Bullying | Does anyone care?
June 21, 2013 12:20 am at 12:20 am #483551
NewsParticipantNovember 24, 2014 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm #1052021
Thought this link was appropriate here. All parents should talk to their kids about this issue.November 26, 2014 7:19 pm at 7:19 pm #1052390
Personally, I’m not sure where I stand on the issue.
On one side. I think weaker people need protecting. It’s what we do in a progressive society. And, I think it’s a defining factor on what differentiates us from the animal kingdom.
On the other side. I think that it’s a form of natural selection. Maybe, not everyone is meant to grow up and procreate. Harsh, I know.
I was bullied as a child. I was smaller than everyone else and I was quiet. Also, I am the youngest of four children. All of which had their way with me when mom and dad weren’t looking. Until the day I kicked my brother in his face for trying to sit on my chest, again. I split his lip wide open and he still has a scar today, albeit small. He never forgot, and he never tried to sit on my chest again.
By the time I got to middle school I was well versed in physical confrontation. I let the first few incidents go. Tending to keep to myself as a default. But whenever I was cornered I lashed out so completely I soon developed a reputation as someone who wasn’t afraid of “taking it to the mat”.
It’s a strange sort of power though. In my mid-teens my willingness to use my hands to solve problems became my default for most conflicts. Physical and otherwise. I became a bully, of sorts. I liken it to a poorly trained dog. If you tried to get near me when I was eating, I’d snap at you. And it worked. I was left to my own devices, for better or worse.
As an adult, and a parent. That way of life is unsustainable. There is a fine line. Children need to realize that they’re not as vital to the rest of the world as our/their hard working parents have lead them to believe. And they can’t let themselves be taken advantage of either.
When I was an unmitigated dickhead, I got punched in the face. Both literally, and figuratively. Sometimes I deserved it. Sometimes I didn’t. Accept it for what it is. Deal with it accordingly. And move on. That’s what kids need to be taught.
I believe it’s called being an adult. Which is what, as parents, we’re all trying to do. Right?November 26, 2014 8:13 pm at 8:13 pm #1052398
I am going to guess that we are about the same age, EvilAnton, and I think things are different in school these days.
I am ok with schools making not-bullying others and why-you-don’t an important conversation. When you look back on your childhood, are you happy that it was the way it was? I suppose everything that has happened to you in the past has made you who you are today. I struggle with this sentiment myself. Would I be who I am today if I did not have to go through some of the shit I did as a kid?
If a perceived ‘weaker’ child was picked on constantly would that make them stronger as an adult?
There are many stories today that say differently, it makes a child feel that life isn’t worth living and they take their life. At such a young age.
I talk with my kids about why you don’t treat other people awfully. It is the ‘golden rule’, but so many do forget. It doesn’t mean that bullying is never going to happen, but I do hope it means they won’t be the ones doing it, and that they will stand up and be a positive voice if they do see someone getting bullied.
I never want a child to be afraid of going to school because of other students. That’s not acceptable.
People don’t have to like everyone in the world -and they shouldn’t expect everyone to like them- but they can treat others respectfully.November 26, 2014 9:43 pm at 9:43 pm #1052412November 27, 2014 7:23 am at 7:23 am #1052431
Miriam Bowers AbbottParticipant
A different sort of bullying, happened at a CCS elementary school* off Morse in November:
Older kids routinely and randomly terrorized (punched, choked at recess/bathroom) little kids, because they could. Principal told parents that the older kids were “just playing”.
When you’re 5 years old, and you learn that this is “the way things are” . . . that’s a pretty powerful lesson. It suggests a particular path for survival, no? Little kids were afraid to go to school.
Worse yet, because the parents of these children weren’t particularly well-connected, the administration was deaf to their concerns.November 30, 2014 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #1052614
I think some things are different today than they were in my day. The internet for one. LOL! But, I also think that kids are kids. The particulars may be different. But the angst of “growing up” is universal.
I don’t think there is one particular little thing that we’re going to mention that will provide us with the AHH-HA moment we’re looking for. Part of the parent trap is that we tend to over think a lot of situations. I feel like I am running all the time. But I sure have had a lot of time to think about these things, good and bad, that I’ve experienced. And what they all mean, and how they affect me and the persons that share my life now. It’s all so convoluted, filtered through an old lens and with out-dated information.
I realized that nothing was going to change, relative to me, if I did nothing about it. I don’t know why, but I got proactive. So, I’m less inclined to let things slide when it comes to the goals I have set for myself.
When my daughter (the oldest) was in preschool. One of her classmates bit her so hard on her arm it left a big ugly purple bruise. When I picked her up that day and saw the bruise, I freaked out. The faculty had nothing to say, and they weren’t offering any solutions as far as I was concerned. My daughter and I waited outside in the parking lot until the offending child’s parent came to pick him up. She pointed them out and I confronted them. Yes, I threatened them. Physically and legally. And I wasn’t quiet about it. My daughter never went back to that school. And she witnessed the whole thing.
When she was in third grade. I received a call from the school principle. My daughter had sat on a little boy in her class and wouldn’t let him up until the teacher pulled her off of him. After an hour of discussion, it came to light that the boy had pushed her, several times, out of her chair. On the ride home that day I told her she did the right thing. And that “if someone ever tries to bully you again, you need to protect yourself.”
Her freshman year in high school, she was a founding member of a Gay-Straight Alliance group (the first of it’s kind in that school). She also was suspended for throwing a boy down a flight of stairs. The fact that this boy was a known terror and, in this particular case was, literally, pushing a kid with cerebral palsy against a wall, repeatedly. Apparently was besides the point.
Don’t get me wrong here. She is no angel. But she isn’t afraid to stand up for the things she thinks are right. And I couldn’t be more proud.
My point? Some people, right or wrong, have to fight for their spot in the world. I believe it’s more of a personal accountability issue. At the end of the day, as a parent and a person. I can’t be there all of the time for my children. As a parent, I’ve tried to pass on my accumulated knowledge and experience in order that they can make the best possible choices relative to their lives. As a parent, I’m comfortable that she is strong enough within herself to navigate a world that might not have her best interests in mind all of the time. And that she doesn’t have to victimize herself needlessly either.November 30, 2014 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm #1052615
OH, and yes. I agree that there should be a very vocal conversation about these things.
As long as no one is talking about these things, no one is going to be doing anything about them either. That includes schools, parents and children.
It takes a village.December 1, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am #1052666
If you care about your kids, keep an open dialog with them. If you feel something is up, keep an open dialog with teachers. If both of those aren’t working and you still feel your kid is being bullied, then teach them to stand up for themselves.
I’m not a parent, nor plan to be, but this is a subject that can be think-tanked to death on how to prevent bullying. It’s not going to happen, as warm and fuzzy as stopping all bullying might seem to be. Early identifying and parent interaction seems to be the best route.
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