Thursday, December 3, 2015

Bullying Starts Early

This morning we went over to the Family Resource Center. It is this great place in our town that is provided free for parents and children 5 and under. It is pretty much a giant playroom. There is building centers, trucks, ride-on toys, instruments, slides, playhouse, etc. There is even a full kitchen for parents to use to make snacks, store snacks, make coffee, etc. It is the perfect place to go for playdates or just when you need to get out of the house on a cold or rainy day.

This morning there was a bunch of people from the same church who have a standing playdate every Thursday morning. It was nice to see the Resource Center filled to the brim with children (most of the time there is very few people), even though most of them were a few years older than Landry.

Landry was running around watching the bigger kids play and doing her own thing. I see her walk up to one little boy and another little girl (roughly 4-5) yells "Don't play with her, she has cooties" and further instructs the rest of the kids to do the same. Any time Landry would go over to play near/with other children they would run away. The same little girl also would take toys from Landry whenever she was playing with them, and without parental supervision there was no stopping her. Of course Landry was clueless to the situation, but it completely broke my mama heart. We left shortly after (Landry was getting tired and fussy).

I called Daniel and told him what happened and cried, "How could the excluding someone be starting so early? It just wasn't nice!" I know I am extra sensitive to bullying and feeling left out having experienced it so much in my pre-teens/early teenage years. It brought back all of my personal feelings and honestly is causing me so much heartache.

I don't want Landry to ever hurt or feel excluded. It was simply children being children, but what about one day when it is more? What about when Landry gets to middle school and mean social media messages start. When other kids call her ugly, or dumb, or annoying. It happened to me. I pray it doesn't happen to her.

Once I laid Landry down for her nap I took a minute to cry. To cry because my baby will not be able to be a my protective bubble forever. To cry for the future, when Landry's feelings do get hurt. To cry for the pain I felt as a child/teenager from being bullied and made fun of.

Then once I let the emotions out I prayed. I prayed that Landry will not suffer the same kind of torment as me. I prayed that if she does she will be tougher and stronger than I was. That she will know her self-worth is not found in who accepts her and the words they same about her. That her self-worth is found in God and in the kind of person she knows she is. I pray that one day when she comes home hurt that I will have the right words to say, or I will know when to be silent and let her speak. And then I prayed for our world. For the hurt, for the pain. I prayed for extra healing and I prayed that everyone would be just a tad bit kinder in their daily lives.


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