It’s common to hear of children that are different from the others being bullied. It happens everyday all over the world even at the kindergarden school where my girl goes to these days.

She came home a month ago to tell me that there were lots of kids that refused to play with her at school. I asked her why. She said she didn’t know why but they all said she wasn’t their friend.

This same story was echoed by all my friends who were outsiders from the USA or Israel or Canada. Their children were picked on or bullied or shunned because they were different.

My daughter had been going to a Muslim/Mixed pre-school and never had a problem with bullying. She even had a boyfriend there who she mentions still often to tease me. She laughs as I start my rant about needing to learn how to prioritize what is important in life…marriage not being one of them. She laughs as her objective is to tease me.

Since moving to one of the two Jewish schools in Casablanca, her class size has shrunk from 20 students to 8 students. This is because the Jewish community is around 2000 with the majority being outside in Israel or France.

The community is small, marginalized in the country, fearful and afraid due to discrimination and threats of violence. Because of this, kids as well as their adult parents are a bit fearful and judgmental to outsiders. I understand why so when my daughter came home with problems with her fellow students, I explained that she doesn’t have to be friends with everyone, she can choose her friends and that some people aren’t as open as her and to not take it personally and gave her some tools of how to respond and react. She immediately took and utilized my advice and become stronger and forged friendships by ignoring others reactions and fears.

Through her experience I have asked myself what makes some kids bullies and others compassionate and sensitive and I don’t frankly know the answer completely.

I never bullied as a child as I also managed to never get bullied. I had a mind of my own from a young age and had compassion for others perhaps because I saw a lot of sadness.

My daughter’s father who went to the same school as my girl used to get bullied and when he became bigger took it upon himself to protect everyone else.

Another ex who I would describe as an emotional man plagued with narcasism today was a bully in his youth. Even though we shouldn’t judge others for childhood mistakes, I did judge him, thinking that anyone who beat or bullied others in order to fit in must have something fundamentally wrong with them because the idea of bullying anyone disturbed me.

I hope more research comes out in the future to explain what happens to bullies in later life but plenty of research has been done about those who have been bullied, and it’s effects are long lasting and devastating and as a parent it is worrisome.

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