Monday, September 10, 2012

Unnecessary Glances into the Future

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it in earlier posts, but I was bullied when I was in fourth grade. Not physically, but mentally. I'll skip the particulars, but it is something that I have to live with and will never forget.

Occasionally when doing parent recon, I come across articles on bullying. On one hand, JD just started kindergarten, so I'm not worried that it will happen soon. What if he ends up socially awkward like I was, combined with being around a group of kids who enjoy exploiting it like I was?

Part of me wants to do my best to teach JD and Bunny what I wish that I was taught - that the kids, at least initially for me, didn't mean harm. They were probably teasing me like they would any of their friends. When I didn't react well to the ribbing, they wanted to see what would happen if they kept going. And going. And going.

Here's our family philosophy: first, talk to the person. If that doesn't happen: second, talk to a teacher or authority or parents at home. Third, our kids have our permission to take matters into their own hands.

Let's say that it doesn't work and that the kids do keep going.

Here is what happens in my head. Perhaps this is the big-talker, creative writing mind taking things to extremes. Nonetheless...

First, I would talk to the school. Then to their parents. Then if it continued to be a problem, I would actually threaten physical harm to the parents, or at least the father. Then I would take a baseball bat to their house, car, etc. I would not use a baseball bat on a person. I am 6'5" and can handle myself. Maybe show up at their place of business. I envision some loss of my sense of right and wrong.

When I think back to how I was treated, it is a nightmare. My blood rushes, I get warm, and have the feeling as if I'm being backed into a corner. My body is preparing for a fisticuffs. (I am using the present tense because those are the symptoms happening right now.)

Being Jewish, there is a saying: NEVER AGAIN.

Do you know what that means? If not, then Google it.

But, when it comes to my kids getting bullied, NEVER AGAIN. Not on my watch. No fucking way.

For those who are reading this and wondering whether it's a good idea to teach kids that violence solves problems: there is a time to stand up to a bully and punch him (or her) in the face. Like if someone is picking on your little brother or sister. Yeah, then it's okay.


  1. I approach it from the other direction with my son. I'm not worried about him being the victim of bullying. He's a follower though, if his friends are doing something, he wants to be in on it. So I worry about him being the bully. I am repeatedly reminding him that bullying is unacceptable, that he will be in BIG trouble with me. I also remind him to be "that kid" - y'know, the one who steps in and stands up for someone else if he witnesses THEM being bullied. He's 14 now. i hope my messages stick. So far, so good.

  2. I totally agree with you. I teach/taught my kids the same three points of action as you listed in your entry.
    My kids were on the smaller side growing up. Although it was great because we didn't have to trade out clothes constantly,it was NOT good for the social pecking order.
    We invested in karate classes and role playing. I am happy to say that it worked! There were instances where an older brother came to the rescue of a younger sibling. A daughter took some hits but gave it right back and I got a call from the school and then from the parent of the bully. I promised the mother of the bully that my daughter will never smack her daughter UNLESS her daughter smacks my daughter first. It was sweet!