Bullying and our Military Children

I am a mom.  Mom of a senior in high school, a 3rd grader, a 1st grader, and a toddler.

My 3rd grader is a bit on the small side.  He’s never been on the ‘charts’ and we have even been to a specialist just to be sure all is well.  All is well, medically, and his stature has been chalked up to genetics and that is a-ok with me.  However, already at 9 years old I have witnessed a few instances of the ‘bigger kids’ picking on the smaller (same age but some twice his size). 

One instance of apparent bullying was a fellow soccer player, church friend and school mate pushed my son down and then put his foot on my son’s head as if it were a ball.  I yelled.  Dad of fellow-soccer player just watched.  I went into  mother-bear mode.  Aforementioned Dad went into “ha ha, isn’t that kind of funny mode.”

What kind of parent are you?
Equip your kids.  Talk about it.  Make teachable moments around the dinner table.  Spark conversations while driving in the car.  Have family game nights where you can talk with a deck of cards in your hand.  Even quick mentions of “I saw Tommy cutting in line at the playground” can lead to discussions about what the right thing to do is.

The Department of Defense understand that military-kids are subject to bullying just as much, if not more, as their civilian counterparts.  They are the new kids, the students with a bit of turmoil at home when parents’ deploy,  the children who may not be as comfortable with their skin much more their surroundings.

Here are three quick media clips from The Pentagon Channel and DoD Live to get you thinking.  Learn what is being done in the schools.  What we can do at home.  What is being done right.

The Pentagon Channel special report about how to talk to children about bullying and ways to stop it. Military children, who often find themselves the new kid in school, are especially prone to attacks from bullies:

The Pentagon Channel special report about how to talk to children about bullying and ways to stop it. One effective way to stop bullying is to teach your children to recognize signs of bullying, and take steps to prevent it. In this episode, one young man shares his story about stopping a bully at his school.

The Pentagon Channel special report about how to talk to children about bullying and ways to stop it. This episode focuses on the collaborative effort to stop bullying.

Remind your children you love them.  Help them find the security they need in an otherwise tumultuous world.  By the way when I asked my son what he was feeling when soccer “friend” pushed him down he kind of laughed it off.  Said *R* was just trying to be funny.  I told *E* that it wasn’t funny.  That he had every right to feel uncomfortable and next time to yell ‘STOP IT’.  I also told him that if he sees something like that happen to his friends he is responsible for telling those around him to STOP.  Find a teacher, find an adult.  But don’t stand there and laugh.  It was a teachable moment.  And that I am thankful for.

– Leanne from

Related Articles:
Stop Bullying Now
Days of Bullying as Rite of Passage Are Gone, Official Says
DOD Takes Steps to Stop BullyingbyLeanne KocsisonFriday, December 23, 2011Military Life:,,,,

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