Yeah we all went through it, but it’s changed. Oh man has it changed!
In days of old the bully could be brought down with a well placed foot or fist, or if you were like me the power of a well placed put down sent them back into their corner to rally for another attack.
The Karens and Katie’s of the world had many of us cowering in fear from them. I was proud of myself that I had the perspective needed to be able to defend myself and my friends against them most of the time.
Kids these days have it different… the rules have changed… back in our day a fight was only witnessed by those who were actually there and then a few rumours had to be dealt with and then it was over. These days kids have to deal with twitter and facebook and pictures of an event going viral and then ALL of their peers and even Adults viewing the event and weighing in. There is no such thing as privacy… actually most of the kids don’t have our concept of privacy anyway, however there is still a new game and new rules that parents have to be aware of.
I was recently told a story about a kindergartener that was being bullied by his so called friends who were pulling down his pants and kicking him in his private parts on consecutive days (like 4 or 5 times!!!). When I heard this I was instantly so angry… who are these children and where are their parents I asked myself, and the person who told me about the bullying. The parent dealt with it in so respectful a manner I was quite proud of her, but it begs the question… why didn’t she hear about it the first day? Are our children so accustomed to being bullied that they don’t report the bullying? I say YES they are and shake my head.
Parents need to quit saying “boys will be boys” and start saying NO to any kind of bullying what so ever. I myself have had to have discussions with my own children about bullying each other and also being respectful to me as their mother. I have used the bully word and told them that it was unacceptable in any form. If more of us stood together and can honestly say that we have had the discussion with our children and helped them define the term bully and what could be considered bullying instead of putting our heads in the sand and ignoring the possibility that we are a part of the problem if we are not a a part of the solution, we can imagine a future where children are not brutalizing each other.
The recent suicides of young people related to being “outed” to their peers as homosexual is a good example of this. If their parents had heard that they were being bullied and had some instruction on how to deal with bullying of their children from the school district and there was an anti-bullying plan in place that dealt with a planned response to these events (which unfortunately are going to happen as often as the sunrise) then lives could have been saved.
Parents and adult family members I challenge you to have a candid discussion with children about bullying and as yourself how you can be of assistance, how you can stop bullying and be a part of the solution yourself.
Thanks for reading,