You’re at the dinner table eating with your child. Lately, you’ve noticed that your son or daughter, who used to be happy, carefree and bubbly, has been going through some changes. Your once happy-go-lucky child is now withdrawn, sad and sullen. You ask questions only to be stonewalled in the beginning. Finally, your son/daughter confides in you. He/she is being bullied at school and feels worthless and stupid.
You sit down beside your child, place a loving arm around their shoulders and tell them that you love them and that they are awesome no matter what others at school may tell them. You explain that they have value and are worthy of being loved. You even point out their best qualities to them, only to find that your loving words provide little, if any consolation or assurance.
Your teen or tween looks at you as if you do not know what you’re talking about and says, “You only love me because you’re my mom/dad.” or “I’m your kid. You’re supposed to love me.”
This is exactly what young victims think and say when well-meaning parents or grandparents begin attempting to convince them that they are, in fact, good people.
All too often, the parent is the last to know when their child is being bullied and by the time the parent or legal guardian does find out, the harassment has gone on for so long that the child’s self-esteem has already worn thin. This is why parents should never stop reminding their children/teenagers of their worth.
If your child is a victim of bullies at school, keep showing them love and affection. Never stop praising them because they need it now more than ever! Although children, especially teenagers may respond rather coldly and it may not look as if the loving words and gestures are having any effect right away. Your child does hear you and it just might be the only thing which keeps him/her from trying to harm themselves.
Know that for a few years, between the ages of about 10 to 18, life is about having friends, looking cool and being held in high regard by peers. Popularity is highly valued by those in this age group. Also, remember that bullying is a form of brainwashing. Bullies repetitiously remind victims that they are worthless and sadly, after enough time has gone by, the victim comes to believe it themselves.
Parents should be just as repetitious, if not more than the bullies when countering the messages that bullies bombard their children and teenagers with.
It may take time before the child begins to see their own goodness but rest assured that eventually, the positive words and actions toward the child will pay off and he/she will finally begin to realize that they really are awesome people. Therefore, the words of bullies will no longer be so devastating and chances are that the bullied victim will regain confidence. Better yet, they just might cease to be a victim because of that regained confidence!
0 thoughts on “But You’re My Parents. You’re “Supposed” to Love Me”
Wonderful post. 🙏🖤
Thank you so much, Amber! <3
This is such an importantpost, this happened to my son. Thankfully I kept encouraging him and God was a big part of our lives, which helped a lot. Now he helps others, still struggles with anxiety and depressing sometimes though. So important to be aware and be in their corner and stand up for them and teach them to stand up for themselves in a way that doesn’t make it worse for them. Thank you!😄❤
You’re very welcome, Tonya. And I’m so proud that you kept encouraging him and that he’s doing well now. Kudos to you, Mom! I know he thanks you for it! 🙂❤
We have a similar problem with my son, but in the daycare center. One of the kids there constantly tried to bite, scratch and all other things my son (he is 3 years old), but we tried to explain to him that this kid does not live in a happy environment and he doesn’t have to start a fight with him… Also the girls from the daycare tried to explain the behavior of their son to his parents…well, after a couple conversations this kid doesn’t go to our daycare anymore… I think it’s harder when the kids are more grown up, especially in teenage period, but if you try to explain to your kid that the one who tries to bully him isn’t a happy kid at all and probably there are some problems in his family and this is his way to express his anger…, but I agree that each parent should try to understand and listen to his kid first, to stand up for him, to encourage him to take the right decision.
I’m so sorry your son endured bullying from another child. And kudos to you for explaining to your son the most likely scenario of the other child’s home life. You’re so right that many bullies have trouble at home and the reason they bully other kids is to exercise some control in their lives- it doesn’t make it right, but many bullies are unhappy kids and choose to handle it the wrong way.
I was bullied a lot. Put my son in karate early, age 4, as a result. He’s already had to use it but was able to scare off the bully without resorting to violence. I have horrible anxiety from my past but trying hard to not let it color how I raise my kid and just by open and honest about everything with him.
My heart goes out to you for what you went through, Bekah. Bullies can be so vicious and can cause trauma that can last a lifetime. But I’m so proud of you for having your son trained in self-defense and seeing to it that he doesn’t endure what you did. You’re a terrific mother for that and you have my utmost respect. Wishing you many blessings. 😊🤗💖🙏