Mandi Castle and her six-year-old daughter were walking home from school one day when her daughter opened up about being bullied by some classmates.
“Mom, I got bullied today,” the young girl admitted.
“Bullied” was a word that Mandi didn’t like — she thought it was overused and thrown around, and she definitely had a hard time thinking that her sassy, independent little girl could possibly be bullied.
“So I questioned her a little,” Mandi wrote in a blog post, aptly titled ‘Why I Told My Daughter to Kick Your Son in the Balls’. “She tends to be dramatic, and by the time we got home, she said some boys were chasing her on the playground. I told her not to play with them anymore if they bugged her, and that was that. We went on with our day.”
At dinner time, Mandi’s daughter brought up the incident again — during dinner, the family goes through the highs and lows of each day. When it was her daughter’s turn to name a ‘low,’ she said that some boys bullied her that day.
Since this was the second time she brought it up, Mandi probed harder and asked her daughter to tell her exactly what happened.
“She (said) that some boys were hitting her butt on the playground, and when she told them to stop, they called her chubby and laughed at her,” Mandi noted. “That’s right. Two boys put their hands on my daughter, and when she told them to stop, they called her fat and made fun of her. Let that sink in for a second.”
At this point, Mandi could feel the rage boiling inside of her — but she squelched it long enough to ask her daughter what she did next.
“She said she told the teacher, and the teacher told them to stop, but they didn’t. The more I listened, the angrier I got. She showed me on my own butt what they were doing, and it can only be described as groping, but she didn’t understand that. BECAUSE SHE IS SIX!”
They discussed how inappropriate it is for boys to do that and Mandi commended her daughter for doing the right thing by telling the teacher.
But her daughter lowered her head and admitted that she planned to “hide at recess” the following day. Mandi pulled her daughter close to her and told her, bluntly, that she will not let two boys ruin her free time nor take her fun away.
“They are breaking the rules. If they do that tomorrow, you say ‘Keep your hands off of me.’ If they do not stop, you tell the teacher. If they continue to bother you, you turn around and step on their feet, or kick them in the shins or their business, and if you get in trouble, go ahead and tell your teacher to give me a call.”
Mandi explained that yes, her daughter might end up in the principal’s office, but they would deal with it if they had to.
“I made sure she knew that she was empowered to defend herself,” Mandi said. And since boys learn from adults, it’s not innate that when a girl says no, they immediately go to calling her “fat” or “ugly.”
“This is learned behaviour. Your job as a mother and as a father is to make sure your sons (and daughters) know better. I can tell you that if I learned that my son had touched a girl the way these boys touched my daughter or spoke to another child the way they did, there would be some serious consequences at our home. He knows better. He’s been taught to respect all people, all women, your daughters, so if he steps out of line there, I want to know,” Mandi concludes, noting that if anyone puts their hands on her child, they won’t get away with it because she will defend herself as best as she could.
“Parents, teach your sons (and daughters) that they are not entitled to touch anyone anywhere, that my daughter’s backside is not for their hands.”
As she penned this blog, the Dallas-based mom mentioned seeing a previous article that her friend Ashley Fuchs wrote titled, “The Reason Why My Daughter May Punch Your Son.” Mandi hoped that she wouldn’t have to deal with bullying for at least a few more years, so the stark reality of what her daughter told her was a wakeup call.
Many readers empathized with Mandi’s advice about females defending themselves, and they opened up about similar experiences their children have faced:
“My daughter was bullied by two other children at school,” one reader commented. “I told her to tell the teacher, and just leave the area. Take it once, take it twice then hit them twice as hard as you can the next time. Result? They never touch you again. She got in trouble for doing that the first time, but never again. I explained to the principal that she was acting under my direction — that got results. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to ‘turn the other cheek’ with a big fist.”
Another user opened up about being bullied as a child: “I am a grown woman who was bullied her entire young life and I can tell you that the longer it goes on, the more intense it can get. It’s taken me decades to understand it and get past it. In my opinion, “bullying” is a nicer word for physical, verbal and emotional abuse; even if the perpetrator is a child.”