The Dreaded Bullying

playground-swingsI 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. 

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. 

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15 Responses to The Dreaded Bullying

  1. SKL says:

    I was bullied a few times, so hopefully I will remember what worked and what didn’t when my kids need that kind of advice. Hopefully they can learn from my experience, though I suppose that will only go so far.

    I remember one neighbor who was way bigger than me, and she bullied everyone smaller, including all my siblings – except that she was very fond of my baby brother. One day we were together with little bro and I wasn’t kissing her butt enough, so she slapped my face and told little bro she was leaving because I was a bitch. At that moment it hit me that she was just an immature wimp, and I calmly commented to that effect, and little bro took my side. She started crying like anything and never bothered me again. I then wished I hadn’t waited 10 years to tell her off!

    I think one challenge is finding the right balance between “fight your own battles” and “let an adult know what’s happening.” I couldn’t imagine telling my parents about anything short of a solid beating by an older child. In fact, I can only remember one time my mom was told of bullying, and when she told the other parent, there was vehement, angry denial, which made me feel kind of sick. So while I hope my kids will come and tell me before things get out of control, I know they might not choose to. I guess I will have to work to draw them out when they reach the age when a lot of bullying happens.

    I think I’ll also put strict limits on their use of electronics.

  2. I hope I wont be hated by you, Joy. Everyone has their share of experience with bullying — including me.

    I was always the bully rather than the victim. I’m ashamed to admit this but I have bulied a girl who sat beside me and my cousin before. I don’t think I hate them — it is just one of my weird ways of showing my love.

    Of course, it is one of my deepest regrets too! I have always regretted having a history with bullying. I changed, I swear. I am now completely harmless except for the once in a blue moon temper tantrums.

    I don’t think that girl ever held a grudge against me. In fact, she looks at me as a former classmate instead of a dangerous person.

    If I were a parent, I would want my children to tell me about things like bullying too. A little talk with the (bully’s) parents, I don’t think he/she will ever bully anyone ever again. If not, there’s always the school to complain to. If that didn’t help, enrolling my kid in self-defence class is a good idea too.

    Now, if only I could erase the guilt I feel whenever the subject of bullying comes up.

  3. Tony says:

    I hate little thug bullies who frighten, harass & intimidate others. I remember a kid who regularly bullied my eldest son Scott in high school. Then I would get called to the school because Scott would the blame for fighting as the bullies friends would lie on his behalf. I used to tell him to just ignore it & walk away. One day I was sick of the teacher’s attitude & told Scott to flatten him the next time he picks on you, which he did. I was called to the school yet again. The teacher complained that Scott got stuck into this kid for pushing him around & floored him. I told the teacher that I didn’t have a problem with it because a kid can only take so much before he cracks. The bully never came near him again. I don’t condone violence but sometimes these little thug mongrels need a good taste of their own medicine.

  4. Laura says:

    I was bullied as a kid, too. Mine was a kid who was, oh, maybe two or three years older. I honestly can’t remember. I was in fourth grade, that I remember well. This kid would follow me and my friend as we walked home from school *every day*. One day, he was getting too close, pulling our hair, saying mean things, and “Barb” and I took off running. Of course, this was the day I was wearing a skirt, and when we came to a fence, she jumped it, and I got hung up at the top. Bully came up to me, held me there, and karate-chopped up and down my back. Gave me a good beating.

    That day, my mom went to see his mom. It didn’t do any good.

    About a week later, Bully was at it again, this time with the added taunts of “baby” and “mommy’s girl” or some such. But this time Barb and I were ready. We were returning home from band practice, she with her drumsticks, me with my hard plastic flute case. Bully came up to continue the beatings and received one himself – a flute case to the gut and drumsticks upside the head.

    He never bothered us again.

    I’m sorry to say, and it’s “wrong” in this Politically Correct world, but bullies speak one language – Intimidation and Violence. (ok, two languages) That’s all they understand. The rest of us civilized beings don’t know how to speak that language, or are already intimidated out of using it, because we’re afraid of being censured by others, society, or the law. But sometimes it’s worth one shot of censure to protect yourself or those you love. Like the child in Tony’s story, it was worth getting in trouble with that teacher to get the bully off his back. Would you rather one censure, or a lifetime of oppression?

