This is not the first time I’ve written about bullying. It likely won’t be the last.
Yesterday, I watched this documentary called “Bully”. And honestly, I was a little shocked. Shocked at just how cruel kids are. Shocked by the apathy that was demonstrated by school officials. Shocked by the parent’s lack of knowledge. And devastated about a young boy profiled who didn’t even realize that the other children choking, beating and name calling him were not his friends. I remember being bullied from time to time as a child. But never to the extent that we seem to be seeing today. And I keep wondering why that is.
Why do you think?
When did being an asshole become an acceptable way to behave?
When did we start allowing our children to get away with everything?
This post has nothing to do with our kids. It has to do with us. The adults. The ones who are supposed to fucking be in charge of shit.
Ask yourself this: What would you do if your child was accused of bullying or harming another child?
Because honestly, in my opinion, that is where we are failing are children in this situation. I have only had to deal with this scenario as a teacher, and not as a parent because my kids are too small still. But this is what I said to the student in question:
” I got a call from Mr. Soandso saying that you had done XYZ. This conversation is not about whether you did it or not. I actually don’t care. What I care about is that one of MY students, whom I expect to be respectful and polite would ever put themselves in a situation where their behaviour would be even be questioned. This is the only time we will ever have this conversation. In the future you will go out of your way to be nice and helpful and a good example of the wonderful person that I know you to be. If I ever hear anything of this sort again, I will not only be deeply disappointed but there will be consequences. The End.”
I have never, in three years, heard another complaint about this student ever again.
I need to teach my children what is right and what is wrong. I need to teach my children to have empathy and be kind to others. I need to teach my child that inflicting pain on others doesn’t dull their own. I need to teach my children that the right thing to do is to help others in need. To help someone up if they are pushed down. To run for help when someone is in trouble.
And I am certain that no parent intentionally tries to teach their kid to be cruel. But we can’t continue to stick our heads in the sand and assume that everyone else is lying if its our kid that’s being the dick.
It’s also not just up to the educators. Their job is to teach academics, not how to be a human being. We trust them to guide and protect our children in our absence, but it’s for us as parents to build their character ourselves.
I read some discussions where some jackass blamed the parents of the bullied children for raising pussies. Funny. That’s exactly what the kids say.
Way to go Mom and Dad.
I’m all for teaching independence and think that children need to earn trophies and learn to deal with failure. But saying that a parent who stays home to be with their kids and focuses on their development is raising a bunch of weak kids who need to toughen up and tolerate bad behaviour in others is utter bullshit.
And still we wonder why the world is going to shit. Sigh. What can we do? What do YOU do?