Dealing with Bullies, the Loften Way

So any time one of my girls comes to me with a story that someone at school is acting (verbally) like a bully to them, I tell them the same thing on how to respond. I tell them that they should do one of two things (or both). One, they should shake their hands in the air and shout, “Mesopotamia!!!” Second, they should pretend to fall asleep–close their eyes and start snoring.

Why would any Dad in the world do something like that? First, I want my girls to settle down and laugh. It always makes them laugh when I shout “Mesopotamia.” I also hope that in the moment that someone is being mean to think about that and at least in their heart be able to smile. They also need to learn how to take a verbal assault and not lose their temper. I don’t want them to cower, but I also don’t want them escalating the conflict. (Seriously, has lashing back ever helped anyone? Has it ever helped you? Just walk away)

Here is what I thought would never happen. Lauren tried it at school. A boy came up to her and a friend and started talking mean to them. She looked at him for a little while and shouted “Mesopotamia!!!” at him. So when Lauren told me this I was stunned. I asked her what happened next. He told Lauren she was weird, so she then pretended to fall asleep. The boy then walked away. Turns out the plan works. Who knew?

I love my girls. I want them to be strong and gentle. I want them to be strong and proud women free from fear and free from anger. The world can be a rough place, and I want them to walk in it with their heads held high and a quiet strength, confidence and grace that the world will notice and will be honoring to the God that loves them.


3 Responses to “Dealing with Bullies, the Loften Way”
  1. Paula says:

    Maylee and Lauren are truly lucky young ladies and you and Heidi are doing a wonderful job as parents!!

  2. cloften says:

    Thanks Paula. We feel blessed by our girls.

  3. Heidi M says:

    Oh Charlie. This is so good. I wish I had the nerve to try that in the face of some verbal conflict! I really can’t believe Lauren tried it and executed it so well!

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