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May 26, 2008

The Neighborhood Bully

BullyMy son was bullied for the first time this week.  It was a neighborhood kid who is about 10 years old (to my little guy's almost 6 whole years of bully-free living).

He came into the house with huge, fat tears dropping from big, red-rimmed eyes.  "What on earth happened?" I asked, jumping up.  "Chaz whipped me," he said quietly.

My stomach lurched.  I felt sick.  "What? Where?" I couldn't see any marks, until he turned his head to the side revealing a long red brush burn.  "How did he do this?" I was trying to sound very calm, and in truth, I was relieved that this was it.  When he said "whipped" I had imagined something much worse.

As it turns out, the older boy was using a jump rope as a whip, and when he whipped it at my son the rope caught him around the neck.  The boy yanked on it, causing this burn mark. The thought of that rope being pulled around his neck makes me ill.  This is a situation that could have turned into something much more serious than a sore neck. 

And I also saw in my son's face, not only pain, but dismay and sadness.  He was terribly upset that this neighborhood boy, whom he's played with before, would hurt him like that.  He said, "Chaz just thinks little kids are losers." 

It's a hard lesson, the first time you realize that not everyone will be nice to you or treat you with care.  I hated my son's defeated look.  He looked like someone had whipped him and he was very much surprised and saddened by it.  My husband said to me later, "I hate that this happened to him."

We told our son that this is why he always should play nice and treat other kids well, especially kids younger or smaller than him (like his little brother, for instance).  And we told him not to play with Chaz anymore right now.  There are nice kids in the neighborhood, so there is no shortage of playmates.  And if Chaz bothers him, or he sees Chaz hurting someone else, he is to come and tell us right away.

We discussed walking over and talking to the Chaz's parents, but decided it might have been an accident after all, so we'll wait and see. 

But if that punk kid touches my little boy one more time, I'm definitely telling his mom on him.

This is an original post to Deep South Moms Blog.

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