Y’all, let’s just be honest…kids are really really mean.
Obviously not all kids, but thanks to social media, and the ever-growing power of connected-ness, it seems like almost daily there’s a new story about a child who was beaten into a coma, or a little girl who suffered for too long at the hands of bullies and took her own life.
Whatever the case, I think we can all agree that every parent’s prayer is that no child ever comes home in tears over the actions or words of another.
Bodi Irvine wasn’t so lucky. The 9-year-old came home upset last week over things that some other boys were saying about his long hair. Bodi and his twin brother decided last year that they wanted to let their blonde hair grow out, and donate it to children with cancer.
Knowing the purity behind Bodi’s long hair, and not being able to protect him from mean kids, Isaac was furious, and his heart broke for his son. He could relate to the bullying, because he’s been bullied himself for a long time.
Instead of teaching his son “an eye for an eye,” this burley, tatted and pierced dad from Gilbert, Arizona, used the incident as an opportunity to educate Bodi and others about the importance of kindness.
The pair sat in front of a video chat where they had a discussion about bullying, feelings and how to cope. The Facebook video has gone completely viral, having been viewed more than 150,000 times.
“You got bullied today, huh?” Isaac asked his son. “What happened? You want to talk about it?”
Bodi explained to his dad that two of the boys in his third grade class made fun of his long hair, saying he looks like a girl.
“It made me feel sad,” Bodi says.
The two conversed back and forth about how Isaac has been made fun of for his tattoos and appearance over the years too.
It’s amazing how resilient kids can be, though. Bodi told his dad that he just let the hurtful comments “roll off his back.”
“I think being different is a good thing,” Bodi said toward the end of the video. “It means you think different than other people.”
Isaac said the conversation was never intended to go viral. He simply wanted to create a way for Bodi to talk through his feelings, and be able to look back and understand them.
“I want Bodi to understand that he can affect the way other people act as much as he can affect the weather, so don’t place your emotional well-being in the hands of other people,” Isaac told CBS News.
Seeing as their video has reached so many people, Isaac believes there’s an important lesson in it for everyone—kids and parents alike.
“I hope they are inspired to be transparent with their kids about their own lives,” he said. “When you hear someone at school was mean, it’s natural to look to the school to solve it. Or tell your kids that you’ll solve it. Had I done that, I feel I would be robbing Bodi of an important life-lesson. He’s stronger than he knows and he can solve this one himself.”
Hundreds of people have commented on the video, encouraging both Isaac and Bodi, and sharing their own stories of how the message hit home.
Bullies suck, and kids can be mean, but hurting people hurt people. Thank goodness for parents and kids who can find the good in a world full of bullies. Keep up the good work, Bodi and Isaac.
Talking to my son about getting bullied about his long hair. I’m going to read him the comments.
Posted by Isaac Irvine on Tuesday, March 7, 2017