One evening this week my oldest son came home after practice and slumped down in a chair in our kitchen.  At 13 he doesn't often tell this mama bear all the things that go on in his daily life.  This particular evening was different.  I felt it.  He hung around just a little longer than normal.

After an awkward moment of silence, I turned to him and asked: "how was your day honey?"  With tears of frustration in his eyes he said "Mom, it is something with a different kid and even the same kids every day and I am so tired of it"  he continued to tell me kids make fun of him (he has not hit a growth spurt yet), treat him differently (he is the new kid), and even put their hands on him.  I asked if he took up for himself.  He said he did but it just wasn't working.  I then asked him a question I think some parents forget to ask, one I have found is very important having worked in a middle school for almost four years.  "Are you innocent in this equation?"  You see I know my son and sometimes he doesn't always give me the full story.  This time, I feel like he was finally just exhausted dealing with it on his own.

Bullying is defined as any intentional or unwanted verbal, physical or social behavior among students that involves a real or perceived power imbalance and is repeated or has a potential to be repeated.

It keeps happening daily so I went to Facebook and posted my hurt and frustrations for my child.

To my pleasant surprise, I received comment after comment from other parents who felt the same.  Adults who said this had brought back memories of their own horrible experiences and LOTS of words of encouragement and support.  I was even contacted by the School Guidance Counselor who reassured me she was on top of it and my son would be taken care of.

I didn't post for drama but more for awareness.  New Beginnings offers awesome programs in our community that help kids overcome bullying and teach bystander intervention.

Bullying is a problem and all too often it is overlooked, swept under the rug, or just thought of as kids just being kids.  We must be proactive and prepare our kids to report bullying, step up and speak out, and have confidence in who they are and most importantly we must LOVE our kids through these times.

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