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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

She Stood Up to Her Bullies

Every night before my children go to bed we talk about their day. There are three basic questions that I ask and the conversation can go anywhere from there. "What did you like about today?" "What didn't you like about your day?" "Is there anything you want to talk to me about, anything that makes you happy, mad, sad or glad?" Today my daughter who is in first grade told me about some boys in her class who told her that she wasn't pretty.

She is in first grade! How dare they try to put my daughter down! Luckily I do talk with my children about what to do if they are bullied. She told her teacher and they were given consequences. But they continued to tease her on the bus. My daughter did the right thing and told the bus monitor and they were moved. Then tonight she told me and I did the right thing and emailed her teacher about the incidents.

The other day we watched an episode of "Little Bill" it is a tv show/cartoon written by Bill Cosby. We enjoy it and it does handle many issues children can and will run into at school. The episode we watched had a short entitled "The Meanest Thing to Say". It wasn't bullying exactly but it was close and I tied it into her incident at school.

The Meanest Thing To Say: Little Bill and his friends are playing a game portraying pirates when their teacher, Miss Murray, introduces a new student, Michael, who has moved to New York from Florida. During recess, Little Bill and the others try to include Michael in their basketball game, but Michael is more interested in playing a "ranking" game, where people are supposed to say hurtful things to one another. Although the children say they refuse to participate, Michael doesn't listen and starts saying mean things to Little Bill, who stays silent. Michael threatens that he'll just keep saying insults if Little Bill doesn't "play" the game tomorrow, so Little Bill attemps to practice making up mean things to say by pretending to be a pirate. April overhears her brother acting out of character and tells their parents; when Big Bill learns of Michael's games, he explains how "ranking" used to be a popular game when he was a boy, too, and that he always won his matches by countering his opponent's insults by stating "So?" because what they said wasn't true. Big Bill proves this by asking Little Bill what Michael called him at school, and asking if what he said is true. Little Bill knows the remarks are false, so the next day he tries his father's tactics and gets Michael to understand that nobody wants to hurt each other, and that the game is wrong. Michael realizes he was trying too hard to make new friends, and acted mean out of fear.

I told her that she knows she is pretty, and she really is, so she should be like Little Bill, tell them "So!" along with what she already did. She stood up to her bullies, I am so proud of her.

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