“You aren’t good enough. Go away” with those words my son became a victim of bullying. But he faced the bullies. #YourKidHasGuts
Thank you SmartyPants Vitamins for compensating me for my honest review of the SmartyPants Kids Probiotic Complete Grape. The opinions in this post are mine – and my kids’.
When was the first time you felt totally unprepared and ill-equipped for motherhood? (Other than when you brought your baby home from the hospital).
I’ve had several small incidents throughout the years, but the day I witnessed our oldest son being bullied was when I realized how vulnerable our kids are – and how alone and helpless mothers feel.
We had a fun daily ritual when I came home from work. Right before dinner, we met up walked with the neighborhood kids and their mommies down the street. Our boys (then 5, 3 and an infant) were always the outsiders of the group, I am not sure why – but that’s just how the dynamics were.
Even though they weren’t part of the in-crowd, they still asked every day to go play “with the kids”. Their play time often ended up with Jacob and Jordan toddling around doing their own thing, but perception is reality – and they felt like they were playing WITH the other kids.
On this particular day, the neighborhood kids were to playing soccer. Jacob (5) was no stranger to soccer as he had already played two seasons. However, he hadn’t quite grasped ball-control and he was rather self-conscious around the other kids, but regardless – he was ready to jump in the game… until…
Jacob’s enthusiasm was met with a discouraging wall of neighborhood kids chanting “You can’t play with us. Go away. You aren’t good enough. Go away.”
Jacob was always our sensitive boy, the one who cried at the drop of a hat, refused to wear “the wrong socks” that hurt his feet and God forbid his shirts had “pointy tags” in the neckline. Jacob went through his childhood feeling everything more deeply than his peers.
He developed a stutter around 4 years old – something the neighborhood kids were quick to pick up on – and subsequently mocked and made fun of.
“You you you can’t play with us. Go go go away…” – their taunts became more hurtful as the seconds went by.
Bullying Unleashed Mama Bear:
I had been talking to the neighborhood moms, which was my daily dose of motherhood-bonding, when my ear caught the mocking stuttering chants coming from the four “friends”. I looked across the grass field and saw Jacob, frozen – in front of the kids that formed a wall between him and the soccer goal. Jacob’s face said it all…
I am not sure HOW many seconds it took me to get to Jacob, but my guess is a fraction of a milli-second. I tried desperately not to unleash my primal mama-bear on the four snotty-nosed kids and their moms.
The moms saw something was happening, but none of them reacted – none of them – nothing… They just stood back and let the situation unravel before their eyes.
I wrapped my arms around Jacob and quietly said “let’s get out of here, honey”… with our heads held high, Jacob, Jordan and Jansen and I walked down the sidewalk – towards our house.
Bullying Life Lesson:
The rest of the evening was spent on the couch, holding Jacob in my lap as he sobbed because his “friends” wouldn’t let him play. I still remember comforting Jacob as he said over and over “why won’t they play with me? Why are they making fun of me?”
I tried my best to console and remind him that he has other friends – REAL friends who DO love to play with him – and that we should focus on THOSE relationships going forward.
I kept repeating “tomorrow is a new day” – why I said that, I am not sure, but they were the only words that came to mind.
The next afternoon, Jacob greeted me at the door when I came home from work. Without skipping a beat, he said “let’s go play with the kids today, mama!”
I stopped dead in my tracks! What did the kid just say? Had he forgotten the “episode” from the day before? Was this the same kid who spent all evening and night crying? (Not to mention the tears I shed on his behalf.)
I asked him if he was SURE he wanted to go down there. He smiled and said “Yup, I have some things to say to them!”… My mouth dropped, this was my little sensitive “I can’t wear those socks, they hurt my feet” kid. There he was – ready to face the four kids who had excluded him and mocked his stuttering less than 24 hours ago.
I walked slowly (hesitantly) down the sidewalk, behind a tall (head held high) 5-year-old Jacob. He approached the group of kids playing on the lawn without any delay.
He walked straight up to them and said “Hey, guys! Yesterday, you were NOT nice to me. It hurt my feelings and I didn’t appreciate the things you said. Today is a new day. Today you are going to play soccer with me. Do you hear me?”
Silence… from the kids, from the mommies… the world went silent.
“Do you HEAR me? You are going to play with me today – because it’s a new day and you will NOT be mean to me again! Okay?”
The four flabbergasted kids shrugged their shoulders, mumbled “okay…” and then started to play soccer – WITH JACOB.
That took guts! Our kid showed incredible courage, resolve and straight up “GUTS” – and I couldn’t have been prouder.
So much of childhood requires kids to prove to the world that they have guts… from facing a class full of new faces on the first day of school, performing in sports or music and learning how to navigate the social aspects of childhood. None of those things are easy and they all require a healthy dose of “guts”…
Which is why we, as a family, take good care of our kids’ guts/ stomach/ digestive system. If their insides aren’t performing at maximum capacity, how can we expect them to do their best in the classroom, on the playground and on the sports field?!
When our kids feel healthy, inside and out, they are able to handle the curve balls that life throws at them.
Our kids love their Smarty Pants Probiotics because they a delicious and easy to chew.
As a mom, I am thrilled to know that these gummies are completely free of junk and the quality of the probiotics is higher than most other products on the market.
Each serving (per 2 gummies):
- 4 billion CFUs are delivered
- is 99% survivable in stomach acid
- provides a healthy balance of gut bacteria and digestive health
- contains clinically-proven Wellmune® prebiotic immune support
- vegetarian and non-GMO
When I say “free of junk” this is what I mean:
• No Synthetic Colors
• No Artificial Sweeteners
• No Artificial Flavors
• No Artificial Preservatives
• No High Fructose Corn Syrup
• No GMOs
• No Gluten
• No Tree Nuts
• No Peanuts
• No Dairy
Every morning, we start our day with a healthy breakfast, our Smarty Pants Probiotics and a pep talk in the car about being kind to others and standing up for ourselves. It truly DOES take guts to be a kid today… Our kids deserve a fighting chance against germs – and bullies.
How do you support your child’s guts?!