As repulsive as it is to think about bullies, bad kids and mean kids, which to me are all the same; as a mother, I do know that they exist, from what I have seen take place on playgrounds, in back yards, on school grounds and at events. As much as I love ALL children, no matter whom they belong, and from whence they come, I cringe when I hear some of the nasty and hurtful things they say. I grovel at some of the things that I see them do.
It’s beyond kids just being kids, expressions of personalities and clashes, behavioral differences and learning how to get along. It’s the line that they cross, when their words and actions resemble behavior that seems to be taught, engrained and instilled into them, by perhaps elders. Just an assumption about where it may come from….
Where else, would kids these days come up with their sometime, pre-historic assessments, that someone can/cannot do, or can/cannot afford something, or be something; due to their skin color? And why would they feel this, at the tender age of 6 or 7…8…9 and 10, that being a certain color, means you’re ugly or not worthy of playing with? And why would they ‘feel’ that it’s ok, to pick on another child just because the other child has a different color skin?
Who is responsible for bestowing credence, in these children’s behavior; whereas they would think it’s anywhere near on the side of right, to discriminate against another child or person, for that matter? The nature of the comments and actions just don’t seem to be conceived in the mind of a child. IJS.
We don’t want to think of any child as being bad, or even mean, but that’s the translation sometimes. So, perhaps they are just misguided? Kids are adorable-that’s how they are born. They only become nasty through experiences and exposure. Their behavior is either replicated behavior or sublimated and emulated by imitation.
My child was outdoors today, and in his normal fashion of being highly energized, friendly and eager to play. He saw 4 kids, close to his age, one being a bit older, maybe 10- years old; and he asked if he could play with them. I said, yes of course. They were riding bikes, all except one. My son ran alongside of them. Shortly after, they said and did somethings that weren’t very nice. Later, I was told that my son endured it and continued to play. That’s just his nature. He loves everyone. When my parents took notice of what was going on, and how my son was being treated, I too became aware. I went outside to get him.
They hurt his feelings. His understanding was just that he wanted to play, and they were in return, being mean to him. That’s an innocent interpretation, until you hear about the entire ordeal. I summarize to say, I had a long talk with him. After-which, a long bubble bath fixed it for him. They may have hurt his feelings, but they didn’t break his spirit. This is what he had to sing to them, when it was all over. (Video Below- captions inside)
Let’s start at home, by doing the following:
Teach your own children first: Teach your children right from wrong. There’s so many ways to do this and so many books to read with good moral lessons, as well as PBS and other educational television shows, which teach children how to practice good manners, by introducing situations, where a child may learn what the right thing in those cases, are to do.
There are many value-lesson games which you can play together, as well as simply being an example yourself. Set the tone for your child. We must instill, into our children, that which we want to come out of them.
Sometimes, children can overhear us talking about other people or expressing language that is not fit for their ears, and when they leave the house, they repeat it. So, be mindful when the kids are watching. It’s just good manners.
Preparing your child: In a perfect world, your child won’t face any challenges at school with mean kids or bullies or racism. They will go off to school unhurt and they will return unhurt- especially when we feel that we’ve taught them how to act, so they will be ok.
But it’s just like being on the road. The lesson is, to watch out for the “other driver” because you can be as safe as possible, and still find yourself in an accident that was unavoidable. So, while our children are outdoors doing the right thing, we cannot always count on other children doing the right thing. We should however, foster a community where every child is looked after, as it was way back when…
Preparation is key– in just teaching them that it’s not always something that they do or have done, which will cause someone to do something to them.
Having age appropriate conversations: Deciding on the best time to have any discussions about what may or may not occurs is up to the parent and the situations that their children are facing. But we do have to take into account age and timing. When is the time right? You’ll know. I didn’t think it was appropriate to discuss bullying or racism, for instance, until he came face to face with it. When he encountered a situation, where he would need answers or understanding, that’s when it would be necessary. Or if someone begins to pick at him, for no reason, taunting him and harassing him, then he needs to know what this is. And he needs to know that it’s not right, so that he will know the steps he needs to take, regarding reporting the behavior.
Letting them know it’s not their fault: I think that when your child comes home, after being taunted about their skin color, or their shoes, or their hair, their reading glasses, their clothes, facial or body features; it’s important for us as parents, being the closest people to them, to constantly be building their morale. This is where their self-esteem rest. These are the years that those mean comments can shape and mold a child, causing them to retreat to the inside, finding something wrong with themselves and then begin to dislike how they were made. It may even manifest into adulthood, where they too become bullies. We have to combat this as much as we can as parents, by building them back up, if someone tries to break them down. But to keep it in the road as well, (balance) so that they do not become full of themselves.
Let’s do our due diligence, when setting expectations of teachers to uphold a standard in what will not be tolerated in school, as it relates to bullying someone, beit due to their race or gender.
After we’ve done this, we hope that in the school that we selected for our children to attend, that there will be teachers who will also reinforce good behavior. We hope that teachers practice good behavior also, and do not discriminate against any child or use intimidation tactics to demolish our children’s esteem. We hope that teachers exercise their ability to teach manners and how good manners are what make people feel good. Doing good, being good and having that returned, is the ideal situation.
Originally posted here. On CAFEMOM