Bullying: In All Forms

The other day, I was in a busy grocery store with both kids.  As we were walking in, Ethan pointed and laughed at a man.  I didn’t even get a good look at this man because I was so mortified, but I remember the look on the man’s face.  I vividly remember this man appearing very sad and embarrassed.  It crushed my heart into a million pieces.   I never ever want someone to feel the way this man probably felt at that moment.
Instead of getting angry (which was going to be my initial reaction), I pulled both kids over to the freezer section and sat in a huddle with them on the dirty floor.  I sat there and looked Ethan right in the eyes and told him that we are a family that likes to make people feel good about themselves and we want people to be happy.  We never ever want people to have their feelings hurt.  Ever.   
He questioned me, as any good 6 year old boy should.  He said “But why did he look that way?”  And I said, “He is a special person just like everyone in our family and we need to love everything that surrounds us.  There are people in this world that are different and that is what makes this world so awesome.  You are different than Ainsley and Ainsley is different than you, but we love each other for those reasons.”
Ainsley and Ethan started crying.  Ethan said, “I am sorry.  I won’t be rude again.”  He meant it.  With all of his 6 year old heart.
We hugged, we moved on.  We bought eggs and bread.
 However, this entire situation resonated with me, I won’t lie.  
My husband is a high school teacher and he sees bullying on a daily basis.  When I graduated high school, I remember releasing a sigh of relief because I was sure the bullying would end.  Not just towards me, but towards everyone.  Popular, not popular.  Tall, short.  Overweight, skinny.  I hated every second of it.  There was always a reason to bully and I was eager to move past that.  
 It seemed to go away until I became a mother.
When I first had kids, I had to deal with “formula vs. breastfeeding”, “co-sleeping vs. not co-sleeping”, “cloth diapers vs. disposables”… the list goes on and on and on. 
I am lucky to have such a supportive group of women that chat with me and comfort me.  I don’t know what I would do without them.  I am scared for our children because bullying seems to only get worse.  The only thing I can hope is that my kids see the world like I do.  That would mean everything to me.
Follow me


Hayley Crouse is a wife, mother and multifaceted designer. Her love of sewing, crafting, cooking and interior design infuses her daily life and naturally spills over into her online presence. She pushes the envelope of her creativity and hopes that others will be inspired to do the same. She currently authors the Welcome to the Mouse House Blog, is the pattern designer behind Mouse House Creations and is a collaborative designer with Willow & Co. Patterns.
Follow me

Latest posts by Hayley (see all)

23 Responses to Bullying: In All Forms

  1. Zafarani August 9, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    That is a lovely post Hayley! I hope to teach my children that as well!!

  2. Shaffer Sisters August 9, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    Hayley, I have been watching your blog for your years. Just reading not taking the time to comment. My sisters and I fell in love with your blog when you made the sensory friendly outfit for Ethan. My sister, Jo’s second son has sensory processing and it was neat for her to see you make something stylish that met your sons needs. To this day when we talk about the things that you have made we reference you as Hayley that made the sensory outfit.
    Al and I had a chance to serve as senior staff for Idaho HOBY (Hugh O’Brian Youth). One of the girls in my group has started an organization that I would love to help raise awareness/fund-raise for, it is called, “Snotty is Naughty“. I am still working on the details but would you be willing to contribute some item that brings awareness to the bullying issue in mini series that we would be holding during National Bullying Week (November 17 – 23, 2013). If you wouldn’t have posted this here I don’t know if I would have had the courage to share any of this or ask you. If you are too busy I totally get it.
    With Love,

    • Welcome to the Mouse House August 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      I am so happy that you commented on this! I would LOVE to help you promote it or to contribute to it in some way! That looks like an awesome organization and I would be proud to help in any way I can. Shoot me an email when you get a chance…. mousehousecreations (at) yahoo (dot) com


  3. Meriel August 9, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    Love it, Hayley. Thanks for this post.

  4. ♥K August 9, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    I love this, it is very similar to my thoughts..I was always the girl who made friends with the person being bullied and believe a smile can change a day..I haven’t said much to my 6 year old about bullying and last year they got a new student at school and at one point he was shy and everybody laughed at him so I asked what she did, she said ‘i didnt laugh, I tried to.be his friend and told him good try!’ I was soooo proud!

