I absolutely HATE bullying of any kind. Bullying is so mean. Teasing is also mean but I feel that for the most part, teasing is meant as “someone likes you” because if someone doesn’t like you, they won’t waste their time teasing you.
I was bullied as a child and I was really scared of this boy. He used to come when my girlfriend and I would swing. Oh this girl had the most wonderful swing. I think of it often. All it was, was a piece of wood tied onto a nylon cord type thing but it was hung SO HIGH and we could go up so high. I can still feel it when I close my eyes and concentrate on it. Well, this boy used to come and make us get off the swing. We would hate to see him coming. He was two years older than we were and I’m guessing I was 8 or 9.
One day we saw him coming and he started his rumblings, saying mean things, trying to make us give up the swing. I’m not sure why we never told anyone because after all, it was in my girlfriends backyard, but we never did tell on him. I didn’t want to give up the swing that day. I WANTED to swing. He wouldn’t stop so I got off the swing, took it in my hands, wound up with all my might, and threw the swing at him. Oh my, it hit him right in the head. I swear that I never meant to hit him with it. But, he fell to the ground for a second, got up and ran away. He never came there again nor did he ever bully us again.
But I was so afraid of him that for the rest of my childhood, I searched constantly for him no matter where I went. What I didn’t know or find out until years later was that he was afraid of me!! Oh my…the wasted scaredness!!
But we hear horrible stories now about bullying and it’s gotten so far out of the realm of how it happened to me and even my own boys. The Internet saw to that. Read this article and let me know what you think. http://www.connectwithkids.com/tipsheet/2006/312_dec20/thisweek/061220_cyber.shtml
Young parents, what are your plans? Do you think about this? Has it happened to your children and if so, what did you do? I would be terrified if my boys were young now and I had to deal with something this big.
I find kids are very mean in todays world. I don’t ever remember being teased or bullied they way kids do now!! I have 4 girls and 3 are either pre teens or teens. Wow the things they come up with. My kids have dealt with teasing. I find that girls are very mean. They can sure dish it out but when confronted by a parent, they act as if they did nothing wrong, usually denying it. I feel that the biggest bullies are kids who have in the past gotten away with things and have have not had to take responsibility for thier actions. Meaning they have teased or acted in a mean way towards another and the parent or adult in the situation has let them get away with it, without taking responsibilty for thier action. Understandidably at different ages different actions need to be taken, but I believe that in an age appropriate way they need to be taught that there are other people feels to think about and they need to be taught that all thier actions especially bad will have consoquinces!!!
What a neat blog. I’m happy I stumbled upon it today at wordpress. I like the topics.
I can’t stand bullies. I have a 3.5 year old so I can’t really relate to what I’d do given the situation but the Internet bullying really disturbs me. I know my son will not be on the computer unless I’m right there on top of him. My best girlfriend has a 7 year old daughter and I think Lisa above is right. I think girls seem to be meaner than boys. I feel girls are meaner with words and boys would just as soon punch someone in the nose. In the long run, maybe a punch in the nose is less harmful. Not saying it’s right, just less pain than the constant gossiping and back stabbing. I’ve heard of suicides and the home schooling, that’s horrible that it goes that far.
I will be anxious to see what others have to say on this. Meanwhile, I’ll check out the other posts.
I think I’m almost more concerned with human nature as a whole.
I know, I know….leave it to me to be overly dramatic….
Right now we’re currently having some seriously bullying issues at work and it’s like reliving your childhood all over again. So I realize that not all of these people outgrow this behavior, and that they still bully as adults. Or that they become bullies at some point.
I guess I wonder what makes one become such a jerk?
Isn’t that the million dollar question Jen. What does make some people act the way they do? I’ve seen plenty of adult bullies as well as children. What’s the pay-off to an adult who takes pride in this kind of behavior??
I too was bullied as a child and it kept me from living life to the fullest because I was too scared. Now I have a 12 year old daughter dealing with several girls at school who have the mean girl syndrome. I plan on writing about that one day in my blog.
I like your topics, views and what you have to say!
Bullies are the worst. We have dealt with them at all age levels this year: high school, middle school and even in preschool.
I remember being bullied at various stages of my life. Drawing from my religious training, I would usually turn the other cheek and after a long while – sometimes years – the bully would realize she was being immature and making a fool of herself. It was hard to persevere, though. I did have to take a few slaps and punches, but somehow I always stood my ground – never ran and only once half-heartedly hit back (to prove to by-standers that I wasn’t a coward). I spent several months of the eighth grade in fear of promised group retaliation for the fact that a teacher deemed my “hitting back” less of a violation than the aggressor’s hitting. It was really a difficult time in my life. 28 years later, I can still remember how it felt to have to go to school and face it.
Also, 28 years later, although I do draw a line at some point, I still have a tendency to put up with a lot. I am still not sure whether this is good or bad. On one hand, there are folks who get away with a lot at my expense. On the other hand, I generally come out fine in the long run. Ultimately I believe in Karma or in God’s judgment, however you prefer to view it. How much of my present attitude stems from my childhood experience? I have no idea.
I wish more kids would tell their parents about these things. I never told – I guess I felt it would be a sign of weakness that I couldn’t fight my own battles, or I was afraid the bullies would become even worse if I got adults involved. But I have noticed that usually, when a parent talks to another parent to resolve these things, the bully’s parent has an effective talk with his child and the child really gains some maturity as a result. I will explain this to my children and hope it helps.
As far as cyber-bullying, I would place this in the category of “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” But, I would also encourage my kids to tell me of any such nonsense. I will talk to them about how it is a display of immaturity and hope they would internalize that attitude. Hopefully I will succeed in convincing them that both their bodies and their souls are entitled to just as much respect as anyone else, and that anyone who acts contrary to this has his/her own problems to deal with.
I think the kids who really get hurt by mental games are those who go into puberty without a solid sense of self-worth. Hormones ravage a teen girl’s self-worth anyway, but hopefully a strong family structure can shore it up a bit to get teens through the toughest parts. I have my parents and my pesky siblings (both obnoxious older sibs and needy younger ones) to thank for helping me to see bullying more or less for what it is, and not as any indication of my personal worth.
I think that communication with your children is the key. Parents are so involved in their own bubble these days. They have their own bullies at work and in life.
The trick is learning how to deal with bullies effectively. This will help you through your entire life from there on out. This doesn’t mean telling the teacher, or anyone else. It means learning to stand up for yourself – as you did. It was a valuable lesson for you to learn.