When Our Kids Are Bullied… & Mom Sees It.

When Our Kids Are Bullied... & Mom Sees It | The Brown Tribe

She was having so much fun climbing the rock wall at the park, in fact it’s the only thing she wanted to do and she did it over and over and over again. Then he saw her having fun on her own. He looked at me and smiled a sinister smile and then proceeded to block her way up the wall and tried to stomp on her hands. She whined but didn’t cry.

He wouldn’t stop until I approached him and asked him to let her get to the top. This same scenario happened repeatedly until about the 4th or 5th time when I scolded him. He then ran off and never bothered Claire again.

This is not a new scene at a playground. This happens nearly every time we go to the park, any park and though Claire may not be the target of said bully, someone is. There is always a child who exerts his own will onto others and often looks for those who are mild mannered to do so with.

I love watching my kids play. I enjoy seeing them make new friends and run around giggling. So when I saw her being bullied, I immediately got defensive of my daughter. My heart literally hurt for her and I was automatically on alert. I know my “justice” emotions can run high sometimes and there’s always hesitation in emotionally charged situations, but I realized that I’ve never had to deal with bullies of my kids before.

So what happens when we (moms) see our children being bullied? What should we do? Honestly, I don’t know that I have the answer. I’ll share what I did and what others have told me they did which seemed to work.

1. Kindly talk to the child who’s being a bully and ask for appropriate behavior.
I know my own kids, who are expected to treat others kindly, do not always do so. Granted I am usually watching them so as soon as I see them treat someone unkindly I go to them and correct it myself so that others don’t have to. However, on the off-chance that I didn’t see something, I’d want another mom to speak kindly to my kids, especially on the first offense.

2. If the behavior keeps happening, talk with him/her more firmly.
In the above situation with Claire, I scolded him. I instructed him that his actions toward Claire are not acceptable and that he needed to go find someone else to play with. In his mind, he may have been “playing”, or trying to, even though her response should’ve told him otherwise. So I told him, firmly but not mean.

3. Ask where his/her parent is.
This was my next step should the boy not stop antagonizing my daughter. I was going to tattle on him. The reaction of his mom would’ve told me whether she accepted his behavior or not, and also what may be influencing his behavior. This information would help me ascertain how to proceed if I needed to.

4. If the other parent is either apathetic to their child’s behavior or unwilling to address it, then I will remove my child from the environment.
We would have left the park and played elsewhere. I won’t stand by and let my child be bullied. I will stick up for her but if it’s goes unheeded then it’s no skin off my back to find another activity that will allow my child some peace while she plays.

5. Follow up with your own child.
Ask questions about what happened, let him/her tell you how they felt in that situation. Identify with their perspective, be empathetic to their role. I’ve been bullied before, I can relate my own feelings to her so she knows that I know how she feels. Talk about why God wants us to be kind to other people, reiterate the values that you want your child to display, whether or not other people are nice back.

6. Pray with them!
Pray that God’s love for other people would permeate through their hearts and that they would treat others kindly despite how they are treated. Also pray that they’d see their worth and that their perspective would come from what God thinks of them rather than from how other people treat them. Pray for the other child, the bully, to be redeemed from the mindset of bullying by recognizing the love God has for them and that they’d turn away from their sin of hurting people with their words and actions and turn to Christ who can set them free from sin. Pray for all parents involved as well. When our kids see us going to God on behalf of their hurts, they learn to do likewise.

I would truly love to hear what other moms are handling this. Please share your story with me! How do you handle situations where you see bullying of your kids happen? What has been the response of the bully?
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The Rewards of Toil – I’m a Guest Elsewhere Today!

Rewards of Toil for Raising Up Stones | The Brown Tribe

I am so excited for the partnerships I am cultivating through writing and networking. Cassandra from Raising Up Stones has become a favorite. You may remember her from here before – she shared her wisdom and words with us on her guest post with The Brown Tribe called, Have You Found Your Support Sister?

I’m so thankful that she’s asked me to share some words on her blog today.  Here’s a little teaser…

“Cresting over the ridge brought the most wonderful scene. Before me lay a vast meadow dotted with every color of the rainbow, the open space was bordered by both coniferous and deciduous trees – the panorama caused me to catch my breath and silently praise God for this quiet moment of perfection.

It is moments like these that remind me of the vast greatness of our Savior.  It is also moments like these that remind me of the fact that in order to get there I had to labor hard…”

It was a really fun and reflecting post to write, since it’s based on one of my most favorite memories of hiking through the Rocky Mountains. To read more, please go check it out here!

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Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings: Weekly "Life" Organization | The Brown TribeBible Study:
1 John & The Excellent Wife

Memory Verse:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:1-5)

Husband Encouragement:
* Pray for him – this week specifically praying for his influence over the kids & increased closeness between them all.
* Help the transition of meals, etc to his new 9/80 work schedule

Train Them Up:
IAIN – He’s starting to really miss his pacis and has been crying for them a lot. I am trying to do more puzzles with him and help him figure things out while working on gross and fine motor skills. He’s definitely becoming a little bossy so I am working on him with that, as well as his terrible tantrums when he doesn’t get what he wants – talking through selfishness – and he’s also learning that lying is not acceptable either. He wants to do everything Claire wants to do – everything. This is adorable and presents some challenges as well.
CLAIRE – Training her to be a helper around the house and take responsibility to care for our stuff. She’s doing great at getting ready for the day first thing in the morning, especially on preschool days. We are focusing on helping her color, draw, etc more so she can build hand strength and holding a pencil/crayon correctly. I’m working with her on not screaming at her brother when he won’t leave her alone – using kind words and tone of voice.

