My husband and I recently had to deal with the heart-wrenching experience of watching our son be bullied, emotionally and physically, at school for nearly a month. This was an incredibly challenging experience for us as parents. We worked closely with the principal and teacher, yet the bullying continued. The challenge for us as parents was being an advocate for our child, and simultaneously extending grace for this young boy. Especially because we have a son who is typically labeled as “spirited,” a son who does not possess the skill of whispering, is so active that his pedometer said he reached 10,000 steps by 9:15am recess, has had stiches on his face 4 times because he is constantly bouncing around, who has more than once embarrassed us in public because he hasn’t developed social filtering—we wanted to extend grace. We didn’t know the “bully’s” story. However, we felt a profound responsibility to be our child’s advocate, as this is our mission, obligation and honor. To make a long story short, the situation has nearly been resolved. Learning lesson #1,236,789 was that it is always important to balance responsibility with grace. The question that kept weighing on my heart was, “How would you want Isaiah to be treated if he was the bully?” While this was an important question for me, my husband and I were very firm and unyielding in our “zero tolerance” efforts. How do you respond to life situations? Are you heated in your reactions? Do you try to put yourself in the “offender’s shoes?
One committed to processing truth, finding light in the darkness, savoring the simple, and living fully.