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Parenting is difficult for anyone, but as parents, we must do all we can to raise our kids the best we can. They are our legacy and the future of the world. They will encompass all that we are in a tiny package, so for God’s sake, raise your kid’s not to be dicks to others.
Bullying is common—has been for some time—and more so now with the world being such a small place, transcending from the schoolyard to social media, which is relatively a new concept in the timeline of humanity. When I was young, bullies generally remained a problem for the schoolyard, where home was like armour you wrapped yourself in. Well, for most, anyway.
Now, bullying goes beyond the yard and into our children's lives via the internet, and every day there are more stories of young people committing suicide due to the actions of their peers, and there seems to be little anyone is willing to do about it; often ending in suicide or the victim taking another extreme and go on a rampage. My question is, who is responsible for bullies?
Simple, parents are. I know there are plenty of people who repeat the same BS on this: “They are being too sensitive,” or “They should just get over it.” Sure, we can blame the victim on this and allow bullies to have an "out" for their behavior, or we can actually raise them right.
I know bullying well. It has been around me all my life—not always against me though. I was bullied once in school, older boys beating me up for being poor. I lashed out against them one day, hurting three of them badly enough to draw attention to myself. It did do one thing—I was not bullied ever again. I am not recommending anyone else use violence as a method of confronting bullies, but in my case, it did work, though it created a version of me I now struggle with every day since (that is for another story).
Others around me have been bullied, some so severe that attempts or successes on their lives have been made, my fiancé and my eldest daughter being two of them. My fiancé has been effected by bullying in several ways, one while in school. She was quiet, ached for friendship, and often did much for those who would never return the favour. Then, later on in life, she worked at a café where a good friend of hers was bullied into suicide, creating Brodie's Law ( in Australia). Then again, in her adult life while at work for a multi-billion dollar business, her direct supervisor often made her feel less than she was, commenting on her looks in various ways and reprimanding her for things such as a dropped pencil. I was with her during these adult years and often saw her come home in tears. It was not easy to calm those tears. Even harder not to be myself and confront the cause, I instead convinced her to walk away from the job as she wanted no trouble - an echo of her meek personality that contrasts my combative nature.
My eldest daughter, having Aspergers is now 17 with the emotional maturity of a 12 year old, she has had three attempts on her life due to bullying and only now becoming stronger, she has asked I not tell her story in detail but I will say this, she is stronger than many and has overcome much adversity.
My youngest daughter is far different—taken after me. She is combative. She does one of two things when presented with a bully: she fights back without remorse or she befriends the bully and tames them. She will make one hell of a leader one day.
I tell you personal stories not to expose my life on topic, but to help understand what others have gone through and how differently it affects them. In the end, our parenting is the root to our legacy in children, and if we raise them right, they will treat others with respect and dignity, regardless of what makes another "different." So before you blame the victim, look at yourself and see where the real problem is, because that reflection is in your child. So raise them not to be dicks to innocent people, making the world better one generation at a time.