We have an epidemic in our society.  Well, truth be told we have several, but I don’t have that kind of time.

Apparently we are raising a generation of bullies and victims.  What should we do? 

Let’s take away dodge ball for starters.  That is a cruel and violent sport.  I still can’t believe that I, and every child I grew up with, actually managed to grow up unscathed after being exposed to at least weekly rounds of dodge ball.

Next, let’s step in every time another child even looks at our child the wrong way.  Children cannot handle conflict.  They simply aren’t equipped and we shouldn’t give them the ability to build on those skills until they are at least 21.  We need to nip every argument in the bud and protect them.  They will have plenty of time to learn appropriate social skills once they’ve grown up.

Another sure-fire way of getting a grip on bullying is to label every kid who’s having a bad day as a bully.  We all know people can’t change.  That is especially true of kids.  Once they hit about 9 or 10 they are who they are and there is no point trying to help them be anything different so it really is best to just call a spade a spade and tag every kid with a bad attitude as a bully.

If you are a parent of said bully, well, you have two choices really.

First deny that your child has a problem.  If you ignore things they generally just go away.  Have a couple of beers, sit the kid down and pat him on the back for sticking up for himself.  You ain’t raising no sissy.  If that doesn’t work out and people keep getting all up in your business about your kid then start looking at places to lay the blame.  TV, video games, other kids, school – these are all viable options.  You are on top of this shit.  You watch Family Guy AND American Dad.  You know how this parenting gig works.

Now, before you show your teeth and get all mamma bear on me, yes, I believe that bullying is real, that it is a problem and can have tragic consequences.  I also believe that not every instance of kids being mean to one another is bullying.  That’s part of growing up.  Know when to step in but also know when to just be a keen observer, a good listener and don’t make mountains out of mole hills.

Stop throwing that bully label around and plastering it on kids all willy-nilly.

Can we focus on things like ensuring proper and early mental health care for those at risk (that applies to the bullies and the bullied)? Can we try to provide parents with the tools they need to avoid or recognize problems?  Can we stop feeding off the media frenzy and gain some true perspective on the issue?   

I just read an interesting study that suggests the more we exaggerate bullying the more we make it seem like it’s the norm, thus making it worse. Actually emphasizing that most kids DO NOT bully decreases bullying.  Food for thought.

{This ‘Best of Blunt Moms’ post was first published in July 2013}

BLUNTmoms
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An amazing collection of bright women who somehow manage to work, play, parent and survive and write blog posts all at the same time. We are the BLUNTmoms, always honest, always direct and surprising hilarious.

2 Comments

  1. There are many warning signs that may point to a bullying problem, such as unexplained injuries, lost or destroyed personal items, changes in eating habits, and avoidance of school or other social situations. However, every student may not exhibit warning signs, or may go to great lengths to hide it. This is where paying attention is most valuable. Engage students on a daily basis and ask open-ended questions that encourage conversation.

  2. We all know that bullying has been an exceeding issue over the years. I think it’s high time to make it stop now. In my opinion I think it affects everyone not just the victims of bulling. Day by day bullies are increasing and it has been viral across worldwide.

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