    I’m already helping Josh deal with bullies. Not that he’s encountered them, but I’ve already started him in Tae Kwon Do lessons. He knows to walk away when he can, but if he can’t, he has permission to stand and defend himself or others, and I will absolutely stand with him. But woe be the boy if I find that he’s bullying others…

  5. mssc54 says:

    Young parents, what are your plans?
    HEY! What do you mean “young parents?” lol If I find out that either of our children are being bullied I will FIRST go to the bully. I don’t give a rip if he/she is 10 or 20. Then I’ll go to the parent(s). Then I’ll go to the school if applicable. Then I’ll file a police report. I would agressively follow up on all of this.

    Do you think about this? No, I just try to be aware of “everything” that is going on with our kids.

    I also remember when I was in the seventh grade we had to walk to/from Jr. High everyday. It was only about a mile and a half (kids today would die). One day a little girl threw an apple and hit me in the back. I just reacted by picking up the apple and throwing it back at her. My aim was better than hers because I knocked out one of her teeth! Of course I was the one who got into trouble.

  6. Doraz says:

    I remember going to the bus stop with my sister and two brothers. I am the oldest. There was this big kid who thought he was in charge of telling people who got to go on the bus first. Even if we got there before everyone else, he always pushed in front of the line. Well, I remember being nice for the first day, and letting him go first. After the first day, I just pushed him right back…the stupid kid! He was shocked that someone stood up to him, and we became friends! Then we both pushed other people out of the way! NOT REALLY JOY, just kidding! lol 🙂

  7. starlaschat says:

    I was bullied a little bit when I went to school in Hawaii. It was a very small school I remember 7 boys and 8 girls in the 8th grade. Most of the school was Hawaiians, it was a small country school. I am not Hawaiian. I was being bullied a little bit my parents went to the principle and his answer was the boys like her. I thought that was a lame excuse. I think bullying in hind sight makes most people sad. My younger brother was bullied a lot and I think he felt very alone about this, I know it was very hard for him. I still feel sad about this.

  8. Just a Mom says:

    I used to get bullied as a kid until my mom taught me how to fight. After that I would throw a punch in self-defense only and that would usually put an end to it. I also learned how to be quick with the comebacks verbally.
    My youngest daughter is a little bit on the sensitive side and towards the end of the school year she was feeling like she was getting picked on by her classmates. Her teacher and I had a talk with her and this summer we are working on her verbal comebacks! I am also teaching her how to defend herself physically just in case. If nothing else it gives her self esteem knowing that she can defend herself if needed.

  9. Bullies are horrible – sadly, some people remain bullies their whole lives, and bullying doesn’t necessarily end once kids “graduate” the playground years.
    Cyber bullying sucks, I have to agree. However, I think it’s easy to avoid, easier than the article made it sound. Most people won’t try that hard to find you if you pick a new username and just don’t post who you really are. Of course, there are some who are such bullies that they’ll persist in finding your newest blog/account/etc. It’s scary, and I know from personal experience how creepy it is to be found like that.

  10. nikki says:

    Wow, that poor girl. But sadly it’s all over the place, even as you get older. There will always be some jackass who hates life and wants to make everyone as miserable as they are. It’s just sad! I believe it begins with the upbringing and the parents. You should be able to send your kid to school and “assume” they are safe, safe from predators, safe from bullies, that just isn’t the case. Teachers can’t watch every kid all the time. You have to teach your kids to stand up for themselves. Don’t allow themselves to be bullied. Of course step in when needed.
    Bailey has had a couple bullies, 5th graders. Jason went to his school one day and walked the halls with Bailey, gave that kid a good stare down, it never happened again. Kids can be mean, especially girls! Down right caddy and just plain mean, especially to the new kid. Believe me I know, I was the new kid plenty of times! Names hurt, words hurt, some times worse than physical harm. Those scars never go away! If I had one wish it would be for everyone to accept one another and love each other, I know wishful thinking! All we can do is our part, raise our children to love, not hate, defend themselves and respect one another.

    • DM says:

      I loved that idea! …going to school, walking the hall and giving the punk a good eyeball…
      My grandpa used to talk about the time when my dad was just a little tike…there were some kids picking on him so bad that he didn’t want to return to country grandpa paid a visit to the room school w/ kids kindergarden through 8th…anyway..grandpa told the teacher that if it happened again, he (grandpa) was going to go to the home of the offending kid and beat the sh*t out of that kids father…that was all it took. Grandpa was not violent, but I guess in his mind, it was worth getting upset about.

  11. SKL says:

    I should add that I think if they’re going to require kids to use computers for school, they should give lessons about cyber-bullying, including what it is, what victims should do about it, and why perps should not do it.

  12. Unfortunately, terrorism of the sort witnessed at Columbine appears to be the only sort of behavior the bully loving public responds to. Could people be any more stupid?

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