Let’s Talk About Bullies

This has been weighing heavy on my mind lately. In a world where there are parents teaching their kids it’s ok to use their fists to fight their battles. Where parents are teaching kids that people unlike themselves are weird. We are teaching kids that you must be exactly the same as everyone else and if you aren’t, you shouldn’t be friends.

Just a few months ago, I had a conversation with a certain five year old about how weird ‘geeks’ are. EW!

I was appalled at the words coming out of this little girl’s mouth. I’m a geek, I said. That’s certainly not a lie. I love all things fantasy and Dr. Who is slowly getting me hooked on the science coolness of things. She said, “NO. No you are not!” She sounds disgusted and I wondered how she treated her classmates in regards to such a word. I’m raising my own kiddo to be a geek.

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Instead of celebrating the differences in people, we have kids calling each other “fags” in the hallway. Using “gay” as a term to be used as stupid or insignificant. Kids are taught in church and in the home that you shouldn’t be friends with anyone who is a ‘sinner’ and doesn’t believe in God like you do. (side note: I was told this in my own Sunday School class. I was told to steer clear of those who don’t believe in God. When I challenged that with questions, I got strange looks and was made to feel small and ashamed for questioning.)

Instead of teaching kids to think for themselves, we are telling them how they should feel. How they should behave. How they should believe. We are breeding intolerance. We are breeding acceptance to violence. We are breeding a generation of kids who will use their fists instead of their resources. Instead of their words.

I feel like some parents are playing the part of bullies. When  you tell your child that they must ‘stand up for yourself’ and not be a ‘pussy’ you are using negative terms to force your kid to feel bad about their walking away from confrontation. When we tell our kids it’s not ok to ‘narc’ they feel less empowered to tell an adult about the bullying.

This leaves them with little to no choices. Ignoring, walking away, and telling an adult has all been proven to help diminish the power a bully has over a child. Bullies need to feel power over something, they need to have a reaction. If they don’t get one, logic would say they will get bored. Why are we taking away our children’s only ammo to defend against bullies and ‘stand up for themselves.”

Bullying starts with the parents. Let your kids be themselves. Let your kids think for themselves. Build up their self-esteem so they are confident in who they are. Be an open book, let your kid know you are there to answer their questions and to talk about anything they need to talk about. Demonstrate ways to resolve conflict without raising your voice and without violence. Demonstrate in your home how to tell an adult about harmful things without being a ‘narc.’

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Our kids will always encounter a bully. Whether in school or at work. As a child or an adult. Bullies are everywhere because in the end, their parents taught them it’s ok to use violence and negativity to get what they want out of people. It’s our job as parents to curb this and stop teaching our kids that it’s ok to bully people into doing what they want. It’s our job as parents to build up our kids’ self esteem so bullies have no ammo and no way to trigger a negative response from our kids.

As a lesbian mom, I know my kid will have some questions about her family and I anticipate that her classmates are being taught that her parents are not legally married and they are not the same. My biggest fear is that this sweet daughter of mine will be the victim of bullying. I am at a loss, because of my own upbringing, how to handle a bullying situation without standing up and using your fists.

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When I say she can just tell her a teacher or an adult, I remember that when I was in school, the teachers didn’t really do much or were not very effective. Also, I remember being told that if you ‘tattle’ you were a narc and it could increase the bullying later.

(edited: in response to Ashley’s comment below, she made me think!)

There is a fine line between bullying and sticking up for yourself. The problem is that there has to be a better solution other than violence for violence; an eye for an eye. I want my kid to defend herself, but can we not teach our kids there are more acceptable ways of doing that without hitting back. I was brought up that if someone hits you, hit them back. That was acceptable. However, I’m beginning to wonder if that was a good idea on my parents’ part. We were taught it’s ok to fight back, but 9 times out of 10, those kids who ‘hit back’ are the ones punished. So then, what lesson does that teach the victims of bullying.

At such a young age, can we not try and teach our kids that hitting isn’t acceptable regardless of the receiving end of the violence. If we allow this behavior at school age, do we then say it’s ok to hit me when you’re a teenager if you don’t agree with something? Do we then give the impression to our children that it’s alright to break the law just because we don’t think they are fair? Where’s the line where authority is respected and not just another person to blame or pin bullying on?

We are the parents who shape the new generation of children. Let’s change the way kids treat one another.

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The line blurs in the minds of little ones. It is bound to get confusing for them when they are told they can hit back and stand up for themselves, but yet they can’t back talk their parents and they can’t say no to their teachers whether they agree or not. Why is is acceptable for the children to hit back, but not to talk about how they feel, talk about how they want things to be, how they think the world around them should be shaped.

I just feel like this bullying epidemic should open up the lines of communication between parent and child. We should sit our kids down and say, “Hitting is never ok. You are better than that. Use your words. Tell someone. Talk to someone.”

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So how do we help our kids who are bullied? How do we help our kids from being a bully? I was a bully in my day, I certainly don’t want to repeat that in my kid. I also don’t want her to feel like her worth is tied up in violence and that’s the only way she can stand up for herself. I don’t want her to feel a sense of accomplishment when she beats someone up, either in retaliation or provocation.

So moms, tell me, how do you deal with the topic of bullying and if you aren’t moms of school age children yet, have you thought of a plan of attack yet?

10 Things Peyton Will Not Experience

SpongeBob SquarePants



Not only is the name of the character ridiculous, I find the humor crude and noneducational nature of the show disheartening. Personally, I don’t see the need for Peyton to watch this stupid sponge. She doesn’t need to know what he is, who he is, or be involved with any of his under the sea activities. If they aren’t teaching her something, she isn’t watching it, end of story. That really goes for a lot of things, but mostly, “the sponge who must not be named.”

