I have written about bullying in the past. With 6 children of my own, I have dealt with bullying far more often than I care to. I would rather not have to deal with it at all. But not in the way some would avoid it, I mean I would like to see bullying end. Unfortunately in the society we live in today, this does not seem like it will be a possibility any time soon.
This topic frustrates me on so many levels. First, why do these children feel the need to single out another just for the fun of it? Second, why do teachers and parents seem to care so little about this issue until it is too late? And finally, why is it our children are being taught that if you can’t beat them, join them? This is the real topic of today’s post. Is society turning our children into bullies?
I would like to say the answer to this question is no. However, I fear that would be a big fat lie. I have written about my son’s school dealing with his bullying problem with rules written, that if it is not physically hurting you, then don’t be a tattletale. Well the newest horror that my child has come home with is far worse.
My son, who has always been supportive and kindhearted has begun to act out and direct his anger towards his siblings. While this is nothing unusual for his age, his responses are. He will call his brother or sister a terrible name and when I ask him where he learned those words, the response is almost always at school. Though I am not pleased with this, I have learned to expect it over the years and tried to instill in my children how wrong these words and behaviors are.
Yet, children will talk, and that can not be avoided. What disturbed me about this conversation was when I explained to him that his actions were not those of a brother, but more of the bullies he has been dealing with for several years now, his response was, “Well why not? If I am throwing the punches or words around, then they won’t be picking on me anymore.”
These few words broke my heart more than having my child come home in tears on a daily basis, or to have him tell me he no longer wants to go to school. My child has learned from his school, that if he doesn’t want to be bullied, then he needs to become the bully.
So, of course, Mom is now the bad guy, because I discipline him for these actions. Which I gladly except, because I refuse to allow my child to get away with acting this way. The problem is, far too many parents and educators are looking the other way. They are not addressing the issue, what’s more they are influencing a whole new group of bullies. The ones who are looking for relief from a problem they shouldn’t have to deal with to begin with.
I think parent’s need to step up and take charge of their children again. While I do not profess to be a perfect mother, far from it most day, I do hold my children accountable for their actions. In a society where skirting responsibility and blaming others has become second nature, I believe it is time to take back control. Place the blame where it is due and make each person take responsibility for their own actions. This is at least how it will remain in my home. I think it is time that children understand that if they do something wrong, there will be repercussions.
I will get off my soapbox now and go back to work. I just wanted to share this story in hopes that it will help just one person to see the issues before they progress and it is too late to heal the damage that is being done to our children.
As always, inspire to be inspired. Look for the good even when it all seems bad. The light is often brighter in the darkest rooms.