All it took was one incident. One incident and Anthony and I decided it was time to put Tone in boxing. We had discussed it for a while but finally, it was time. One incident and I knew I wouldn’t always be around to protect my son.
Almost two weeks ago, I picked up our kids and my son told me about what happened to him at recess. Not one, not two, not even three....but four students targeted my son. Two students punched him in his stomach, another student pulled his pants down and all four shoved him to the ground. Why? Because he was going to throw a frisbee instead of giving it to one of the boys.
As I listened to my son, my heart was breaking and I was angry.
I was angry at myself because I couldn’t protect him.
I was a angry at the students for bullying my son.
And I was angry at the parents of those kids because I believe as a parent, we have to raise our kids to be better than a bully.
As he told me, I could see that he was trying to be tough, but I saw the hurt in his eyes. I saw the look of defeat knowing there were kids that hurt him and he didn’t stop them.
That was the incident that confirmed our decision to put our son in boxing.
We knew boxing would teach him confidence, discipline, control and most importantly...how to defend himself.
We never tell our kids to fight but we do tell them they have a right to defend themselves when necessary.
Our son is an easy target because he has a heart of gold and does not like confrontation. Our son is an easy target because he tries to find the good in everyone and every situation.
Do you know what my son told me when I asked what he thought we could do to fix the situation?
He said we need to pray that God fixes their hearts.
I told him that’s exactly what we’ll do then, just as soon as we sign him up for boxing.
Bullying is not an easy subject and sadly it’s only gotten worse. I believe social media makes it easier to bully a child or person. Cyber bullying is just as bad as bullying a person face to face and it has grown immensely over the past few years, especially among young kids.
When a child becomes a bully, the question should by ‘Why?’. Why is he/she being a bully? Maybe they see it at home or maybe they have been a target of bulling before so now that’s what they do. I know schools have gotten a lot stricter on bullies, but it will never go away. All we can do as parents is talk to our kids and make sure they understand what bullying can do to a person. What’s sad is that as bullying has increased, so has suicide. After Tone told me what happened, I read a story about a 10-year-old boy who took his own life because he was being bullied. This hit too close to home and as I read the article, all I could think is how could this have been prevented. I am beyond thankful that my son came to me and told me what happened because unfortunately, many kids keep silent. I will do whatever I can to make sure my son knows he can overcome bullies. I will make sure my son knows that when he tells me something like this, I will take it seriously and have it resolved as soon as possible.
We didn’t sign my son up for boxing to encourage him to fight. We signed him up so that if he was ever in a position where other kids physically assaulted him again, he would be able to defend himself. We also believe that if he knew how to defend himself, he would gain confidence and then he wouldn’t be targeted again. I don’t know if that’s the case, but our son knows that our family will not tolerate bullying. We don’t allow our kids to be bullies and we don’t allow them to be bullied.
This picture is my reminder that no matter how tough life can get, you can be tougher.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6