Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bullies and parents

Let me preface this post with this disclaimer- these are MY thoughts only. I have NO evidence or experiences to back this up. These are only MY thoughts...

Bullying is a situation that is in the news quite a bit lately. As the mother of a 6 year old, I am very aware of bullying and the consequences it has on children. We have been very lucky so far not to have any bullying issues with my son.

But, a situation occurred to me this week that made think about bullies. I found the following description of bullying, which I think is pretty clear:

Bullying behavior may include name calling, verbal or written abuse, exclusion from activities, exclusion from social situations, physical abuse, or coercion. Bullies may behave this way to be perceived as popular or tough or to get attention. They may bully out of jealousy or be acting out because they themselves are bullied.

When we hear about a bullying situation with children, we tell the kids to tell a parent or a an authority figure, such as a teacher or principal. We then rely on that authority figure to put an end to the bullying. Often that authority figure talks to the parent about the child, and asks the parent to help end the bullying.

But what if the parent themselves is a bully? Yep- there are parents out there who bully, or try to bully, other adults. Usually, parents don't engage in physical bullying like kids do- parents most often engage in verbal, social or cyber bullying. So how do you expect that parent to help stop the behavior of their kids when they are engaging in that same behavior? Of course, I bet most parents who engage in bullying would say that they would NEVER bully anyone and wouldn't condone their kids being a bully. But, actions speak louder than words.

Believe, I am not saying that I am a perfect parent... Hubby and I often say that we aren't putting money in a college fund, it's going into a future therapy fund. These are just some thoughts that occurred to me after what could be perceived as a social and cyber bullying event this week. They are MY thoughts, and MY thoughts only...

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