Dear R

Sometimes in life, you need to stand up forΒ yourself and speak. Sometimes in life, you need to be a leader and not a follower. And sometimes in life, you just need to leave friends who are fair feathered and be alone.

I hate to tell you all this when you are all but an innocent 6 year old, but unfortunately, this bullying happening on you is getting out of hand. Amma and Appa have not yet interfered, because both of us firmly believe, that kids sort out their own problems and the lesser adults interfere, the better it is.

But yesterday, was kind of horrible for me. Your Baroda thathi has always told me that ‘delivering a child into this world is perhaps one of the easiest tasks, its the bringing up the child which is the toughest part of parenting’ I didnt believe too much in her, but I think I have now started agreeing to that. And she also told me when I would crib as you were an infant, on when you would grow up. She told say this age is much easier to handle, the older they grow, the tougher it is to parent them. And sigh! I must admit shamefacedly that she is right.

The 10 year old in the building has no business bullying you, poisoning your friends’ ears against you, calling you ‘Kali’ or saying that you would cry even if a leaf falls off the branch. He has absolutely no business doing it. While fights are totally fine, and show that you guys are normal, he is now going towards bullying you badly! and the sad part is your other friends who are your age are just following what he is doing. He is instigating them to ignore you. Yesterday when I came back from office late at 8.15 and Appa had to rush upstairs to catch the maid, I saw you standing forlorn in a corner, with tears brimming in your eyes, and you gave me such a weak smile as if to tell me everything was alright. But kid, remember, I am your mother. I understand every emotion of yours. The other three kids including Mr. Bully were standing on the other side of the building and whispering something pointing out to you. I just asked you to accompany me to the house and you agreed immediately without any arguments.

In the lift, you broke down and told me how your friends including that bully were ignoring you and how he was instigating them and calling you names. And this is perhaps the 3rd or 4th time, this is happening.

I must admit, darling, that for a second, my heart broke. I felt helpless as a mother. But I realised that I cant fight your battles for you. You need to learn to stand up to that guy and put him in place.

Remember how he pulled the hair of that other didi who is about 10 years and she gave him back to him immediately saying you touch me, and I will beat you to pulp. Well, I dont ask you to do that, but at least, tell him that yes I am what I am and no, I dont need you to tell me what to do and what not to do.

You have to do it beta, because there are so many more battles you need to fight, in order to survive in this world. Unfortunately, human relations are not as simple as they seem in childhood. Hundreds of layers, thousands of shades, and millions of egos. All this will be there in every relationship and each needs to be handled differently.

Yes, Amma and Appa told you yesterday to fight it out and not take it lying down. Remember, when push comes to shove, we are always always there for you. We will not let you down. I promise on that.

Loads of love and always here for you

Amma

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About R's Mom

Not-so-new-mom
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83 Responses to Dear R

  1. Sid says:

    Sigh! Bullies! Hate them. Hugs for R.
    On a separate note, as a fellow parent – don’t feel like you let her down, RM. Parenting is tough. And it is impossible to be everywhere at once. But yes, you guys seem to have delivered the message loud and clear – Take a stand and do not take it lying down. Good luck in tackling the bully, R πŸ™‚

  2. uma says:

    Aww..RM, I got choked up reading this..it feels so bad na when your child is being bullied. I’ve been at the receiving end of being bullied and also seen my R being bullied. And, what’s with this skin-colour business at such a young age? In my opinion, you must intervene too, if needed, even if just to show R how to tackle the bully. Hugs to you and bigger hugs to our brave R. I’m sure with parents like you and RD she has nothing to fear and will eventually hold up her own.

    • R's Mom says:

      oh Hugs Uma..you are such a wonderful person πŸ™‚

      Her skin colour is always going to be an issue I guess 😦 I do hope she learns to hold up on her own!

  3. Bingo's Mom says:

    I loved this post and agree to each and every point of yours.

  4. greenboochi says:

    I suddenly have tears in my eyes. Kids can be real cruel sometimes 😦 I really really wish Mr. Bully understands his mistake (hope his parents would notice it soon) and wish R fights this out.

  5. Shweta says:

    Awww…!! Hugs RM!!

  6. AA_Mom says:

    Just reading about it is painful – Hope she learns to stand up to herself. The earlier the better

  7. Maddie says:

    omg!! Hugs and kisses to R. I don’t know what I would do in such a situation but can you not speak with his mum?

