Why my daughter stopped telling me about being bullied.
I remember when my daughter began to hide from me that she was being bullied. As a parent, it's our responsibility to protect our children, and I honestly thought I was doing the right thing at the time. When my daughter was in 3rd grade, she was being bullied by two African American female classmates. These girls were bulling my daughter for speaking "white". We are originally from New York and my daughter was born in raised in New York until the age of 5. When we moved to Virginia, a course we didn't have that southern draw (accent) and so our words were pronounced differently. Certain people took this dialect as sounding "white". I rarely spoke broken English, Lauren rarely speaks broken English so, on top of our pronunciation of words, we sounded, "educated", which in turn get the bullies' marking of sounding "white" or being called an "Oreo".
She was teased and teased, and finally I reached out to her teacher. The teacher confronted the girls about their awful behaviors. Lauren and I don't know what exactly what was said to the girls because the teacher pulled them out into the hall to have the conversation. It wasn't a collaborated conversation, parents weren't involved, nothing of the sort. Anyway, after the girls were confronted by the teacher, the teasing and bullying got worse, and not better. It was at this time, Lauren stopped telling me about being teased.
Here I was thinking that I solved the problem, similar to what the teacher may have thought however, it only made the girls more convinced that they were having an impact on her and want to torment her more. Lauren didn't open up to tell me ever again about her bullying situations until years after each incident. My strong, very strong daughter decided from 3rd grade up, to suffer in silence. To endure torment, harassment and teasing throughout her schooling without any help, just to show the bullies that they didn't have an impact on her. Did that solve her problems? In a way, I can see that it made her strong, it made her resilient, and it took the load off of me trying to protect her while she was out of my care however, it solved absolutely nothing.
I know it goes against the grain of what we have been taught about fighting, and I don't mean physically fighting however, we are taught to let things go. We are taught to not be argumentative, to accept things and move on, and to take the higher approach, which really means, ignore. However, the truth is when you believe in something, you should fight for it,and again I don't mean physically. You should work towards change, you should stand up for what you believe in. Can you imagine a world, a country, in which people never fought for anything. We all just walked around casually accepting wrong doings. This world would be full of nothing but bullies and tormented people.
In America, October is National Bullying Prevention Month and all businesses big and small should be advocating to eradicate this form of abuse!