Throughout my childhood, I was known to be a very outgoing girl. I loved to play with every kid on the playground with no fear of being left out or rejected by anyone. I suppose as a child it is normal to be like that. But a lot of children can continue being an extrovert for the rest of their lives. For me, however, a lot changed up until I was 12 years old.
When my family and I moved cities for the second time, the fear of not making new friends wasn’t too strong (I personally think it was due to the fact that my sister and I were promised a puppy, so we were sold). We settled into our new school in Abu Dhabi and attended it for 3 years. It was an amazing three years, however it resulted in me moving again because of bullying. For almost the whole duration of year 6, I was cyber and verbal bullied. Being 12 felt like the most unyielding age I have ever experienced, because the afflictions never seemed to stop coming at me. My confidence became nothing but a dribble in my heart that I can’t seem to find, it shattered into a million pieces because of the incidents that took place. I felt alone, empty, and drowned.
After the year finally drew to a close, my parents strived to move me to a new school. Luckily, my sister and I were blessed to find the perfect school for us, and I finally made the friends who adored me just as much I adored them. However, it didn’t cover up the fact that I grew into an introvert and I closed my heart off to many people who walked into my life. Topping it with the fact that I had gained anxiety. In many ways, bullying is the most common worry that every child has when they attended a new school, or even in everyday life. But we can not deny the fact that it also fears the hearts of parents. Here are a few things my parents did for me to help me during a time of bullying:
- Encourage them to not be afraid: When the cyber bullying started, I grew small and I began hiding from everyone in my class as often as I could. My dad, he’s a big softy, but when it came to getting hurt by the world, he taught me to fight hard for the happiness I deserve. He taught me to be a beautiful, loving warrior who loves the ones who hurt me more than the ones who don’t. Instead of pretending that everything will be okay and just hide, encourage your children to grow into the passion and grace of loving at all costs. They will grow in so much strength through this.
- Dance with them in the deep: My parents always had a way to make me smile when my life become dark, they taught me to breathe when the air around me felt heavy, and they taught me to dance in the deep waves of agony that was brought upon me. Have your children lean into you when life hits hard, sometimes saying nothing and just holding them can help so much more than you think.
- Help them see: Even if I grew out of the stage of my life where I get bullied, I still have people who reject me and judge me today. However, I deal with them in a very different way than I used to. When I turned 15, my life changed in so many incredible ways, my eyes were opened to the fact that I have a destiny, and I have the right to fulfill it. No one can take that from me unless I let them. Make sure that if your child/ren is going through bullying, you have to let them realize their talents and dreams. Have them realize that these are parts of them that can never be taken away, and their passions and love for things are the most beautiful parts of them.
- Never let them lose themselves: One thing I let myself fall into was the fact of losing my bubbly personality that I always had when I was much younger. Even though, I have managed to gain back a lot of my confidence again, it took me a long time to completely get where I am today. And I’m still working through anxiety every day. But one thing I learnt was that whatever trial comes against me it will always benefit me for the future and grow me into the strong woman I’m destined to be. Have your child recognize that they are going to come out of this stronger, wiser, and inspiring.
Recognize that life isn’t always going to be easy, people aren’t always going to like the way you do things, nor will everyone accept some facts about you which make them feel insecure. Things that happen aren’t always your fault, the accusers and oppressors only exist to make you feel small because they don’t understand why they wont grow bigger. Don’t let your children lose themselves, dance with them in the deep, help them see the beauty within themselves, and teach them to never be afraid. Their destiny is bigger than anyone will ever expect it to be.