  8. Prachee says:

    I so so so agree with you RM…we have to teach our kids to stand up against bullying…but how..? And it is sad, but bullying breaks the kid’s confidence to the core…I have been bullied around a lot..I know… 😦
    My dear 4 year old…almost daily gets a knocking from fellow kids…he tolerates it to the max and then just gives a gentle push, no hitting back, no screaming…nothing..!!!
    There was a phase when I was teaching him to hit back, I know its wrong, but I cannot see him getting bruises all the time for no fault of his…
    yesterday also he came back with a blue-black ear when his friend hit him with a toy…and the friend’s proud parents first made their son apologize and then my poor fellow. By the time I reached there he ran away to the corner..crying…!!
    I have tried explaining him in every possible way to speak up for himself, atleast defend himself…but everything is in vain as of now *sigh*

    • R's Mom says:

      hugs hugs hugs Prachee…I feel so awful reading this…I think asking him to stand up for himself is a good thing re…big time hugs to him

      • Prachee says:

        thanks for the hugs RM..a direct talk with the kid helped in my case, the kid was younger, so he understood pretty easily.
        Regarding the skin color thing- we cannot change the attitude of the world, however we can focus on the improving ourselves. She may be good in dancing/singing or something else…try to change her focus on that, make her earn accolades and her confidence will come automatically. There was a phase when my imperfections came in the way of my confidence…I am still the same, my imperfections are still there, but achievements, certificates have taken its place and it hardly reminds me that I am even slightly different from the world out there.
        Last but no the least….wishing a wonderful Diwali to R household. πŸ™‚

  9. Preethi says:

    Hi RM – I rarely comment here but this post really broke my heart. I can’t imagine how you might have felt seeing R being bullied. How can small kids be so mean to each other?
    If this continues, I would suggest that you give a warning to that 10 yr old, sorry I understand that you believe that R had to stand up for herself, but she is so young.
    Hugs to you and the little darling.

    • R's Mom says:

      Thanks for writing in Preethi…every suggestion here counts and honestly I do take in a lot of strenght from this virtual communuty πŸ™‚

      Yep..my plan is to definitely wait for a while..or else will need to speak to the boy

  10. Oh, God, RM, this is so heartbreaking. Bullying is one thing I never understood as a child, and don’t till date. Hope you, RD and R deal with it well. All the very best.

  11. freakyveggie says:

    I can understand how you feel about this, hope R handles the situation well and hope the parents of those other kids teach them what is right and what is wrong

  12. I’am so sorry R is going through such a hard time…. While kids are innocent but they can still be very cruel/mean at times…. Kudos to u guys for not interfering in the situation … Hope the situation resolves soon …. Hugs to R…

  13. summerscript says:

    Hugs dear R. You are a brave girl.I know you will handle this well.

    When I was small we were a bunch of kids and we used to fight a lot.And our fights involved hurting physically each other.Our parents never got involved and we used to forget and forgive easily.Today we are very close to each other and that kid who tried to almost kill me (little exaggeration) is one of my best friends. This is just my own personal experience.

    But today I feel like I am in a totally different time period.I really want to believe that today’s children have the same innocence that we had had when we were kids. When I see some shows on TV,frankly I get scared.
    I don’t blame the kids. When a working educated parent tells his kid that if he drinks tea he will become dark, why would I blame an innocent child.
    And bullying, never knew about it when I was a kid. But today..a totally different story.
    Thinking of all these things I agree with your amma – delivering a child into this world is perhaps one of the easiest tasks..

    RM and RD – You guys are one of the wonderful parents that I know. R will be a great person.

  14. Loved it. Totally loved it. I have been bullied incessantly and attempts still happen. But now I give it back with extremely sweet/acidic words.
    Hugs to R. Wonderful advice. To give it back. She has a sharp tongue. Sarcasm will be her good friend.

  15. Divya says:

    Oh dear RM, this is heart breaking. I hope poor R forgets this soon. Although I think you should really talk to that boy’s mother. If the kids were of same age it could be handled the way you mentioned, that boy being 10 I feel he needs some discipline. As they say kids learn from our action, the boy would have learnt it from his folks without them knowing it.

    • R's Mom says:

      Honestly Divya, his parents are wonderful folks, which makes it more astonishing on why he is like this…I am going to give it sometime or will talk to his parents for sure

  16. Sushma says:

    RM, I cannot tell you how much I have thought these same thoughts in the past few weeks. I was gong to do a post about it this weekend.

    Agree with everything you said. I feel it is so important to teach our kids to stand up for themselves. Good luck R!!

  17. Laila says:

    RM, it broke my heart when I read this. I wish R all the strength to stand up and fight for herself. I really do…

    Lots of hugs and love to dear R…

  18. How is R now? Did she give her bullies a piece of her mind? :-/

  19. Oh I am feeling really bad for R. I guess what you are doing as a parent is right but I feel sorry for that ten year old, the kind of Boy his parents are raising is shameful.

