Bullying. It will happen to 70 to 80 percent of all current students in the United States by the time they graduate high school. 90 percent of these incidents will take place in public. Bullying affects everybody: the victim, the perpetrator, the audience, the families. It is a far-reaching problem that leaves a wake of insecurity and hurt in its path. This is a weighty issue. I was bullied from 6th to 12th grade at school but by the grace of God came out stronger with a deeper relationship with my family and the Lord. My parents played a vital part in helping me deal with the aftermath of bullying. You too are a key player in your child’s struggle with bullying.
Respect Your Children from a Young Age
One of the things I am most thankful for is the way my parents respected me at such a young age. They would do simple things like include me on big family decisions, ask me what I thought about a work situation, or something as little as let me choose dinner once a week. At school I felt like I was worthless, but my parents added value to who I was by respecting me and giving me a voice in the little things. This strengthened our relationship and built confidence in me at the same time.
Pray for the Situation
Prayer is, hands down, the most powerful force on the planet. If you want to help make a situation right for your child, pray for them. We serve the God of the impossible. Do not underestimate the power of what prayer can do in anything. My parents prayed for me and finally in High School I formed two unlikely friendships with two guys who had bullied me years earlier. Last year they stood as my groomsmen in my wedding. Prayer works! Here is the kicker; you need to also cover their bully in prayer. You cannot stay angry with someone you are praying for. The anger is justified but not fruitful.
Make Your House the Party House
Host the best after-school hang outs and parties at your house. Contrary to Hollywood’s dramatization of the American school, you don’t need drugs or alcohol to do it. I have found that if you have good food, take interest in the kids’ lives, and go out of your way to serve them, they will be more responsive to you in the one on one times and genuinely want to keep coming back. My friends loved being at my parent’s house—there were video games and good food! It was a safe and fun place where they knew my parents loved them.
Jesus is Lookin’ Out
Remember that we serve a big God who has plans for your child. There are moments where intervening is necessary but don’t limit what God wants to do in your child’s life by stepping in at every turn. God will take care of your child because he or she is His child too. Create an atmosphere where your child wants to come to you. This comes by listening when they speak and waiting until they are finished to give your wisdom. Be the strong parent, but listen with compassion.
Kramer Rasmussen grew up in Seattle, WA, spending a few years in Missouri in between. He graduated from Northwest University with degrees in Pastoral Ministries and Biblical Studies, spending a month touring in Israel. He grew and pastored a Junior High ministry in a local church for four years and now pastors at a church in the heart of Seattle, working primarily with children and youth. He recently married his college sweetheart; they live in Kirkland, WA.
See Kramer at The Revolve Tour: this is Love
Bring your teen girls to this unforgettable event, coming to cities across the U.S. this Spring. See the schedule and the rest of the lineup here.