for the second time – i do not mean perform a psycho-ninja ambush that reeks of assault charge. i’m talkin’ dignified, ‘i will hold my own’. ‘you will not bully me any longer’ and the clear message – ‘i’m prepared to defend myself, so watch it, bud.’)

i’ve got her back.
and through cyberspace, i’ve got yours, too.

be brave.
you deserve peace
and friendship
and self-respect.

claim it. it’s yours.

* photo by pavel sevela