Bullying Other People



I don’t care how old or young, the gender, the color, the creed. I don’t care about the religious preference, I don’t care about the social status.I don’t care if she wants to kick that person in the teeth **in her mind** she will never ever be allowed to bully another person. I won’t allow it. If she does, somehow, experience this – I will have not taught her that it was right and she will experience a grade A smack on the butt. Period. 

Asking to Do Something and Then Quitting

When I was a kid, I asked to do all sorts of things and they let me. Stupidly, the adults in my life decided that I could go to dance class and T-ball. I could join 4-H and Brownies. I would be more than happy to have added piano lessons and gymnastics if they had let me. However, they finally caught on. Kids usually want to do things and then they QUIT. Why do they quit? Because their parents let them. When the activity just got too hard, I decided I didn’t want to do it anymore. My parents allowed me to quit. I will never make Peyton do something she doesn’t want to do – but if she begs me to join dance class or karate or any other assortments of classes, she will stick it out. At least for the year or two it would take to not be ‘playing around’.

Disrespecting Elder Family and Friends

When grown-ups are talking, you don’t interrupt. You don’t tell an adult to shut up. You don’t tell an adult no. (within reason) Basically, I will teach my daughter that you wait your turn to speak and there is a time and a place for you to express your opinions and beliefs. I don’t like to think that I am the kind of mother who will tell her that Children should be Seen and not Heard, that is not true. However, I will never be cursed at, hit, bit, spit at, smacked, punched, yelled at, or any other form of disrespect. I don’t care if you say “Yes, ma’am or No, ma’am” but the Please and Thank You will be there and Excuse me and I’m Sorry will be a staple in her vocabulary from early on.

Getting Everything She Wants, Including the Golden Goose

Peyton will never be Veruca Salt. Never. I will not allow her to be. She will always have everything she needs. A roof over her head, warm bed to sleep in, clothes on her back and food in her belly. She will always been loved unconditionally and respected as a human being with rights and opinions and unique thoughts and personality. I’m not being unrealistic here, and frankly, I have a bit of retail therapy problem, so Peyton and I already go shopping pretty regularly. However, when Mommy says no, it means no. There will be no tantrums and crying and whining. I won’t say she will never experience this, but she will only experience it handful of times before she realizes that Mommy means business.
Mediocre Grades in School

I was an A student growing up. It didn’t take much for me to learn things quickly and apply it in my daily life. I was a model student. I understand that I don’t know yet if Peyton will be that way. I also acknowledge that she is not me, she is her own unique little person. However, I will not accept mediocre grades. We will always work towards helping her achieve standards that are acceptable. That would be A and B grades for me. I don’t buy into the “Its a Passing Grade” nonsense. If she just can’t get it, we need to figure out why. We need to work with her teachers and get to the bottom of the problem. Instead of dwelling on the problem and fostering it, we can come up with a solution and make her reach the potential that I know she is capable of. I wish more parents would empower their kids to do better, instead of settling for mediocre.
Dressing Like The Latest Popstar

If you are wearing more skin than you are clothes, they are too small and not appropriate. Our daughter will not be wearing anything that Madonna, Britney Spears, or Lady GaGa wears right now. No skinny jeans, no skimpy tops, and no hooker boots. I wore all that stuff when I was young, but you know what … we will not do what Mommy did. We will learn from her mistakes. Frankly, girls these days feel like they have to show themselves off by wearing as little clothing as possible. Leaving more to the imagination, makes you more desirable. I learned that the hard way growing up. I would rather Peyton not learn that lesson like I did. Not to mention that if you think you have to wear revealing clothes to get attention, your self esteem is not that high. We should be giving our daughters something else to value besides looks. How about intelligence and wit, sense of humor, and kindness?
Mommy Taking Her Side Over Teachers

I see this a lot in school age kids and I am not a teacher. I saw it growing up and my own parents are actually culprits of this as well. The kid is consistently in trouble at school, but its the teacher’s fault. They don’t bring home their books, but its the teacher’s fault. They didn’t pass a test, but its the teacher’s fault. The teacher doesn’t like me. The teacher didn’t cover it. The teacher is mean. The teacher doesn’t care. Blah, blah, blah.Kids will tell you what they think you want to hear. If you are naive enough to believe them before going to the teacher and asking questions (not acting a fool) then I pity the teacher that cares for your child during the day.
Her Mommies Fighting In Front Of Her

Kim and I have been known to have some epic arguments. We have, in the past, had some rocky roads. Recently, in the last few years, we have mellowed out. There was never physical violence – just usually screaming matches. My parents would throw things at each other and otherwise scream and cuss at each other. I remember hiding under the beds with my siblings, covering their heads with pillows to muffle the sounds. I understand that parents fight. I understand that arguments are inevitable. Fighting in front of your kids, its not acceptable and I refuse to subject my daughter to the trauma.
Closed Mind to Opinions, Hopes, Dreams, Creativity, and Wishes

I truly believe that Peyton can be anything she wants to be. I want to nurture her belief in imagination and play. I want to foster her hopes and wishes. I also want her to be able to tell me the truth. I want her to be able to come to me and talk openly with me about anything. I am not necessarily saying I want to be her friend, there is a way that you communicate honestly with your mother that is different than your friends. However, I hope that she will learn early on that no matter what she thinks and feels, she will always be able to express herself and be loved unconditionally for her differences and similarities.
There are still things that we may not agree on yet, Kim and I. Examples would be things like public school and homeschooling, whether or not our 7 year old needs a lighter to light her own fireworks, and crying it out methods. All of these things can be worked out in due time. We have really learned from each other and learned to compromise. These 10 things, I believe, we agree on and I strongly believe are just to build our daughter’s character and make her a stronger and more independent girl as she grows up!
Take Care,
xoxox