  20. Smitha says:

    That is so heart breaking to read, RM. I don’t know what to say. While I agree that children need to fight their own, this sort of thing… How much can a 6 year old stand up to a 10 yr old. I had seen this sort of thing happening when I was in Bangalore. It was not with daughter, so I went up to the children doing this and asked them if they really thought this was right. And I think they stopped being mean to that little girl. Everytime they saw me, they would come to tell me that they are playing nicely. But, but it was easy for me because it wasn’t my child being bullied, I don’t know what I would have done if it had been daughter… Hugs to you and R.

  21. Nidaa says:

    Children can be really cruel… all the more because they dont really know how much insensitive words/actions hurt. But I cannot help but think that you’re somewhat right. I mean, yes R should fight her own battles. But what if shes not saying anything becs her Amma/Appa taught her to never say/do mean things and she doesnt want to be mean even i others are? I remember being fiercely protective about my nephew who had a very sheltered upbringing (unlike me). It did more harm than good. The problem is there is never a right way na? No proper guidelines. Hugs to R and you.

  22. Rekha says:

    This echoed my thoughts I have for my 6 year old for a similar reason. She injured one of her front teeth when she fell down the stairs at the age of 2. That tooth lost blood circulation and is greyish in colour. Her friends at school and in the building make fun of her or keep asking her about it which is making her highly self-conscious. I can completely understand what you must be feeling for her. And I too have asked my little girl to give it back. It is terrible to see them getting hurt.

  23. Rekha says:

    Reblogged this on Dew Drops and commented:
    I feel all parents do teach their children how to respect others. But some of them fail to do so. For the children of such parents we need to teach our children to fight back foe their existence. A must reas for all parents.

  24. When I was that young, I don’t remember such things happening either to me or ppl. around me. Nowadays kids seem to be growing up fast!

  25. Deepa says:

    Sigh…a tough one r’s mum. Very, very hard for a mum to take and not interfere but encourage the child to stand up for his/her self. And today I’m proud of you for doing just that. Yep, R needs to tell the bully off in her own words, developing inner and outer strength in that process because unfortunately many more and varied and ugly shades of bullying come in the long journey of life where u and I may not be there around to help or step in. And ‘kali’? excuse me? whats that word again? Not acceptable. That is one place where I’d urge you to step in and either talk to the boy directly and firmly ask him to never use that word on R again or talk to his mother and ask her to ensure he stops that. NOW! When children attack other children on their ethnicity, race, color of skin, economic strata and stuff along those lines…things they basically didn’t design for themselves when they came into this world or have absolutely no control over it transcends bullying into something much more dangerous…and a child R’s age might not know how to counter that tit for tat because there’s no logic there innit? Anyways, you’d know best to handle it well, you’re such an super duper mom.

    • R's Mom says:

      Thanks Deepa!

      The skin colour issue has been raised often by R and honestly RD an I keep reinforcing the un-importance of skin colour to her..Sigh..but sometimes I feel I am fighting a losing battle 😦

  26. This post made me so sad, RM. 😦 Maybe you can get R to have some of the nicer kids home to play ? Maybe without the big bully’s influence they might be nice to her. Also has brat been introduced to Enid blyton’s Mr Pink Whistle series? I remember a nice story about a bully in there too..

  27. Rachna says:

    I have seen the ugly side of bullying up close and personal with my elder son. It is relentless and if it is one person today, it will be another one tomorrow. I have even interfered and pulled up the child but I really wonder if it is any use. Finally, I had to tell my son to stand up for himself. We will not and cannot be around every time he faces a rude comment. He will have to figure out ways. I teach him to either ignore (if it is possible) or give it back. Loved your letter. I can understand what you are going through. It breaks my heart to just read this.

  28. srividhya says:

    Bullying is a serious issue yaar. As a mom we should teach our kids not to bully others and at the same time we should teach them to standin up for themselves. Loved your last two paragraphs..Parenting is sooooo tuf.

  29. UmaS says:

    Am glad to know the mother in you RM…just stay this strong and allow your little one to learn things on her own !! She’ll come out just fine.
    May be you can show an example of how to stand up for yourself, by performing such an action in front of her – some kids learn like that.
    ((hugs)) mommy πŸ™‚

  30. PK says:

    Dear R’s Mom,
    Check this link http://www.ahaparenting.com/Default.aspx?SiteSearchID=-1&ID=/search-results,
    it might help. Please reinforce and teach R to stand up for herself. It might take a while but eventually she will learn. You can firmly tell the other kid to stop behaving rude. Since R is still a child, you need to take a stand for her., Bullies generally target children who play without adult supervision. For a few days be around her when she is playing down. Hope this helps.

  31. Kavs says:

    I have tears in my eyes thinking of R trying to be brave and tearful all the same. 😦 I wish you could just gather her in your arms and never make her face such people again!

