School can be hard for kids. And there are always cliques formed and that is just inevitable. Sometimes kids can behave in certain ways that are hurtful to other kids. And sometimes they are not even aware and other times they are.
My friend has a 14 year old sister who has just started her first year in high school. So fitting in is on the top of her list. She made some friends in one of her classes who all speak Spanish. So slowly they have been teaching her words. She went to a sweet fifteen party over the weekend, which is like a sweet sixteen party but in the Spanish community they do it at 15.
She decided to show off her Spanish speaking skills that she had been taught. But when they started laughing at her she didn’t know what to do. She realized that something was wrong with what she was saying but didn't really understand. She felt humiliated, embarrassed, and completely betrayed. She spent half the night hiding under the table because she was so upset. And when she found out the real meaning of the words she was saying she was upset at her friends and couldn’t believe that they made her do that.
It was hard for her, and she came home exhausted by all her emotions. But at the end of the day she knows that she can only get hurt if she ALLOWS them to hurt her and get to her. And although it doesn’t take away her pain and she still needed some time to “recover” from the audile, a day later she was ok. Because she has been taught that people will do things and say things that she may not understand, and vise versa.
Working in a preschool, I’ve seen firsthand how kids react to things. I’ve been witness to all different groups and it’s my job to make sure that each kid is guided in the right way. And that we teach kids that it is okay to let a grownup know that they are being picked on, because let’s face it…we aren’t always entirely aware.
And then there are those times when I have needed to sit down with those kids that are being the bullies. To explain to them why it is important to be nice to people and treat them how you would want to be treated. To accept people for whom they are even if they seem different to you or act in certain ways that annoy you or are completely different to how you would act.
That was why I decided that writing a story about bullying was vital. Because every child at some point in their life experiences some type of bullying. Whether it is accidental or not, it happens. And sometimes reading about It can help a kid feel at ease.