New Habit of the Month:
I’m taking a rest from any specific focus for the month of October.

MUST DO:
* Menu planning and grocery shopping
* MOPS stuff
* Blog planning & brainstorming for upcoming guest posts I’ll be writing
* Finalize upcoming essential oil class
* Daylight savings time ends on Sunday

Menu:
Mon – TBD
Tues – 15 Bean Soup, French Bread
Weds – Cranberry Pork Roast, Applesauce, Broccoli
Thurs – Taco Pie, Salad
Fri – Hot Dogs, Jello, Fresh Veggies
Sat – Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Salad, Carrots
Sun – Leftovers

FUN THINGS!
* Library to pick new books and see Karen
* Playdate with Gennie & kids; watch her kids while she gets her hair done!!
* Awana for Claire
* Time with Ashley P & kids
* MOPS parade through nursing homes
* Fire pit on Halloween??

3 things I’m thankful for today:
1. Being able to see family and celebrate Marshall’s influence and life pastoring their church that he is resigning from. We enjoy being able to participate in things like these!

2. A husband who leads, and serves. He’s amazing! He leads me well, even if my flesh fights it sometimes God definitely uses Paul to draw me toward godliness.

3. Our kids are really good kids. They are funny, smart, adorable, and I love seeing God grow their character so that I can see their compassion for others, desire to help serve others, and loving, sweet nature. I’m so thankful that Honey Pat & Papa Don were so blessed by them and they did so great while we were gone. It is a wonderful thing to hear!

Prayer Requests:

1. We’re fighting colds. At first I thought it might have been allergies, but given all the traveling we’ve done lately to different weather systems and just busyness that wears us down, as well as waking up with congestion, etc. Please pray that we’d feel better and kick these colds – specifically the kids, when coughs can affect their breathing. We are starting oils as soon as we get home!

2. A dear friend of mine is going through some big and heartbreaking things within her marriage. Pray for the Lord to strengthen & encourage her. Pray for her to turn her eyes to Christ during this rough spot and that she’d put every effort to love and serve her husband. Pray that her husband would sacrifice his habit of pornography and repent, that he’d come to Jesus and that ultimately they would see restoration and forgiveness in their marriage. My heart breaks for them right now.

3. Pray that we’d continue to seek ways in which to serve, love and build relationships with our neighbors. We really want to see some good friendships with people on our street.

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The Importance of Practicing Sabbath as a Family

The Importance of Practicing Sabbath as a Family | The Brown Tribe

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” — Exodus 20:8-11

As a single Christian woman, I practiced Sabbath (or a day of rest) every week. It was “scheduled” into my calendar so that I wasn’t tempted to see a free day to fill up with obligations and commitments.  This time was spent in solitude, studying the Bible and reading other books, being in nature and reflecting on all that God has done for me, as well as connecting with other people. Paul helped me solidify what Sabbath looked like when we were dating & newly married as well.

As life has ebbed and flowed and my roles have changed, it has been a struggle to keep the Sabbath as a day of rest. I’ve often fought these changes, wanting to keep the structure of what Sabbath used to look like for me and trying to re-attain that ideal.

Especially as a mother now, where toddlers provide never-ending activity, discipline, and opportunities to be sanctified, I struggle with knowing what our Sabbath looks like sometimes. The pressures of needing to get the housework done, feeding my family, doing all the unfinished projects and organizing around the house, being in ministry, and still finding time to study the Bible, write, and resting is a constant battle for me.

I need to remember that as these seasons of life transition so will my practice of resting. This is my stage in life right now, it’s chaotic and exhausting, and that’s ok – there’s grace extended for me – but I still need to rest and my family needs rest.

Here are some things God has taught me about how Sabbath can be beneficial as a family:

1. It requires us to slow down & enjoy one another. We can simply unplug and play together. We take walks, we play games, we go to the park, we have fun. As a family, our activities for “rest” are different than taking it easy and reading books, though we do that sometimes – mostly the kids’ books – but the benefit of simply being together as a family far outweighs the type of activities we do.

2. It’s a day of ZERO (unnecessary) work. Obviously we will be required to “work” in parenting our toddlers. We will never get “time off” from doing that so discipline & teaching come up each day. However, I do not do housework, no cleaning or fixing or organizing. I don’t cook any meals, we eat leftovers. We don’t work on necessary projects like fixing things, or yard work. This requires us find time throughout the week to get these things done, it requires us to use our time wisely. It also requires us to give ourselves grace in our “obligations”. There is freedom from performing when you’re motivated to honor God and connect as a family instead of getting tasks done.

