It gets talked about A LOT.
Kids committing suicide because of bullying.
Kids tattling "he/she is bullying me!"
I get it. Bullying is wrong and it happens far too often and sometimes there are tragic ends because of it. These things are real and it's important to deal with bullying.
But I think the world is going a bit extreme on what is considered bullying. What I'm noticing is that kids are claiming to be bullied when in reality it's just kids doing things that kids do.
Don't get me wrong... real, hard bullying is happening every day. Just ask my friend whose son was beat up on the walk home from school, had his backpack thrown in the creek, and is constantly harrassed on the days he rides the bus by the other students that are also riding. He gets bullied.
But when kids come running saying "so-and-so called me a name! He's a bully!"
"No. No, he is not bullying you. Kids call names. I bet you called someone a name before too. He's not a bad kid, he is just making bad choices today. YOU get to decide how you are going to deal with it. We know you are not what he called you so how about we just let it go and forgive him today?"
Not everything that happens against our kids is bullying... and we need to teach them that! We need to help our kids toughen up! Life is hard! We can't cry foul every time someone does something that upsets us a little bit. And we need to teach our kids the same.
We need to help them learn how to cope with life.
We need to tell them that
name calling happens... choose not to believe it.
kids will be mean... choose to be nice anyways.
people won't always agree with you... but that doesn't mean you are wrong.
you won't always get your way... so learn to give in sometimes.
life isn't easy... but it can still be good!
friends will come and go... be kind to everyone.
people can change... offer second chances.
We need to teach them how and when to stand up for themselves... and when to walk away.
We need to do our part to build their confidence so when the names and lies and gossiping start they know who they really are.
And we need to make sure that our homes are always a place where people are accepted, treated kindly and protected.
Teach your kids how to navigate the rough seas of life.
It won't be easy for us parents.
It will take patience and time.
It will take courage.
It will mean not running in to rescue them every time something goes wrong.
It will take dedication and perseverance.
It will be worth it.
We owe it to our kids to prepare them for life... and we start when they are young... dealing with things like name calling and not getting along. Help them to learn it on the less risky levels so that they can successfully do life when they are adults.
Teach our kids to toughen up a bit... brush things off and move on.