Bullying is a growing problem, and often too difficult to solve. Our society still struggles to prevent it from happening.
While teachers at school can dramatically mitigate its effects, many believe that parents can address the root of this issue more effectively, as they can tackle the problem at home.
One father, Randy Smalls, surely did!
Randy, a dad of three from South Carolina, was a victim of bullying himself while growing up. Although it dramatically lowered his self-esteem, he managed to get a good career.
Therefore, he was determined to prevent it from happening to his seventh-grade daughter, Re’Onna.
Yet, things were a bit different.
One day, the mother of one of her classmates, Ryan Reese, called him, explaining that Re’Onna and her friends “ picked on her because of how she dressed, her shoes and hair.”
Randy had no idea what to do at first. Yet, he eventually came up with the idea to teach them both a valuable lesson.
“I say, ‘When you laugh along, you’re co-signing the bullying.”
His daughter was a shopaholic, and they planned to go on a shopping spree at the local mall that weekend.
When Re’Onna came home from school that day, her father told her that instead of her, he was taking Ryan. Re’Onna was devastated and mad, but Randy was determined.
He took Ryan and her mom on shopping, and spent hundreds of dollars on Ryan’s clothes. Ryan admitted that she did not expect such an offer, and started to cry.
Throughout it all, Re’Onna was there too.
“My daughter was upset, especially because she is into fashion. So she came with us and helped pick out Ryan’s new clothes.
We got her hair done and we’ll be paying for twice-a-month appointments until the end of the year.”
They also learned that Ryan had recently lost her father, aunt, and grandfather. She’d even been suffering from non-epileptic seizures due to extreme stress.
Ryan’s mother, Richauna, said that “this is the first time I have seen a parent take such a stance on bullying”, adding that she was sorry that his daughter was going through it, “but he’s teaching her a lesson.”
Over the course of a few days, Re’Onna realized that she has made a mistake, and she had to pay the price.
“After it all happened, I’m glad that we did this because she needed that help.”
Her father managed to right this horrible wrong and was happy that he taught his daughter to be a good person. Thanks to him, the two girls even became friends!
Ryan later added that Smalls has become “the first father figure” after the death of her father as she now has someone she can look up to. The girl explained that bullying made her really sad, and took her “deep down” in her depression.
“As parents, we have to take responsibility for what our children do.
We can teach our children, but when they go and are around other children they can veer off a little bit. When situations like this happen, we have to take action and be the parent and not the friend.”
If you are a parent and notice signs of bullying in your child, you need to stop that behavior immediately and make sure he practices a more appropriate behavior.
Supervise all situations in which this issue can arise, and be aware that bullying can drastically lower your kid’s self-esteem. Boost the self-image of your child in all ways possible, support his skills and talents.
Moreover, teach your child to support victims of bullying and to include them in all activities.