For today’s A to Z challenge we have the letter B. We kicked it around here at home my Wife and three kids deciding finally on Bullying. It moved around from letter to letter with the same theme just different aspects within it.
Bullies when I was a kid were simple creatures. The bigger kids.. picked on the smaller ones. Big Kids in a class would cut lines, push and shove and just generally PHYSICALLY bully other kids. They would say things like “what are ya gonna do small fry” or, “Is Little Georgie gonna cry”. It was only ever the physical side of bullying that was addressed. No mention of the name calling or ridicule would even be addressed. Most time the Adult involved would just simply ignore the verbal with “Sticks and stones may break your bones but names can never hurt me”. For the physical part, uslally nothing would be done even when there was a real fight with fists in middle school. it was usually “Boys will be Boys”. Bullying wasn’t really a thing taken seriously when I was a kid. Sometimes when it would get bad… the person being bullied would act out pretty badly… As an example, there was one kid small for his age at the time. Quick of wit and smart of mouth… He’d mouth off when being bullied and get popped in the face. He’d fight back but usually ended up eating a dirt sandwich with a bigger kid sitting on him but the bullying would stop, why pick on someone willing to fight back. ( A big thanks for Cousin Dave teaching me… umm I mean that other kid how to punch). Once though the bully just wouldn’t stop and here is where the over the top comes in… The witty mouthy kid… stabbed the Loud mouthed Oger of a bully in the thigh with a Pencil. Umm yeah… not good right. Suspended for a week.. never bullied again though. Times have changed though.
Now when there is consistent and awful bullying the kind that makes the papers, it’s usually the kids who have been cyber bullied, or verbally bullied not physically (or maybe that’s never reported on the news now, news addressed on another day). These are the kids we hear about being bullied now. Suicides, Shootings, runaways… its a horrible, horrible thing. I’m not sure if it always happened and simply wasn’t reported or things are just that much worse now. My frustration reached the point of stabbing that kid with a pencil… I can say it wasn’t planned it just happened. I lashed out… (if your reading this Mark.. I am sorry I stabbed you… but .. nah I’m just sorry). See, even now I feel justified after the fact. Maybe these kids do too… maybe.
That’s the thing though they feel just as I did, justified. What does that say about us as a society? Either justified, or in many cases, feeling it is the only way out. My answer for my kids might not have been the best answer, or way to handle it. The girls and the boy all had the same instructions. If someone hits you, report them if they do it again hit them back and still report them. For the most part it worked… The verbal abuse… well my kids are smart, and both Mom and Dad verbally spared with each other and them since they were little they never had to much trouble with this (or they didn’t tell us about it). It’s laughter infused so it was always more like a fun game.. and they can, and do, give as good as they get. Actually now I’m usually on the short end of the razzing lol.
I’m really not sure what the answer is, we need to do better though, things have changed and the internet takes the bullying to an entirely new level. What do you think?
Real life. From a real mom. Raising real little people.
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