The Bully Behind The Bully

I took my children, and two girls I babysit, to the library the other day. While I was standing at the desk helping Beth and the older girl check out their items, I heard a woman hissing/yelling a few feet away. I turned around to see this woman scolding her child. I personally cannot imagine any child doing something worthy of such ugly words.

Almost immediately following the interaction, the child singled out Anne and the younger girl. She first approached the girl I babysit and got very close to her face saying something. I could not hear the words, but I saw the mean expression on her face, and the combative body language. Thankfully, I was close and the little one just side-stepped her to get closer to Anne. Anne was sitting at a computer playing a game, and the girl approached her in the same confrontational manner, while towering over her.

I simply said: “Is there a problem?” The girl stood up and looked at me with surprise. She then proceeded to tell me she was sitting at that computer. I said: “Well, when she sat down at the computer no one was around, so she did not know someone was using it.” She started to repeat what she had already said, while inching even closer to Anne and getting loud. I cut her off and said: “There is no reason for you to be in her personal space like that, it is very rude. We are leaving anyway, so you can have the computer.” I then looked at the girls and said: “Let’s finishing checking out, so we can go home and have our snacks.”

I turned around to find the child’s mother watching everything transpire. The girl did not even want the computer; as soon as Anne got up, she went back by her mother and got her coat on. As they were walking out, I could tell by the mother’s tone that she was not happy, and my heart truly went out to the child.

I can honestly say, had I not seen the incident between mother and daughter, I would have assumed the girl was just another bully, picking on children smaller than her. In all honesty, that is exactly what happened, but I saw the reason for the attack, which most times we (the public) miss. That poor girl had been verbally abused by her mother, and had no tools to process the feelings that came along with that incident, so she did what she knew, and that was find someone else to abuse. It is a sad cycle that is perpetuated through the disrespectful treatment children receive at home, in school, socially, etc…

If we truly want a better world for our children, then we must treat them with respect and kindness. We must show them how to be good people, not just discipline the things we think they do wrong. We must always presume competence in our children, and not assume they have bad intentions. We need to look at what is the root cause of a behavior. If we take the time to help them with whatever they are struggling with, instead of punishing and humiliating them to make a point, we will provide them with amazing tools for the journey in life.

As hard as it can be to do, we must try to approach these situations with quiet kindness, instead of deafening judgement. We don’t know the circumstances, and we don’t always see the bully behind the bully. Sadly, most of these kids are acting out their experiences, and further mistreatment will only perpetuate the cycle more.

 

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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World Autism Day 2016 ~ I Can’t. She Can. I Think I’ll Let Her.

In Al-Anon the first three steps (from the 12 steps) are the foundation of our program. We tend to shorten those steps to: “I can’t. He can. I think I’ll let Him.” The actual steps read as:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

I look at it like this… I am powerless over people, places and things. My Higher Power, whom I call God, will help them on their path, just as He is always with me on my journey. The only person I have control over is myself, and I must use that control to always conduct myself like the woman God knows I can be.

Today as I prepare for another April, where I inevitably spend most of my time cringing at many of the posts, I am seeing the world through my program eyes. I understand that I cannot control what other people believe, or what they choose to share. I accept that we are all just trying to do the best we can for our families, and we don’t have to agree to treat each other with respect and kindness. I am praying for Autistics everywhere to know that their value is not tied to the opinions of others, but is rooted in themselves. I am praying for a better world, where everyone treats each other with Love and Respect, while celebrating and embracing diversity.

My “Three Steps” for treating my daughter with the respect she deserves:

  1. I Can’t…

I can’t live life for Beth, because I can never fully understand what occurs in her beautiful mind/body from day to day. I must always respect her boundaries and space, because I do not experience the world in the same way she does. My job as her parent is to support her in any way possible, but I should NEVER try to control her.  I can’t think for her, and therefore should not speak for her either.

      1. She Can…

She can, and does, live a pretty awesome life. As she learns to navigate this overwhelming world, she tries to share her experiences with us. She can tell (or show) us what she feels, and how certain things affect her. All we need to do is “listen” with our ears, eyes and most importantly our hearts. She can speak for herself, and reminds us of that when we forget.

        1. I Think I’ll Let Her…

I think I’ll let her live life on her terms. She is constantly helping us see the world in a different way. She helps us, and people who meet her, see the struggles and blessings of Autism. She has an amazing voice, which she uses to spread love and light everywhere she ventures. By letting her share her message, how she chooses, we are changing the world for the better, one person at a time.

World Autism Day 3 Steps

Today is World Autism Day; this month is Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month. By the end of April, you will see a LOT of information shared in various forms. You may find yourself with more questions than answers. If you have questions about Autism, the best place to go is an Autistic person. As a parent, I cannot express the level of my gratitude for the Autistic Adults, who are willing to share their journey in order to help the next generation. There are many wonderful pages/sites that can address your questions, and help you see Autism for what it is… A neurological difference; It is NOT less, neither is it more, it is simply a different way of processing the world.

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥

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Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.