I’m going to be the first to admit that being a parent doesn’t make you know all about parenting. In fact, I think I need some advice on the subject of bullying.
Last Saturday, Sophie had an encounter at the Singapore Flyer, where an older girl, who is probably 4 or 5 year old, walked up to her and pulled her T-shirt. Now I know that all little girls have an indescribable affection for the mouthless kitty, which Sophie was wearing that day. But pulling for whatever reasons, is just not nice.
I could tell that Sophie was shell shocked by the girl’s behavior and I told the girl sternly that she can not pull my daughter’s shirt. She released her grip immediately and replied to me in a foreign language. I looked around for her parents but they were no where in sight. The girl skipped along shortly but the incident left me wondering, what if the other child used more strength and pulled her shirt and Sophie fell over? Or what if Sophie came face to face with a pulling or shoving bully?
As I related the incident to Alexis in the car, I was candidly telling him that Sophie should push the girl’s hand away and swung my fist out dramatically to make my point. Sophie’s reaction to my suggestion was ,”No mummy, don’t do that”.
I paused, rather shocked at my initial response and thought, “Great, I am teaching her to retaliate and fight back.” Needless to say I promptly told her that mummy only demonstrated what she should not do (Like she didn’t know already).
I added that if it happened to her again, she should tell an adult if we’re not with her. Some of my friends also suggested that she should say,” No” to the bully or tell them, “Don’t do that.” But if they are bigger sized, then perhaps walking or running away may be a safer option.
Have you taught your child how to respond if they were faced with a bully? What would you say, if you were me? And yes, that was also a reminder that Sophie is watching and picking up what I say and more importantly what I do… so I’m going to be on my best mummy behavior.