My younger sister, Susan, says I bullied her in elementary school when mom and dad were not around. It could have happened. I try to excuse my actions, claiming ignorance and immaturity. Also, I was severely punished every time she told our parents of an event. So, it is not like I got away with much.
Looking back, I do not remember specific details, (I am sure she does!) but I am not proud of my performance as an older sister. In fact, I do believe I had the bullying tendency, as my temperament is part RED. Bossy behavior, even in young children, is a definite tell-tale sign of REDS – not living under God’s control.
At a recent conference, there was a dad who laughingly blew off my warnings about the importance of understanding family members’ temperaments. “Kids will be kids,” he said.
“Wrong.” I argued, “This is NOT an acceptable excuse, anymore, for inappropriate behavior.”
I teach the four temperaments; because, the future of our children will be heavily impacted by understanding those around them in their daily lives.
Sadly, one of our grandchildren has already experienced bullying. Praise God for an observant school teacher who first noticed the dangerous conduct…
Our granddaughter was oblivious to what had been happening. She thought this child just wanted her to be her best friend.
The girl brought her “gifts,” explaining they were to be exclusive friends. Without our granddaughter knowing, she threatened any other kid who tried to play with her. Soon, she was telling our granddaughter what to do every recess, at lunch and after school. She justified no one else playing with them by telling our granddaughter no one liked her!
Within a couple weeks, our sweet YELLOW grandchild was having headaches, loss of appetite and nightmares.
I shudder to think what could have happened if a teacher had not been on alert. Our grandchild was afraid of telling anyone what was happening, for fear of what this girl would do to her.
Bullying has always been an unfortunate part of our culture. However, today, the devastating potential is vastly multiplied, because of social media, cell phones and the internet. Our kids are exposed to bullying on so many levels.
I just heard of an App to install on kids’ phones called Re-think. It can be found at a Google Play store.
I urge parents to know potential weaknesses of their children’s temperaments. That will provide insight into countless situations:
Little REDS are strong, controlling and bossy. They tend to be the leaders of groups.
Little YELLOWS just want to be liked by everyone – easy marks for bullies. However, they can be easily convinced to join a RED’S gang! (They want everyone to like them)
Little BLUES are timid and fearful – easily bullied.
Little GREENS are an easy prey for bullies, because they are so nice.
I am not picking on REDS – just stating the facts. More often than not, a RED is a capable bully. A YELLOW can be maneuvered into follow along.
I praise God for parents who introduced me to Jesus at a young age. I realize, as a YELLOW/RED, my life could have taken all the wrong turns. However, it wasn’t until I got serious about turning my temperament over to God, that I could control my weaknesses. Only then, did my life begin to honor His Word and His leading.
An excellent resource is a book by Nick Vujicic, “Stand Strong”.
Kids only have ONE childhood. We must be proactive in protecting them with education, teaching them to understand their temperaments, and helping them trust God with their lives.