My oldest son is a very nice kid. In the fourth grade he was bullied. The kids were sorting out the pecking order and anyone willing to pick on someone else was safe. If someone refused to turn and be a pick-ee, then they remained a picked-on. It was a terrible year for our family and I was heartbroken and angry at the same time. After that year things settled down but he never really developed close friendships with anyone at his school.
This year, our move to San Diego County from the OC has been wonderful for him. A fresh start that we were all praying for. He has really great buddies from school and from church. The boy has more than made up for his lackluster social life leading up to now. We are thrilled for him.
But today he came home and told me that a kid at school threw him up against a fence and punched him in the stomach. What???!
The story goes like this: Kid borrows money from Isaac. Kid doesn't pay Isaac back. Isaac continues to ask for his money back. Isaac gives Kid "the eye" and rubs his fingers together (symbolizing "you owe me money"). Kid says repeatedly that he will not pay Isaac back. Turns out Kid borrows from everyone at the school and doesn't pay anyone back. He cusses and isn't very nice.
Today the Kid finally got mad at Isaac for asking for his money back. Kid pushed and punched Isaac.
Here was my mom response: Isaac you have no idea what hurts are going through Kid's mind and in his life that make him mean. Maybe Kid is poor and needs that two dollars he spent on a poweraid more than you need it. Maybe Kid's mother doesn't love him like your mother loves you. Just let it go and try to be nice to Kid because he is hurting inside.
This was my pastor husband's response: Punch Kid in the nose if he ever pushes you again. He won't expect it and he will get a reputation for being the kid who got punched in the nose and will never be a bully again. And he deserves it.
This is what happened...Isaac said to Kid..."you better leave me alone or I will get my 8th grade friends to back me up." Eighth grade friends (Isaac is the only 7th grader in an 8th grade class) start walking towards Kid. The shortest 8th grader (let's call him Stanley) makes threatening hand in fist gesture and says "you just messed with the wrong 7th grader..." Another 8th grader tells short 8th grader, "You are sooo not intimidating, Stanley (again, the name has been changed to protect Stanley)." Kid runs away and later in the day Isaac is giving Kid the eye again. (You'd think he would be afraid of the guy).
He was laughing while he told me the story today in the car. Whether this happens again, or if he punches the kid in the nose or prays for him or becomes best friends with him, I am just so happy he is not feeling beat down by it. I am not even going to make this profound...I just want to visualize short 8th grade Stanley (shorter than most 7th graders according to my son) doing the fist in hand motion..."you messed with the wrong 7th grader, Kid..."
1 Corinthians 1:25