Life Lesson #1 – I do not have the power to control what other people do or how they feel.
Life Lesson #10 – I do not have the power to control what other people do or how they feel. Neither does Teacher.
Life Lesson #123 – I do not have the power to control what other people do or how they feel. Neither does Mom.
Life Lesson #563 through #1,010 – I do not have the power to control what other people do or how they feel. Period.
Until you really, really understand this lesson, you’ll keep learning it into eternity. If you’re emotionally bright, you might really get it and get to start learning something else after your second marriage in your late 30s. (Wait, that’s just me.) If your daughter is really, really emotionally bright, she might actually get it in the 3rd grade, which will spare her the painful lessons around boyfriends in her adolescent years. A mom can dream can’t she?
Bullies are there to teach us this Life Lesson: I do not have the power to control what other people do or how they feel.
Happily, they are also there to teach us Life Lesson #2: I have the power to control what I do and how I feel.
If you’re alive, then you know how tricky it is to control how you feel in the face of a 3rd grade pack of girls who are screaming and running away from you every time you look in their direction. Still, it’s a prime opportunity to learn these lessons. Without this experience, a person might walk around for 50 more years believing they can control other people’s feelings by changing their own behavior and frankly, that’s the recipe for every abusive relationship ever experienced by any woman.
In other words: while it sucks to watch and you really want to stop it, as a parent, you really, really want to help your kid learn this lesson ASAP with the 3rd grade Mean Girls. Before the lesson becomes a battering boyfriend or a manipulative adolescent pressuring her to have sex. You really, really want her to fully grasp Lesson #27: I have the Power to control what I do and how I feel.
So that if that guy shows up , she already knows “he’s lying when he says he will love me IF I have sex with him,” because she already has learned, “I can not control how another person behaves or how he feels. So if he doesn’t love me now, he won’t love me then.”
So, rather than telling your kid you’ll figure out a way to stop the bullying, drill this into their heads: Honey, you can’t control how another person acts or how they feel. You just don’t have that power and neither do I. What you can control is how you react to their behavior and how you feel. You could let yourself feel bad about this, or you could decide that you only want loyal and kind friends, and these kids obviously don’t know how to do that yet. You could chase them and try to make them like you, but that will likely make them meaner. You could just ignore them, and that will likely make it less interesting for them. You can only control how you let this effect you. You don’t have to let it make you unhappy.