A friend of mine was telling me that when she was in elementary school, every single day someone called her stupid, called her ugly, called her names, tried to trip her, and she was always picked last. Life was hell. Why do teachers still let kids pick teams? They know who will always get picked last. It is just cruel.
My friend had a sister who was told every single day that she was beautiful, and smart, and everyone wanted to be her friend. Everyone adored her. Everyone had high hopes for her. I know this kind of reads like a fairy tale but it isn’t.
So you can see there was a problem there. Of course the adults in my friend’s life were so clueless that they had no idea what their bullied child was going through. If they did they wouldn’t have done anything about it anyway, except maybe tell their child to buck it up, or maybe smile more.
There were other children too but the parents would not, or did not know how to stand up to them either.
My friend is tough. My friend takes rejection well. Unfortunately the insecurity of being bullied that often lasts a life time. There is always second guessing. There is always self doubt. There is always that felling of never fitting in. No matter how successful, and how well the bullied child does, there are always the scars.
My friend is doing great by the way.
Parents need to talk to their children. They can’t be clueless and base everything on their own limited experience. If you child is quiet, or a loner, or unhappy, or way too much in their own fantasy world, or just kind of weird, or struggling with school work, maybe you need to check on them and TALK TO THEM. It could be that they are just quiet. A lot of people are. Or maybe there is something dark and ugly going on with your child that you don’t know about.
I put up a lot of posts about bullying. I’ve seen it in schools. It continues to the workplace. It is rampant. It isn’t just the occasional snarky comment I’m talking about. It is the constant mean spirited harassment that so many people are subjected to day in and day out.
And what about the bullies? Most children who are bullies don’t grow up to be successful. A few might, but most are stupid, ignorant, mean, and just assholes. They know better. I have no sympathy for them or whatever their situation in life is. Girls, or boys it doesn’t matter.
Someone else told me that the effects of chronic bullying can almost be like a chronic illness. One manages it, but it never quite goes away.
I don’t know why I was even thinking about this today. I guess it might be because school has started again.
No matter what you do, talk to your kids. Let them know that they can come to you and talk to you about anything without judgement, or clueless looks. Be proactive in your child’s life. If your kids is being bullied talk to their teacher. Find out what is going on. Most of all just support your child.
Some will say find out what is provoking the bullying. Sure if your kid sings the same song non-stop, or tells everyone he is really a rabbit, or a secret superhero, or lets his freak flag wave too much, you might want to tell him to tone it down a bit, at least at school. We all have to learn when and where to let our own personal creativity and quirks show. Sometimes it is not at school. But more often than not kids are just bullied for being a bit quiet, or for looking different, or for not being good at math or PE – and those are all stupid reasons for being bullied.
Anyway…just be aware what is going on in your child’s life away from home. And again, talk to them and keep those lines of communications open. Most of all let them know they are loved, and they are valued.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman