Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bully. Bullying.

We grew up with them. We have all dealt with them at some point in our lives. And now, our children face them. So what is different?  Parents, it’s our world! The whole thing is different! Society as a whole has changed. Mindsets, the way people act, the way people care, speak, you name it. And guess what? Kids, they see it all and repeat it all.

Bullying is such a growing problem. Not gradually either. It’s a major issue. I have heard repeatedly, and yes I was guilty of this at one point, tell your kids to suck it up and deal with it. Well, wrong! Parents, it’s time to step up and listen! There is really a problem here. I am not speaking from an inexperienced view either. Two of my children, my 7 year old and my 11 year old, were both bullied physically and verbally. We are now dealing with this with my 10 year old as well.

So at what point do you step in or do you stay on the sidelines and allow your child to deal with it? Well, for starters, teach your children it is OKAY to tell an adult. So many times we tell our children “Stop tattling”. Yes, I am guilty once again. We instill this in our children, don’t tattle, but only when it is serious. Then they carry that on to school. See the confusion here? Don’t worry; I had to retrain myself too! Let them know that those teachers, coaches, secretaries, counselors, and even cafeteria workers are there not only to teach them, work there, or what have you, but to protect them and guide them. They need to understand that they can trust them.

Now, if your child has come to you repeatedly, and they do not have to be crying, and tells you the same issue over and over, then just maybe it is an issue.  And as a parent, sometimes you have to be a thorn in the schools side and make your name known as a parent that will not allow your child to be bullied to get the point across. I know this personally. I had to do this. Almost every day for four weeks straight, I was either on a phone or at their desk.

Let me tell you though, that taught my kids to stand up for themselves. It taught them that it was okay to speak up and out. It was okay not to allow someone to be hateful or hurtful. I am not saying that as parents we can fight their every battle, but there comes a time when these kids are not fighting a fair battle and they need the help of others. Be it an older sibling, teacher, or parent.

Kids are much crueler then they use to be. You have physical bullying, cyber bullying, face to face bullying, emotional bullying, pack bullying, and individual bullying. It really is not the same as what we faced back in the day. Even just a few years ago. It’s a wakeup call to all the parents out there. It is time to start listening, time to pay attention!

Till next time, have a great day!

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