3. It’s a witness. The world often looks at me like I’m crazy when I deny putting an activity on our calendar, even if it’s a really good one, because I want to guard our time and ensure that we are resting. This act of guarding our time has provided a lot of opportunity to talk about why we choose to do it.

4. It teaches my kids that obeying God is more important than pleasing man.  They are able to see we decline certain things in order to simply obey the Lord. We are able to refresh our spirits so that we can do those things later on without feeling burnt out.

5. It can still be consistent, even with young kids. Currently our time of Sabbath is on Sundays. It’s the day that we worship and spend the rest of the day with no agenda or obligations. Every once in a while this changes because we’re on a trip or something necessary comes up, but we make every effort to keep it consistent. As our kids grow, it will be easier to be consistent as they will be less “needy” for constant attention and direction. They will also learn to schedule things around a day of rest because it will be the same day every week. We are establishing the expectation at an early age so that there is already a habit of doing it as they grow.

6. It’s a sacrifice. There is wisdom in saying NO to more things to do, yet sometimes those events we say no to are things we would really like to do. It’s a sacrifice of our flesh to make our family’s reconnection and rest a priority. However, I’d rather we make sure we get enough rest and rejuvenation than pack our schedules full with good things that wear us out over time. Protecting my kids from burn-out, and myself & husband as well, requires wisdom in choosing how to make our routines and organize our calendar. I don’t know what Sabbath will look like when my kids get older, and potentially have activities or sports on Sundays. But we are already talking about what boundaries we may be making in the future. Obeying and bringing glory to God requires sacrifice. It is in these gifts that God provides us with the conversations about godly things with our kids and enables us to simply enjoy being together and to carry on through the next week before we rest again.

Does your family practice Sabbath (a day of rest)? How do you do it? Have you found some helpful tips you’d like to share in finding that time together?
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Monday Meanderings

Monday Meanderings: Weekly "Life" Organization | The Brown Tribe

Bible Study:
1 John & The Excellent Wife

Memory Verse:
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:9-14)

Husband Encouragement:
* Pray for him – this week specifically praying the above passage, Colossians 1:9-14, over him.
* Let him grill something this week and try a new recipe

Train Them Up:
IAIN – We are finding all his pacis, wherever they are, and will be taking them away or cutting the tips off or whatever so that he knows he doesn’t need them anymore. He did just fine without one for Honey Pat and Papa Don last week while we were gone so we know he can do it, he just doesn’t want to. We’re also going through the “speaking respectfully to people” training as well instead of whining or demanding things. He’s such a funny and joyful little boy and he’s definitely got a hilarious personality, we’re just trying to hone down those abrasive parts.
CLAIRE – She loves Awana and preschool, she asks to do school at home and for us to read to her a lot. She’s starting to want to teach Iain so she’ll say, “Iain, watch me do it and then you try,” when they are playing. She also tries to be his mommy still so we’re hampering down on that habit but encouraging her nurturing character.

New Habit of the Month:
I’m taking a rest from any specific focus for the month of October.

MUST DO:
* Menu planning and grocery shopping
* Laundry & clean house

Menu:
Mon – Lasagna, Garlic Bread, Salad, Fruit
Tues – Breakfast for dinner: Eggs, Sausage, Crescent Rolls
Weds – Grilled Steaks, Salad, Sweet Potato Fries, Fruit
Thurs – 15 Bean Soup, French Bread
Fri – Leftovers
Sat – TBD
Sun – TBD

FUN THINGS!
* Playdate with Gennie & kids
* 1×1 coffee with Anna
* EWC (Excellent Wives Club)

3 things I’m thankful for today:
1. Such a fabulous vacation to Playa del Carmen with my husband to celebrate our 5th anniversary (8 months ago). We truly had a blast and came back really relaxed, excited to see the kids, and ready for the next 5 years before another anniversary vacation.

2. A husband who leads, and serves. He’s amazing! He leads me well, even if my flesh fights it sometimes God definitely uses Paul to draw me toward godliness.

3. Our kids are really good kids. They are funny, smart, adorable, and I love seeing God grow their character so that I can see their compassion for others, desire to help serve others, and loving, sweet nature. I’m so thankful that Honey Pat & Papa Don were so blessed by them and they did so great while we were gone. It is a wonderful thing to hear!

Prayer Requests:

1. I’ve got some test results that I’m hoping to find out tomorrow. Just pray for God’s will and for wisdom in what’s next.

2. Paul started a Mission Prayer Night twice a month at our house, which is happening tonight. Pray in conjunction with us for God’s Kingdom to be expanded throughout the world and that through these prayer nights, we would be able to identify others in our congregation who have a heart for missions in any capacity.

3. Paul’s parents are at the brink of a major life change – his dad is retiring from being a pastor in a small community for 25 years. He will preach his last sermon there this weekend and they are moving this week to a different community. I am so excited for this endeavor for them, but I can imagine the nerves that may go with it. Pray for wisdom over them as they seek to engage a new church family (not as the pastor) and that these exciting changes will be ways in which God shows His faithfulness and grace to them in new ways.

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