    Can you imagine my 20 month old daughter gets bullied by heftier and slightly older kids at the park? I have to be really vigilant and keep my anger in check. I try to tell myself that they are not bullying, they are really kids themselves, but I absolutely know how mean kids can get.

    Well I was bullied for a few months every time we changed schools – dad’s transferable job and all. And to my shock I was bullied even in 11th standard – by a group of girls in my own class. Why? Because in my non-stylish short hair, unfashionable clothes and a seemingly small town background, I was an easy pick. In a matter of a few weeks it all died down. πŸ™‚

    Then I was the only girl in an advanced maths class of 20 students and incessantly bullied. I survived those 2 years with sheer focus – none of those guys are my friends or anything but I still feel really proud thinking about that class.

    I like that you are not interfering in kids’ matter. But, please be watchful that R doesn’t get hurt, the bully sounds like a big guy at 10, and also help her come up with a plan to handle this.

    The “Kali” thing – I am so mad, i just don’t know what to say. I am sure you are doing it already, but help her build a positive body image and get her to love herself – showing her well known personalities who are “not fair skinned” perhaps will help?

    Sorry for this loooong comment – had to write, you know.

  32. Vani says:

    Ohh dear.. Hugs to R.. Dunno when these godforsaken brands will stop propagating fair as the good colour.. I really pray that R overcomes this soon and understands the beauty of thoughts and mind, and not face!
    Love much!

  33. Deepa says:

    Ok, you may not like my advice, but here you go. My daughter went through something similar 3 years ago and didn’t share it with me, it came to a point where she had bet wetting problem. I calmly took matters into my hand. I accompanied her to the park and took the bully aside and told very calmly that if he ever bullied my daughter I would get him arrested. Told him that this was a crime and he would get expelled from school too. All this I said in a chillingly cold manner. I also told him that I knew where he lived and would be more than happy to share his address and his parent’s contact info to the policeman right away. He was a 10 year old at that time and initially did not believe me, I fished out a few articles from my phone on bullying and showed them to him and how they can be punishable as an offense. That pretty much did it for him. Of course, my daughter is now a second degree black belt and she doesn’t take any shit from any one now. The other day this 13 year old boy in my neighborhood tried to slap her as she asked him to stop harassing little kids, she blocked his blow very nicely and pushed him, he fell down.

  34. Vidya says:

    That’s so sad 😦 I think the fixation for fair skin is an Indian thing, no? Vyas gets compared to Varun very often by random relatives.. He gets told that it would been nicer if he got a bit of Varun’s color as well:( He has been taught to say that we must be beautiful from within. External ‘looks’ is only that, skin deep. I pity that 10 yr old kid because he surely has sad parents/family!

  35. Sangitha says:

    Been there on complexion bullying with son. With him, we worked on getting him to accept this own skin (scientific reasons et al and it took a bit of time) first. When he got there (or there most of the time), it was easier for him to ignore. Also, when people saw that they couldn’t bother him with that, they moved on to other things.

    I remind myself that the children who bully are themselves going through something. Told the kids this as well – that bullying doesn’t really involve the other party most of the times (anyone opposite is enough!) but ends up showing us how the bully himself or herself feels about herself. It helped us separate the actions from the person and say it really isn’t about us. How can a child learn to ignore unless they can detach themselves from the words/situation a bit? Or that is our logic out here.

    It is a process and I am sure R will deal with it just right. If she learns to use good rejoinders at the right time, please tell her to teach me…I never ever get the right words to say and almost always get what I should have said some 2 hours later!

    Hugs, RM!

  36. rams says:

    RM you are one awesome mom πŸ™‚ R will stand up for herself and will be really thankful to you guys for helping her gain the courage!! Hugs to you .. Do keep repeating to R asking her to stand up.. it is needed in every stage of life these days.unfortunately she will be meeting different kind of bully as she grows and we as parents wont be able to follow her everywhere 😦 it is best to teach them to fight back and you are doing a great job teaching her live her life!

  37. anisnest says:

    OMG.. big big hugs to the little girl and to you too RM.. hope R is fine now and Mr.Bully has been taught a very good lesson.. hugs again..

  38. Shraddha Sheregar says:

    Hello R’s Mom… I hope all is well in the R household. It’s over a month since you wrote something on your blog… I was beginning to worry…

    BTW, I am a silent reader of your blog… I ended up reading all your old posts while waiting for a new post from you.

    Please take care and do update, even if it is just a line, so we know all is well…

    Cheers!
    Shraddha

  39. jyotsna says:

    RM, hope everything is fine at your end….

  40. Poor thing R. But trust me RM she will soon stand up on her own and have a voice of her own.. Dont worry …yes parenting is tough and like you I am always wishing what if my child were a bit older ..hehe

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