Monday, March 14, 2011

My Politically Incorrect Statement on Bullying

When I was about 5 or 6 I played with a little girl in our neighborhood who's older brother lived to tease and torment us. He relished making us cry and run home to "tell". One day, my dad had enough - enough of me coming home crying instead of standing up for myself. So he said, "If you come home crying again because he's picked on you and you didn't stand up to him, I'M going to spank you." I believed him. So when the little snot picked on us again, I decked him - bloodied that older boy's nose and sent him home crying! That wasn't exactly what my dad meant for me to do, but I didn't get punished for it either. AND he never bothered my friend and I again.

Now, I AM NOT advocating, promoting or supporting punching a bully in the nose or telling your child to use physical force in resolving an issue with a bully. In these times, you'll end up being sued and probably lose, even if the meanie had it coming!

However, I AM pretty tired of hearing adults say "Boys will be boys", "All kids get teased at that age", "Girls
are just mean at this age - it's a normal phase" and at the top of my list is "You should feel sorry for him. He's got poor self esteem and so he picks on other kids to feel powerful...poor thing."

Guess what? There's no law of the land that boys have to degrade and hurt each other; there's nothing in the handbook of life that says teasing someone is an okay thing to do; I've yet to find a rule for girls that says it's perfectly fine to be mean from the years of ___ to ____. And seriously, feel sorry for the child who makes another child miserable at every opportunity?! NOT happening, not with me. I don't feel sorry for them - I feel anger towards them.

I am sure that I am 17 miles over the political correctness line by saying this, and I don't care. I'm sick to death of adults making excuses for children who are just plain mean! It's high time someone said to the Bully on the Block, "You! Knock it off! It's not ok and it's not funny. I promise you, if I ever see you bullying another child you will be the sorriest, saddest child in this city. Are we clear?"

I am not callous, and I don't deny the fact that there are children who's sense of worth has somehow become tied to their ability to inflict emotional and/or physical pain on other kids. Yes, some bullies need guidance in identifying other areas where they can achieve recognition and excel, but you can't help them without first making them STOP. If you saw someone walking down Path A but knew Path B was really the road they needed to take to get to their destination would you just stand there and watch them keep headed the wrong way? No, I'm betting 99% of you would yell, "Hey! STOP! You're going the wrong direction!"

No more excuses, no more looking the other way, no more "It's none of my business. He/She isn't MY child." Stand firm, use your 'I mean business' face, invoke the power of your Mom/Dad voice and say STOP!

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." Albert Einstein

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