    • Welcome to the Mouse House August 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

      I would be so proud too! I was always the same way as you…. being friends with the person that was being bullied. I hate to see anyone sad like that

  5. Abbey August 9, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    This is an awesome and important post. I love the words you chose for your children and if I may, I’ll be borrowing them for conversations about this type of thing for my little guys. Thank you!!

  6. Nichole, Mia's Mommy August 9, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    What is also frightening is when grown adults don’t even know they are being rude … even doing it to children. For example yesterday I took my visually impaired child to the store and she put her things on the counter. In my mom brain she was missing an item and I said ” did you drop your sharpener?” (she was spending allowance money and always buys “teacher supplies”) she said “no it is right here” and picked it up. I said well good grief and I am the one that has complete vision. Basicaly telling her she is better than me. It made her grin 🙂 Then the cashier said “really she can’t see?” I replied with she has some functional vision but is awesome with her braille reading and writing. This cashier thinking she was being nice starting oooo-ing and ahhh-ing over how she is the next Ray Charles and she would be a star some day and going on and on about it. I mean don’t get me wrong music is awesome and Mia loves it, but she wants to be a VI teacher not a musician – and she has wanted that since she first started school at 3. She has no idea who Ray Charles is but she got so uncomfortable and quiet. I could just see her gears turning and her smile fading. See with her being VI she knows it and she knows that when I make positive comments about something she did that I am praising her growing independence. But when complete strangers see her eyes rolling involuntarily or see/hear me tell her a step is coming up or whatever and then make comments that they think are encouraging and sweet it makes her uncomfortable. Luckily so far she has had an awesome support system at school and has never (to my knowledge) been bullied at school. But I am sure some day she will. The kids at her school know and love her and are used to seeing kids with their white canes (she is in a mainstream elementary but there are about 6 elementary age VI kids that go there) and those kids have had everything explained to them. I kind of dread when she goes into middle and high school. I don’t even want to think about how hard it will be for her. So I will just continue to hope and pray everyone is as nice and loving as they are now as she goes into 4th grade 🙂

  7. Suzanne Winter August 9, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    I love your heart and what an amazing mama you are!!! I had a rough time in school with bullying (the teasing kind about weight, appearance, un-cool-ness, etc…but it is still bullying and I spent most of my tweens battling depression and contemplating suicide). I look at my three beautiful babies – their smiles and laughter, and I pray hard they don’t face bullying. But most importantly I pray that I am a strong enough mom to help them not become bullies. HUgs!!!

    • Welcome to the Mouse House August 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

      Oh Suzanne, I am sorry that you had to deal with that. No one should ever have to deal with it. Hugs to you!

  8. Melanie @ Whimsical Creations August 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    You are an amazing mommy! Thank you for posting this. 🙂

    My daughter has a birthmark on her face…I know this is something we are going to have to deal with. Usually kids just ask her what it is and she answers and they all move on and play. I am not looking forward to the mean kids. 🙁

  9. Anonymous August 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    You are inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story today ;o)

  10. Magda E. August 10, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Thans for sharing this post. Bullying is one of the things I fear most when i think about my kid going to school in a few years. I’ve seen friends giving up on a lot good things, it will follow you for life!

  11. Justine/ Sew Country Chick August 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    My daughter went to a new and bigger school last year and there was a lot of bullying going on there. She started to develop.panic attacks at drop off. The school did nothing to remedy the bullying, and told her she would just need to learn to cope with different, meaning cruel, people.so I pulled her out mid year

  12. Justine/ Sew Country Chick August 10, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    My daughter went to a new and bigger school last year and there was a lot of bullying going on there. She started to develop.panic attacks at drop off. The school did nothing to remedy the bullying, and told her she would just need to learn to cope with different, meaning cruel, people.so I pulled her out mid year

    • Welcome to the Mouse House August 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      Justine, that is so terrible! I can’t believe the school didn’t take control of the situation (well, actually, I can believe it sadly). I hope she is okay

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes