Seeing or hearing of children bullied and mistreated pains me. I know how a sensitive child can be easily taken advantage of. I was one. Nasty comments or simply perceived threats can cause deep emotional pain and leave scars that effect a person for the rest of their lives.
So what can children do when other children mistreat them? What can parents do to help them? I believe our standard comes from Jesus. He taught us to turn the other cheek and to do good to those who revile us. But He was no push over either. He stood up for truth with bold courage.
What if, instead of desiring revenge, children prayed? What if, instead of withdrawing in fear, children gave gifts? What if, instead of standing by and watching, children stood up for the victim? I suggest finding something special to give to the bully. It might be a treat or a small toy. This can be a symbolic act of forgiveness. It might simply be kind responses. Even if the bully laughs at the gift, it should still be given. Jesus gave His life and was and still is mocked for it.
I am certainly no expert on this issue. There are many great ideas out there (and some not so great ideas). I urge you to continue to look for wisdom on this subject. There is a link below for further guidance on this topic with additional resources. I also highly recommend Frank Peretti’s books called No More Bullies and No More Victims.
Now, I absolutely believe that children need adult advocates especially in situations where violence is happening. However, my principles have to guide me. Children must still learn to act like Jesus. This, of course, is not easy. But like all things that aren’t easy, if they are done in the name of Jesus, they are worth it in the end, that is, Heaven.
Go to Proverbs 31 Ministries for a great devotional on this topic and for resources to help you (including a book, a blog with tips and more). (Thanks for the link Steph! Check out her blog too.)
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