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What Do I Say When My Child is Made Fun of?

Kimberly Muhtar explaining what to say when your child is made fun of

What do I say when my child is made fun of? What do I do if my child is being bullied?

“I can’t believe I have to see your ugly face two days in a row.”  That was what one boy said to my daughter.  He just walked right up to her out of the blue and said those words.

You know what she thought? “Wow, that must have taken a lot of courage to walk right up to me and say that to my face.”

What?!  Mama!  That is what we are here for!  Grooming our children for maturity, to not take offence, to believe the best about another person, and to choose wisely whom they call their friends.

It was almost a year later when my daughter told me of this incident.  I wanted to get up my Mama Bear punching fists and go talk to that boy and his Mama!  I gave her high fives and cheers for her mature response instead. 

All kidding aside, we have all experienced a bully.  At some time, most all of us have been made fun of.  And now it is your child who is being made fun of.  What do you do?  What do you tell them? It’s important how you respond when your child is bullied.  You can think right, speak right, and respond right so that you empower your child should they face a bully in the future. 

That’s the goal – empowering your children.  Find out how in this episode of the Renewed Mama Podcast.

Other People’s Perceptions

First of all, help your child understand that it comes down to other people’s perceptions.

What is perception?  It is the way that someone sees, understands, and interprets something.

People view life through their own unique lens. It does not matter the age, whether you are in school, the workplace, church, or the grocery story, people view life through their own lens. 

We all view the world differently. 

We Can Only Control Our Perceptions

We cannot control other people’s perceptions nor how they behave toward us.  They are fully responsible for themselves just like I am responsible for myself and you are responsible for yourself.

We can’t control what they think of us or what they say to us or whether or not they make fun of us. 

All we can control is our perceptions, our own viewpoint, our own thoughts. 

The question is: Will we find the TRUTH about the bully and the situation we find ourselves in?  Regardless of what someone else says or does, what is the truth here?

TRUTH is Found in WHO They Are and WHOSE They Are

The truth always come back to WHO they are and WHOSE they are?

I know it’s challenging because belonging and being liked is important to young people, but we need to teach our children that what matters most is not what their peers say, not what their teachers say, not even what we say as parents sometimes even though we love our children dearly.  We have all spoken things that we shouldn’t have out of our frustration and overwhelm and our children are on the receiving end of those not nice words.

Our job is to teach them, to write on their hearts, WHO they are and WHOSE they are.  Their identity and who they belong to. Anytime I am struggling with a lie or I feel discouraged, I come back to who I am and Whose I am.

The Truth

I am a child of the most High God, God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son.  I am His daughter.  I am loved by God as much as He loves His Son, Jesus.  John 17:23,26

He is my Abba, Father, Daddy.  Romans 8:15

Because of that, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says about me.  My identity is found in Him and what He says about me.  He calls me Chosen.  Accepted.  Redeemed.  Isaiah 41:9

He sings loves songs over me.  He rejoices over me for good with shouts of joy.  Zephaniah 3:17

He fights for me, and no weapon formed against me will prosper.  Deuteronmy 3:22 and Isaiah 54:17

Mama, He feels the exact same way about you whether you believe in Him and have claimed Him as your Heavenly Father or you feel that you can live life without Him.

Even if you’ve been rejected by your father and mother, the Lord will take you up.  Psalm 27:10

This is how God showed His love among us; He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  I John 4:9-10

I am smart.  I am strong and determined.  I can figure things out.  I can face hard stuff because God will help me.  I am kind and I’ve got a big heart for helping people. 

Who would you say you are, Mama?  Who do you belong to?

So Mama, if there is a bully right now in your child’s life, your number one to-do is to teach them the truth of WHO they are and WHOSE they are.

Who truly cares?

Tell your child that if your classmates truly cared about you, they would not make fun of you.  They would not laugh or joke around.

When someone truly cares, they create a safe place to try, to fail, to get back up and try again.  There is no judgment and no criticism.  Only the freedom to be you and to be accepted for that.

It’s not that they don’t like you.  It’s not that you aren’t worth caring for.  It is just the simple fact that the average person cares first and foremost about themselves and themselves only.

What is good for me?  How do I look?  Will someone talk to me?  Will someone be my friend?  Will I fit in?  Will I belong?

It’s the honest truth.

It is rare and special to find someone who cares and thinks more about other people first than about themselves.  And while we want to be that person who loves and serves others first, our human nature is to think, “What about me?” and to look out for ME first. 

And that is what your classmates were thinking when they made fun of you.  What about me?

They were only thinking about themselves.

They were thinking, “Whew!  Glad that it wasn’t me who was put on the spot.  Glad that it wasn’t me who blanked out.”  And they covered it up with a joke, a giggle, or a tease because they didn’t want others to know what they were thinking.  It is a self-defense tactic.

The truth is: Everyone has a moment where they blank out and forget something.  No big deal.  I won’t take their jokes to heart.

The truth is: Everyone messes up now and then.  Everyone trips.  Most everyone gets toilet paper stuck to their shoe.  Haven’t we all left our pant zipper unzipped? Those skirts get tucked up in our tights and we walk out of the bathroom that way like I did in junior high.

And it’s OK.  We might want to just melt away and die of embarrassment at that moment, but it’s OK.  The sun will rise again tomorrow, and we give ourselves grace even if the rest of junior high or high school doesn’t because we know WHO we are and WHOSE we are.

By the way, if a classmate only thinks about themselves, and has to lift themselves up by putting others down, great.  We just found out who not to choose as a friend.  Sorry, you’re not the friend for me.  It may feel like that rules out everyone in your class but maybe one or two people.  That just might be the reality.  But trying to fit in with that crowd who only thinks about themselves aren’t worth belonging to.

Let’s go find a new friend who truly cares.

Now It’s Your Turn

I sincerely hope that these thoughts and suggest scripts will help you to know what to say to your child the next time that they are made fun of.  Now it’s your turn to teach your child these things and then give them space to work through it, through the hurt or embarrassment.  Check in regularly to see how they are doing, and pray for emotional healing.  They can come out of it stronger, more compassionate, and gracious to others.

Share in the comments how these suggestions help you and your child. Be sure to share anything else you tell your child when they are made fun of so that we can all learn, too.

Reach Out if You Need Help

If you need someone to talk to, reach out to me through the Let’s Chat Contact page, and we’ll hop on a coaching chat together so that we can talk your specific frustrations, what you’ve already tried that isn’t working, and what you can try instead.  We’ll go fruit to root together and help you to think right, to speak right, and to respond right.

You don’t have to do it alone.  It is so much better working through it together. We’ll pick a time to chat that works best for you, and we’ll get you the answer you’ve been praying for.

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