Monday, 30 July 2012

The Bullies

Today I took the children to the park for a kick about with their football and to play with their scooters. When we arrived there were already a few children playing on the swings and we went straight to the football pitch, well, we did have TJ with us! A few minutes into our game and a group of three teenagers arrived, they can't have been more than 14 or 15 and yet the other children on the swings immediately froze and a larger ginger haired boy suddenly ran for the gates. The smallest of the three teenagers took off after him and the other children on the swings quickly disappeared out of another entrance to the park. The small thug came back having duly dispatched the ginger boy. He then got together with his two other teenage friends and they proceeded to take a bicycle wheel apart and then tried to destroy it.

What surprised me most was my own reaction to these events. As an adult I should have felt compelled to defend the poor child being bullied but as someone who was bullied mercilessly myself all I could do was watch. It was as if I had been transported back to my own teenage years and whilst I felt for the young ginger boy there was also a part of me that was grateful that it wasn't me that was being bullied. I don't know if I am explaining myself very well but it did make me realise that bullying really does have an enormous effect on the victim and that the emotional effects remain with you always.

 I looked at my own kids. TJ was playing football completely oblivious to the events unfurling around him. KC was watching the whole thing completely mesmerised and then started to mimic the bullies in his treatment of TJ. It was obvious that KC was doing this as a form of defence. It doesn't matter who the bullies are, other kids in the playground or your own birth family, but you are affected by their actions and KC's reaction was as subconscious as my own. He didn't know why he was behaving differently and had simply gone into a 'fight or flight' mode. He instinctively knew that in order to survive he had to become a 'bully' rather than be the victim again.

I took both children home for lunch and had a chat with KC about his behaviour in the park and his attitude towards TJ. KC was incredibly remorseful and we had a long chat about choices and family. He then looked at me and said, 'When I behave like that, you don't love me do you?' 'No, ' I told him, 'I will always love you but its because I love you that I don't want you to behave like those boys and that's why I have to tell you off. ' He thought about it and simply said, 'All I want is for you and Papa and TJ to love me, the rest doesn't matter.'

I won't let the bullies control either of my children in the way they still control me.


  1. Love the fact that you keep mentioning the 'ginger' kid...was his hair really bright orange lol?

    Had a few of those 'love' chats with our boys too...and it's all such familiar ground you talk about...adoption or just kids?

    1. Well, to be honest, the boy's hair was the same colour as CJ's, which I think made me react to it in such a way.... Adoption or just kids? Well, I don't know about you but I don't know any birth parents who have to talk to their children about whether or not they are loved. Birth children simply accept that their parents love them, adopted children seem to worry constantly that they could lose that love which I guess makes them behave very differently....