Photo by: Marcy Fry Photography

I Paid My Son To Stand Up To His Bully

Photo by: Marcy Fry Photography

He was in fourth grade. I saw it every day. The second he slowly walked out of his school. His head hung down. He carried the weight and sadness of being a victim of an elementary school bully. “Retarded. Weird. Stupid. Idiot. Loser.” All of the words that hurt. Sometimes it got physical. The school counselor was aware. The principal was aware. The behavior continued. I am a mom. I did what moms do. I took that little boy in my arms and I told him exactly what would happen if he finally stood up for himself. I explained that the adults at his school weren’t protecting him. I get it. I come from a family of educators. They can’t deal with every issue. I have no doubt they had bigger problems than my son’s bully. But we were going to end this together. I told that blonde-haired little boy that I had five dollars just for him. The moment the bully touched him, my son was to push him back. And if he did this, I would have his money ready. And I would be so proud.

Several days later I saw that same little blonde boy exit the school and walk proudly toward my car. His head held high. I couldn’t help but smile as he walked toward me. He entered the car. His smile was magnificent.
“Why are you smiling?” I asked slyly.

“I pushed him back. I get five bucks.”

I smiled along with him. I held up the money and he grabbed it with delight.

We won.

The school counselor called the next day. He explained that there was an issue the day earlier. My kid had started an altercation by the drinking fountain. I explained kindly that the other little boy had actually started the altercation by shoving my child’s face in the drinking fountain while my son was trying to get a drink. I explained that I had given my son explicit directions to stand up for himself. I told him that not only was I proud of my son, but I also gave him monetary reimbursement for his behavior.

The counselor didn’t know how to respond. He told me that they prefer not to deal with bullies in this way. I was very sincere. I explained that I have a responsibility to protect my son. (Well, actually, teach my son how to protect himself.) I continued to tell the counselor that the way the school was dealing with it was not working. I further told him that he did not have my permission to ever discipline my son again if it pertains to him defending himself.

The bully never bothered him again.

I have a soft spot in my heart for school bullies. So often, they are fighting a bigger battle than any eye can see. I loved my son’s bully because he was a child who was silently aching inside. Our children have a responsibility to always be kind and accepting. But they should never have to be a victim.

Jessica Ford is a mother of five children. Her family currently resides in Elkhorn, NE. She spends her time driving carpool to four different schools, shopping at Costco and playing soccer in the backyard.

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