To prevent someone from living life peacefully, because of force, power or manipulation, is too ‘overshadow’ how they have been uniquely made. Never should malicious words, facial expressions, or physical aggression be the defining moment of a situation.
Yet how often do these ‘silent threats’ go unnoticed by adults, parents, caregivers, teachers, friends and by-standers. Unlawful as it seems, often times bullying ‘slithers’ it way onto our playgrounds, families, community parks, schools and even our own backyards, going unrecognized!
Backyard bullying is by far the most undetectable for one reason alone, it almost always looks like ‘playing!’ Even when adults are present, children can be a mastery at displaying POWER over another child in such a subtle way, they would not be caught by anyone watching. And so the ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality continues on living a legacy that should gain no recognition at all.
Never be surprised, if the moment should occur, when your child or someone who know has been or is being bullied. Make every attempt to resolve the scenario in a peaceable manner, and intervene when necessary.
As fate would have it, bullying visited our family, but not in an extreme sort of way. It was SILENT…….undetected, as I sat watching and listening to the endless laughs, shrieks and squeals of my children engaged with neighbors, on our own property. A master ‘magician’ this person was, and was displaying power, strength and rank over those younger than herself. It was not malicious words that day, as I would have heard those, BUT actions of physical force on my child’s arm that was as quick as a rabbit being pulled out of a hat.
~What made the situation worse when it was brought to my attention, was knowing my children were in an enclosed space of a trampoline, when the situation occurred. With very little room to move about, and bouncing endlessly, it seems rules of integrity by others were not applied.
~’Awkward’ to say the least was how the entire story unfolded a week later. The day this silent bully left my house was because her feelings had been hurt, as words were told she was not to return by my children, and that is when the manipulation started. Unsure of what she exactly told her caregiver, but alluding to the fact that indeed only her brother was allowed to play and not herself, caused for this one to project herself in a light that was in a faultless state.
~When I approached these children out in the community, days later, I was made aware that neither one would be able to play on our property, because of hurtful words directed towards the one.
~Of course at first I was appalled at how my children could say such hurtful words, and apologies were given immediately to this young mastermind. Graciously accepting their ‘I’m Sorry’, she was almost at a loss knowing she caused the entire situation, yet said nothing. Recalling the next day aggressive behavior she had displayed towards her own brother I asked my children if this instance occurred any other time. Immediately the situation presented itself as to why the so-called hurtful words were said & when she abruptly left.
~In the defense of my children, they knew the aggressive behavior being displayed was somehow unacceptable, and were trying in the best way they knew how to justify the wrong being done. Thankfully it was a one time occurrence.
Each situation is unique as to how the ‘bullying’ will present itself, should it ever occur. As for our situation, which caught me completely off guard, was undetectable. To often we pass off children playing, as that’s just how children play. In all fairness I completely disagree. There is so much aggressive behavior behind children playing together, that I rarely leave them unattended.
Adults must be present to instill a sense of peacefulness when situations occur with children, and they most certainly will. BUT not even all adults can recognize the undetectable silent type of bullying.
Here Are a Few Resources For Being a Voice, For The Voiceless:
Since that day we have had quite the discussions, in our family, as to appropriate actions should someone ever again display such aggressive behavior. In trying to be fair on all sides and give kids the benefit of the doubt, they must know that any type of force, word or body language is utterly unacceptable. Whether a child is trying to display power over another individual or its an adult unable to control their aggressive behavior, BULLYING should NEVER be allowed to exist in any form!
Learn to Recognize That Which May Be Undetectable!