The untold story of a bully
Written by: Kazima
Once upon a time in a land not so far away, my kids knew a mean girl. (We won’t mention her whereabouts due to privacy reasons. Yes, mean girls have privacy too.) She was the talk of the town (kid town), and the highlight of numerous conversations, to the point that everyone had forgotten her name. She was known as The Mean Girl from then on between the little people. And for good reason.
She was aggressive. She was intimidating. She was ruthless.
One day, this mean girl pushed one of my kids down to the ground. Hard.
I was sitting watching with a mom friend and immediately jumped and ran to the scene of the crime.
My blood boiling, heart pounding, with all my might I held my mama bear instinct back and attempted to remain calm.
After inspecting my child for any serious injuries, I turned to the girl and said “Pushing is not ok. We need to be gentle with each other.” Then, I grabbed my child and walked away. But it wasn’t this confrontation that was difficult but rather the conversation that came next. My two kids and a group of their friends began discussing the incident that just played out. And as they were doing this, they began referring to her as The Mean Girl as if it were that name her parents had signed off for on her birth certificate.
Every time they said it, I cringed. Sure, I was upset and annoyed, but I felt sorry for her. Hours earlier I had seen her mother aggressively drag her across the room. Days before that I saw her mother smack her across the face. When complained to for her daughter’s physical aggression (by multiple parents) she would just laugh it off.
Bullies are not born. They are created.
Children are innocent and only a mirror of their parents nurturing.
This 4-year-old girl only knows what has been taught to her. The same way my kids will only know what has been taught to them.
Which is why I stopped my children mid-sentence and asked them to refer to her by her name. “But why Mama? She is mean. She pushed me.”
“She did something that was wrong. Really wrong. But your name calling is wrong too. No matter how bad her actions are, two wrongs do not make a right. Your wrong is still wrong.”
When we got home later that day, I told my kids a story about Prophet Muhammed.
Many times the Holy Prophet would walk on a particular street past an old lady’s house. And every time he did that old lady would throw garbage on top of him. Every single time. Of course, the Holy Prophet would not react. But then a day came when the old lady was not present at the window waiting to throw garbage on top of the Prophet. When the Prophet inquired about the old lady, he came to know that she was ill. And despite how he had been treated, the Prophet visited her to see if she was okay. She was in utter awe that the man she had continuously humiliated for so long had treated her with such respect and kindness. And in that moment, the old lady accepted Islam and became good.
It was this lesson that I wanted my children to hold onto throughout their lives.
The only thing we can control as human beings are OUR actions. In front of Allah we will be judged for what WE did alone, not based on the actions of another. And it is our actions that can build bridges or destroy them.
The next day they saw the “mean girl” again. And I could have cried at what I saw.
My kids and their friends were playing with her, happily. What’s more important is that she was playing with them, all smiles, no aggression.
And my faith in childhood innocence was reaffirmed.
Love and kindness are the brightest flames that can melt even the hardest of hearts.
Our emotions, our egos, and our desire to retaliate in a situation can make or break what our children become. We can allow our children to harden with hatred and become another bully or we can mold them into young empathizing leaders and peacemakers to become the change and hope we need in this world.
Tune in to my next post for the final part of The Mean Girl Trilogy.
How would you have handled this situation differently?
Follow @zairzabrplay ‘s stories and posts and see what she has to say about bullying.