Talk with your kids about bullying

For many families, school is still in session. Others might have kids resuming classes in January. Either way now is a good time to talk with our kids about bullying. Definitions vary, but a bully is someone who is habitually cruel to others. Therefore, bullying would be the abusive treatment of a person or persons.

Christians are taught to ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ So, if your child tells you about other kids being ugly, talk with him or her about the situation and how your child responded. If they reacted harshly, as opposed to kindly, talk with them about how Jesus was treated by people and kept going about His business. In the meantime, read over the Parable of the Good Samaritan and explain to your child why that would have been such a mind-blowing concept for people in that day to hear. Samaritans and Jews did not get along, yet the Samaritan looked out for a Jew in need of help.

I’m not saying you should turn a blind eye to situations that your worldview does not agree with, be they situations in school or society at large. But what I am suggesting is that you speak with your child about how to respond. Obviously, if he or she is being physically abused, that should be dealt with, and promptly. But if it’s name-calling or something of that sort, physical violence may not be the best response. Meanwhile, if Junior tells you that Billy is being picked on because the latter feels as though he’s a girl and wants to play with dolls, Junior could step in and tell the “bullies” that it’s not nice to treat Billy in that manner.

Think about it. Would Junior want someone to step in and help him in his time of need? Absolutely! And as I’ve tried to establish, we are supposed to treat others the way we want to be treated. In the process, we are being witnesses just like Jesus was for the woman caught in adultery, not to mention the other sinners He visited within Scripture.

I’ve written about this before, but to “love” someone does not necessarily mean you have feelings of strong affection or attraction. That would mean love in a romantic sort of way. However, “love” can also mean the unselfish, loyal or benevolent concern for the good of another. That being said, Christians can stand up for people, even non-Christians, being bullied. After all, Christians know a thing or two about being bullied. The early Christians were fed to lions, treated unfairly, not allowed contact with people of other faiths, etc. To be accurate, many Christians are still enduring cruel and unusual punishment today. It’s largely outside the United States, although things are seemingly occurring more inside the United States now. Even so, Christians forge ahead, much like their Savior did when people said and did horrible things to Him. That’s because people, sinners, need a Savior. And when our children are asked by bullies and or their victims why they act the way they do, they can tell them about Jesus. They can tell them about the Bible. When that happens, bully for you.

Chris Woodward

Assistant Editor, One Million Dads
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