Friday, February 3, 2012

Bullying

Bullying is a topic I often don't want to talk about. It is painful and makes me think of things I would sooner forget. This evening I read a blog post by: Amanda over at  She Who Blogs Behind The Rows. She referred to a post on the blog of author K C Neal. (Will now have to check her out!) Anyway, the gist is that they wanted people to speak out against bullying on their blogs today.

I was bullied in Elementary School. It was fairly ugly in that I was called hideous names, teased mercilessly and singled out for reasons I still don't know. In second grade the classroom teacher exacerbated things by singling me out for her own brand of torture in front of the class on a near daily basis. I am fully aware that I was no help to my cause as a child. I cried, I acted up and out, I was angry and hateful because I believed I was disliked and unlikeable, ugly and essentially of no value. It didn't help that home life was not much different from school life. If anything, what was done to me in school was a reinforcement of the low opinion I already had of myself from home, so my inner turmoils ran very deep.

Being the parent of 4 kids, each of whom have been teased in varying degrees at one time or other, my radar is keen. Recently my 11 year old daughter E came home from school and told us that she was being called names at school. Not for the first time. It seems to have tapered off for now, but she was deeply hurt by it. 6 year old C came home last fall and several time told us that her classmates made fun of her "hairy legs" -- she wanted to know how old she had to be to shave! Why on earth this is something that a 1st grader has to worry about is beyond me!

I tell my kids all the time that they must try to remember their own feelings when they lash out at others. I like to think it makes a difference, that we each have learned from being hurt by others. Bullying does nothing but fail at giving the bully a sense of superiority and because the bully fails at this goal, they continue to bully in any attempt to attain some false glory. I have to wonder why this feeling of superiority is so important to so many, how it is that we as a society have not found a way to bring it under control and why it still runs so rampant with so much education.

Teach kindness, generosity and patience. Don't put up with bullying and definitely teach your kids what to do if it does happen. Be proactive! I cannot say if my friend SRT actually said these words or quoted them, but she posted them on FB today and they speak for themselves: 
Zero-tolerance of bullying shouldn't just be a school policy. Call it out wherever you see it.

6 comments:

  1. You've really experienced bullying from many sides, haven't you? What an ordeal. I hope your post inspires others to speak up.

    Callie Kingston

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    1. Thank you Callie. I do too! I just read your story and WOW! I am sure yours will inspire others to speak up and out against bullying.

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  2. I am right there with you. Kids are so cruel to each other. And girls are the worst. Women need to realize that we need to love each other. We need to share that love and support. Because, more often than not, the bullying starts with women ...

    On a lighter, self-promotional note ...

    I found you on Roeshel's/The DIY Showoff's new Linky Followers and am now following you too ...

    Linda
    itallstartedwithpaint@gmail.com
    http://itallstartedwithpaint.com

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    1. Hi Linda! Welcome to a fellow east coast to mid-west transplant. We moved from DC to STL a few years back. IL is quite a change from back east!

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  3. Bullying is totally unacceptable and I blame the schools that tolerate it. I was never bullied but remember my daughter Katie having a problem with a boy two years older, when she was 9. I went to see the headmaster and told him to ensure it stops immediately as I hold him responsible for all that happens in his school and if I have to remove my daughter from his school I will sue him for negligence and complain to his employers - luckily that was the end of the problem. Teasing and bullying are totally unacceptable.

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  4. Good for you! Somehow I doubt that would have made any difference in most of the schools here... It seems to me that there is little action taken unless things have gotten very out of hand. Very sad state of affairs!

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