By Honey Good. When our children and grandchildren talk of Santa Claus, they get happy and excited. They talk of jolly Saint Nicholas dressed in red with a white beard and a big chuckling belly full of laughter. The holidays are a wonderful time in a child’s life.
And then there is Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, who was able to lead Santa through the night to our children’s and grandchildren’s homes to leave presents. Why? Because his nose glowed! He was the light in the darkness that allowed Santa to find his way!
Did you realize that Rudolph was bullied? Think of the song, “All of the other reindeers used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.” They didn’t let him join in because he was different with his shiny, red nose!
The message: Rudolph was a little different. The bullies attacked him verbally. Rudolph stepped up to the bullies. Use the example of Rudolph to teach your bullied or bullying child or grandchild. Stories have a way of reaching our children.
Some of us have children and grandchildren who are bullied. I believe the best course of action is to teach your child how to speak up to a bully. It doesn’t seem to help when parents or the teachers do the talking. I think it is up to the child through his or her own words to take on the bully. Seek help for this child. Bullied children can be emotionally damaged and the damage can last a lifetime.
Some of us, unfortunately, have kids who bully others. In this situation, your most important role is to try and determine why the child bullies others. Explain to them that they will meet young people who are different. Do not hold back. Tell them that bullying others is cruel. Ask them how they would feel if they were on the receiving end. If the bullying continues, seek help because this child has emotional problems that can follow him throughout life.
To your child or grandchild who watches the bullying taking place explain to them the importance of having the courage to step up to the plate; that they have the responsibility to help someone in need and that the other kids will respect them and most importantly…they will be proud of themselves.
To you and your families, I wish you the happiest, merriest holiday. I hope the story of Rudolph will bring an unexpected message.