It's not true, words can hurt, no matter who it comes from

Over the weekend, my neighbors kids bullied me. I am not even joking! I was cleaning out my closets and getting rid of a bunch of unneeded clutter. Every time I walked to the garbage can, two little kids (who I have never met) were yelling out their upstairs window at me. "Hey Fat Lady". The first couple of times I ignored them, as the afternoon went on I would stop and wave at them. It may sound silly, but it really did hurt my feelings, even though it was only kids yelling mean words at me. As an adult can I be bullied by kids? I think so...

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention defines bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.”

According to this definition, bullying involves several factors:

  1. The behavior is not welcome to the person being bullied.
  2. It occurs among school-age children, so although bullying behavior may be found across ages, the technical definition of a bully is a child who engages in such behavior.
  3. The bully and bullied both understand the bully to have more power in the situation, even if other factors are “equal.” Of course, many times, bullies are bigger, stronger, older, have more friends, et cetera, which leads to a real power imbalance as well as a perceived one.
  4. The bully either repeats the behavior, or their access to the victim implies they will be able to.

I don't want to get any of the tots in trouble, so rather then be a rat, I will continue to try responding with kindness. In my heart, I kids will just be kids...but why so mean?