So I got an email from my niece's middle school the other day- it was a survey to gauge the parents' opinions on how well the school was handling the bullying issues in the school.
Before I go any further, let me say that I believe bullying is wrong. I also believe it takes a village to raise a child. However, I'm not sold on the anti-bullying schtick. OK, OK, don't crucify me yet- hear me out...
I know (as do the children) that it is wrong to call names, tease, threaten, hit, etc. I also know that there have been a ridiculous amount of violent bullying cases recently. Bullying is different than when I was a kid. But somewhere along the line, have parents truly lost complete control of their kids??? I gotta tell ya, when I was a kid, you didn't “act out” at school because when you got home (after the principal whooped you), your dad would whoop you again. It seems when the schools “handle” issues they aren't really handling anything until after the fact. Obviously corporal punishment is not allowed in the schools any longer – I haven't decided if that's a good thing. But why aren't the parents stopping these violent issues before they start?
I read an article the other day about a FIVE YEAR OLD boy who took a knife to school because he didn't like his teacher. Seriously?!?
Now leave the violent bullying aside- think back to simpler times, when bullying was name calling, teasing, tripping someone in the hallway... I know I dealt with some of these things. And for the most part, we were left to ourselves to sort things out. I don't think this is the wrong approach with this kind of “bullying”.
I never enjoyed the bullying, but I learned to stand up for myself, or how to avoid the situation if needed. I learned that I needed to be smarter, or faster, than my nemeses. I learned to “suck it up”. I learned there was strength in numbers and the value of my friends. I learned to have a thicker skin. I learned it sucks to lose. A lot.
How are children going to learn the same lessons generations before them learned if we coddle them, keep them in bubbles, dope them up so they don't “act out”, and generally baby them to death?
OK, then- my diatribe is complete. Discuss...