We had an incident at the pool the other day.
It was a classic case of Bullying 101 accompanied by a misdemeanor of There's 20 of us and only 3 of You so Fear This.(Maybe not that many but it felt like it.)
I despise confrontation but I hate bullying even more. Sometimes you just have to put your big girl pants on and be the grown-up. (even when you want to strangle a punk group of kids. that have a wicked attitude. and are proud of it.)
The lifeguards and manager got involved and things were resolved quickly- thank goodness.
So glad that's behind us!
But then we went back to the pool today and guess who was there?
Yep, the Get-a-long Gang.
I spotted them immediately and thought-
What do I do now??
A story from camp flashed into my mind and I knew what I had to do.
I had to talk to these children. Because that's what they were- children. Not gang members (right?) or drug dealers (please??).
They were kids.
I was shaking. Would they listen to me? (God walked me over there and put the words in my mouth. Yes. He. did. Thank you, Lord.)
I re-introduced myself. (Our last meeting involved looks that could kill as they stomped by my pool chair and then the ever popular spitting in the pool. Classy.)
I told the group of 7 that this was all a big misunderstanding. There were a lot of people at the pool the other day with tons of talking and confusion.
And then I told them my summer camp story. The one where I stared daggers at a girl. Her whole cabin was scared of me! Truth. Hey, she'd been flirting with a guy I liked. And he had flirted back- with both of us! Hiss. In the end (after I explained my side of the story to her) we became fabulous friends. That poor boy never knew what hit him! In fact, she found me on Facebook not too long ago.:)
At this point, the teenage big sister started listening. She knew all about this kind of story.;)
Then I let these kids tell me their side of the story. (Yes, it was ridiculous but that's not the point here.) Perhaps this is what they wanted all along? Just to be heard.
The story didn't end with a friendship, but it did end in peace. We had a fun day, no one was bullied and I got to read my book. Thumbs way UP!:)