For many parents, one of the greatest fears as their children approach adolescence is that they will be bullied. When you so fiercely love someone, it is unfathomable that other people would find reasons to be cruel to them. Yet it happens. Our mature, rational minds realize that bullying often has nothing to do with the person being bullied, but rather the insecurities of the one doing the bullying. But when it’s your kid? Remaining mature and rational as you watch the pain and anguish your son or daughter goes through is next to impossible. Instead, you feel heartbroken and helpless.
Gwen Stefani Invites Young Bullied Fan On Stage
I have to imagine those feelings of helplessness are what caused the mother of a young boy to hold up a poster board sign at Gwen Stefani’s recent concert in West Palm Beach. Gwen asked for the sign to be passed to the stage, and she read it aloud into the microphone: “My son was bullied from first to fifth grade. He would come home every day upset, but he’d go to his room, listen to your music, and smile.” Gwen asked the boy to come onstage, and she held up his arms in victory, then hugged him as he cried. We don’t get to see his mother in the audience as Gwen celebrates this beautiful child, but undoubtedly tears were streaming down her cheeks, as well. Another person was very publicly recognizing her child for the valuable person he is.
When Gwen Stefani shared the video on her Instagram, she commented “About 3 years ago when things were hard in my life I prayed to God everyday that I could get a chance to use my gift that God gave me and make a difference in some way in this world – last night this little guy was the answer to my prayers.” What an inspiring moment for that sweet boy – to realize that not only is he worth the time and attention of a woman he idolizes, but she also considers him an answer to her prayers.
Bullying is a serious issue, and social media has only served to increase access for bullies to prey on others. Instilling self-confidence and self-worth in your child is hard enough as they grow, particularly once they develop an awareness of the differences between themselves and others. With the widespread use of social media, it’s become increasingly more difficult to help your child realize the number of “likes” they get on a picture or the number of followers they have does not have any bearing on the value they bring to the world.
That’s why Gwen’s use of her celebrity to lift up this boy on social media is even more impactful; although as parents we do not want our children to feel validation via social media, they do. It is something we cannot ignore, and Gwen Stefani realizes that. She knew that by posting a picture of this boy with her famous sons, she will give him instant credibility and bragging rights. This “little guy” was an answer to Gwen’s prayers, and I’m sure the sentiment is mutual. Well done, Gwen.