It's not always easy to stand up to a bully, but when this mom's little boy did exactly that, she couldn't have been prouder.
All of us know that it's important to stick up for those who can't do it for themselves, especially those who are vulnerable or weak. But it's not always easy to. However, sometimes the most unexpected people show us how to stand up for what's right—no matter how it makes you look. In a viral Love What Matters blog post about how she discovered her son had protected his friend, mother-of-three Katie Bryant shared what it was like to recognize how "strong and fierce" her son was.
Describing the situation, she wrote: I was walking in to pick my middle son up from a drop-off kindergarten science class, toddler on my hip, another child in the class across the hall, I turned the corner and took in the situation. On one side of the class, there was a crying child, holding his face and looking embarrassed. On the other side of the room, my child, arms folded across his chest, eyebrows touching in the middle, a teacher squatting down trying to talk to him. I didn’t even wonder what had happened. Of course, it seems as if Bryant's child was the bully in this scenario, but this perspective is sure to change when you keep reading.
She continued: His face relaxed a little when he saw me, I like to think he knew I’d have his back. The teacher was asking him what I felt like were the wrong questions, ‘Did you hit him?’ It’s important to look for the why not just the what. ‘Mommy, they sent us to the bathroom.' The teacher interjected that they send the kids in groups of three to the bathroom for safety. [He went on], ‘Right, so they sent us in there when that big kid over there (gesturing to the [sniffling] boy in the corner who now looked deeply guilty) starting pushing the little kid.’ Looking at the kids he was pointing to I could see ‘the big kid’ was easily a head and a half taller than my child and easily outweighed the smallest kid by 30 pounds. ‘He pushed him again and again and I told him to stop! I couldn’t go get a teacher and leave the little boy to get hurt. So, I punched him, hard.’ The "big kid's" parents, who were also in the classroom, asked if this was true. After he responded in the affirmative, everyone recognized what had happened.
Bryant's son stood up for someone who couldn't protect themselves. And that is an important quality to have. While she didn't condone the use of violence, she was proud of her son for sticking up for his friend. I don’t teach solving problems with fists and I believe in alerting an adult if possible, the mother stated. However, sometimes it’s not possible. In that case, if they feel like they or someone is being harmed it’s okay to stand for what’s right. It’s honorable to fight for the underdog. I do not apologize for teaching them to stand up for someone else. This broken world needs more people to stand for the oppressed... My son is strong and fierce, but he is also one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. He would drop everything and give the same kid he just decked a hug if he felt he needed it. These are the kids who grow up to defend the silenced. These are the kids who say something when they see your daughter being harassed at a college party. These are the kids who step in when your kid gets bullied in a locker room. These are the kids who grow up to walk their co-worker through the dark parking garage late at night. The little boy's response may not have been perfect, but it was well-intended. Bryant's son will grow up to be the do-gooder our communities need and that is, ultimately, what matters.