This ‘bullying’ scene from the playground is a wakeup call

I can’t stop thinking about this small scene on my son’s grade school playground—it may exemplify something much bigger for us as a nation.

Rebecca Spencer | Stocksy United

My fifth grade son came home from school today and told me he stopped a fight on the playground at recess. He went on to tell me the details of how this instigator always provokes other kids and causes trouble. Apparently one kid had had enough of this bully’s provocations, and in a volatile angry outburst, lunged toward him with fists ready to give the first blow. My son stepped in between the two and physically held back the angry victim with all his might, until he calmed down and was able to walk away.

My immediate response?

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“You could have been hurt! And you could have gotten in trouble for being a part of this fight!”

His reply?

“Yeah, but I didn’t want him to get in trouble or get hurt! I knew he was angry because this dude is ALWAYS mean and that’s not fair. I figured my friend would calm down and come to his senses, but I had to hold him back until he did.”


What kids see is what kids learn. Our kids are watching us.

I keep thinking about this scene and how it played out, wondering if my kid was right to step in and do something to ensure the safety of this bullied kid. I can’t stop reflecting on how this small scene at a grade school playground may exemplify something much bigger, much broader, than one small town recess brawl.

There are bullies everywhere. There are angry people everywhere.

Aaron Burden | Unsplash

This brewing and bleeding political climate is breeding both. And while anger is a valid and worthy emotion, it’s what we do with that feeling that begs to call into question our behavior. Anger has a way of igniting violence. It has the power to unleash hateful and hurtful words.

We’ve all experienced both in our lives and this current landscape we live in is becoming one big wildfire of verbal outbursts and clenched fists ready to give the first punch. And our kids are watching us. We want them to learn to stand up for the rights they believe in, but do we want them to learn that vicious words and physical aggression are justified by our passion?

We have a generation of people to raise, and I want my kids to develop the ability to control their anger and express it appropriately, constructively, and with reason.”

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We want our children to understand the democratic political process in our great nation and the freedom men and women have to speak up and challenge leaders to make the right choice, but do we want them to learn that the only way change will come is through violence and hatred?

What kids see is what kids learn.

Your kid is watching you.

Stand strong for the rights you believe in, but do so respectfully and take action responsibly.

Discuss with your children, the anger or frustration you feel and why—but then show them the steps you are taking to make this feeling productive and not destructive. Talk to your kids about how to control this powerful emotion and help them find constructive ways to manage it, while you do, too.

We have a generation of people to raise, and I want my kids to develop the ability to control their anger and express it appropriately, constructively, and with reason.

This playground scene reminds me that we surely don’t want that same battle to be US, do we?

I fear it is.

Check out these alarming statistics and facts about bullying below and let’s all believe … There is a better way!



Christine Carter
Christine Carter

Christine is a stay-at-home mom of two pretty amazing kids. She writes at, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration, and faith. She is the author of “Help and Hope While You’re Healing: A woman’s guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness.”

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