Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Bulllying


Bullying is all in the news right now although it is nothing new.  I grew up being bullied.  Living in a non nuclear family (great aunts rather than parents) having freckles and glasses, spending alot of my childhood having to wear dresses....yep I was ripe for bullies.  I remember when I was young thinking at least once I became an adult I would haven't to deal with bullies anymore....LOL   We all know that's not true!

But I have to say my family gave me skills for dealing with bullies WITHOUT giving me skills.  Back in the day, kids had to deal with kids on their own.  Parents didn't step in, schools didn't step in.... you were on your own.  Well that's the absolute best thing a kid can learn.  That kid will always have to deal with bullies and no one can save him.

This recent video that has been all over the internet is awful.  I'm sorry for the child if this story is true.  Regardless I'm sorry for the child.  I'd absolutely never ever record nor upload such a video of my child.  There are now questions being asked about the situation- I'm not going to point fingers but I do wish folks would learn a little discernment and not jump on every FB bandwagon that comes along!

We parent our older boys and our little ones totally different.  Obviously we are the advocates for our little ones.  Believe me I've been bullied in their place especially dealing with the local school board.  They do not understand things and are non verbal.  But even in their limited understanding we try to make them as independent as possible.

But for our older boys, we've taught them to deal with issues with other kids on their own.  I don't think I've ever talked to another parent about how their child treated my child.  I did talk to a teacher once and found that MY son was the instigator in a situation.  From that point on that kid was on his own!

There are times when a parent has to get involved.  One time we were in a restaurant and three grown men began making fun of Shad, his Chinese background and his eye.I heard them over the partion of our booth and I tore around that booth so quick and was in their faces shaming them  before they knew what hit them.  That was a bit different, Shad was six years old and these were grown nasty men.  Believe me the whole restaurant was watching that show.  I handed them their butts on a platter so to speak LOL   But we have talked about it many times there will be a time when Shad is made fun of that he has to stand up for himself.  I hope I gave him some confidence by being bold that he will use if he ever needs it.

We have a funny story about our oldest son.  When he was in 9th grade he was dealing with an awful bully.  I listened to him complain about the situation.  One day I picked them up from school and he told me that he had knocked the boy down.  I parked the car just knowing that he was suspended for this.,   I hurried into the school and met with the principal.  The principal told me that if Steve hadn't knocked the boy on his butt he would have suspended Steve!  LOL   I'm sure that is an unique way of handling things but it totally worked!  In fact, Steve never had to deal with another bully and the story has grown over the years.  Now it is a legend with his friends!

But as much as I felt  bad for my son as he was dealing with the situation, I did not intervene.  Why is that?  Because he is now a grown man, in college, working several jobs, I can not fight his battles for him today and he needed those experiences as a child to give him the confidence to deal with things today.

Just because a person becomes an adult, bullying does not stop.  I was bullied in jobs, in ministry and in church situations, those things I learned as a kid has done me well in the adult situations.  My adult son has had some hard things happen in jobs and at college, he deals with them.  He might share with me the situation, sometimes after it's over, but he has to deal with it.  His dad and I can not do it for him.

I'm sorry for children being brought up today by helicopter parents.  How will the children cope when they are grown?  The only time we've ever intervened with our kids are in cases where we did not want our kids to be around other kids because of issues such as drug use, bad behavior etc.    There were times we did not give our kids the choice but not too often.

I want my kids to deal with life and not be little snowflakes that can take any heat.  Life can be hard.  My hope is that they will be able to stand when someone is mean to them or disagrees with them.

My advice to you if you have children who have no special needs, let your children work things out on their own.  Listen to them, talk to them but don't make them a victim.  And don't make it be the end of the world either.

We've all met adult victims, everyone is out to get them, everything is against them....do you really want to enable your child to become a person like that?  I sure do NOT!   I want my kids to be able to let most things run off their backs but I also want them to have the backbone to stand up for themselves and others if needs be too.

Honestly my generation and the generations of parents after me have turned kids into wimps.  It's sad.  The kids can not handle any adversity, whether it's a bully, a hard class, a mean employer...how will these kids make it in the real world???   One summer my oldest son had the employer from hell.  the guy hated Steve (which was odd because most people love him) but we did not let him quit.  He really didn't ask to quit but we didn't give him any encouragement that way.   We just laughed and encouraged him to make it through the summer.  He did make it through and he was so happy when it was his last day there.  That job has made him appreciate the jobs he has now!  It was good for him, even at the time I thought it was good for him.

So I encourage you to teach your kid backbone and courage.  Don't coddle them.  Don't fight their battles for them.  Let them learn how to deal with hard things.  It's actually good for them.

And I don't want to get messages saying "BUT you don't understand...."   No unfortunately it is you who do not understand.  Even if you child has some impairments, they can still learn through things.
Sam and Sarah have a bit of a sibling rivalry going on.  Sam is loud and Sarah does not like that.  Often if he's loud in the living room which is HER area she will just cry and cry.  I do comfort her but I try to talk her down and calm her.  It's not the same as bullying but to her I think she thinks he is being a bully.  I'm teaching her to ignore and deal with things.  She needs that skill also. Every child needs to develop skills as best as they can to cope with life.

3 comments:

  1. I think this advice should be taken with a grain of salt. There are far too many kids who commit suicide due to bullying these days. Know your kids. Know what's going on. Decide if and when you need to step in, because you may need to. That's my advice.

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    1. Of course there are rare times a parent has step in, especially if the child has some sort of special needs and every case and child is different but..... I wonder why there is a spike in suicides? My guess is that there are underlying issues that makes it harder for the child to deal with bullying. I'll be honest I think so much goes back to the break down of the family and society. And as part of the breakdown of the family unit, the child is not given the skills needed.

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