A Story about Bullying…Are we Raising a Generation of “Soft” Kids?

My daughter was recently being “bullied” in some of her classes at school. 

Now, you have to understand that #1, I am very old school, and #2, I am a school teacher.  I am also not a person who puts up with any form of crap.

You might say, “Well, what does any of that have to do with your daughter being bullied?”  I was not happy with that situation at all, but…

Being old school basically means that when I hear the word bullying, I have to kind of chuckle, and say, “Bullying, are you kidding me, Bullying?”  You see, I came from this certain time and place when the word bullying did not exist.  When I was a kid/teen, other kids were mean to me for sure.  Almost on a daily basis.  In my neighborhood and my school though, in order for me to solve this problem, I always had 3 choices. 

#1.  I could stand my ground, and get mean back.  A good punch in the nose solved nearly all of these issues, if it ever got to that.  Kind of like a spanking took care of most negative behaviors in children back then too (but that is a different subject for a different day).

#2.  I could just put up with it and say, “Whatever…So be it” and let it go on and on.

#3.  I could steer clear of that person and just stay away from them as much as humanly possible.

Here is the biggest difference today, and also why I was able to keep my emotions in check when my daughter came to me with this issue.  You see, we did not have Bully lessons and “Learn how to deal with a bully classes” at school.  We also did not run to an adult or a guidance counselor or vice-principal in charge of bullying every single time that we had a disagreement/argument…Where something mean might end up being said.  We handled these things ourselves.  We handled it like men (as my dad use to say).  Unless the situation was beyond being able to handle it amongst ourselves (severe cases).  We were not given a lollipop for running to an adult.  So…I do get and understand my daughter here.

AND STOP…Before you say it…No!!  I am not a teacher who does not see some importance and some validity with these types of programs at school.  But I do feel that since we now do all of these assemblies, and classes, and speeches about bullying that we have put it in the forefront of everyone’s minds, and made it grow into a much bigger problem or issue than it truly may be.  I teach in a school every day.  It is really not as bad as people make it out to be.  It’s not.  Period.

PRIME EXAMPLE of what I mean:  If you have followed the election and watched how people have acted and reacted to many of the situations within it, you are seeing exactly what I am trying to say here.  People are acting as if they have been bullied.  Having cry-ins, school and businesses supplying psychiatrists and grief counselors because people did not get their own way and because their candidate did not win.  Cancelling tests because people are not able to concentrate and function.  Because your candidate did not win!!??  You all see what I’m saying.  Because someone disagrees with you, we act in such a way, that we bring national attention to ourselves for acting like babies instead of grown adults.  Make sense?  We act like we are being bullied.  Folks…I am sorry, but you have not been bullied here.  You just cannot accept being told no, and you cannot figure out how to handle it on your own.  Sound familiar????

We (all of us), with our go get help, talk to an adult, find someone to help you attitudes…Are actually all helping to raise a society of kids and teens who do not know how, or even have it within themselves to take care of things and handle things on their own.  I see it on a daily basis.  It is now part of our world.

There are definitely reasons for people to seek out help in this world.  These reasons are certainly not it though.

One of the places that I see it the most, obviously, is the playground.  The kids are playing kickball and get into an argument over he is safe or he is out.  They start yelling and screaming and disagreeing, and other teachers say to me, “We better get over there and handle this before something bad happens.”  Handle it…NO! …Something bad happens?  We need to let them work out their problems on their own.  If they want to stand and argue for the entire recess, it will not be much of a fun game will it?  They will eventually figure it out if they really want to play instead of arguing.

And then…The Whopper of all Whoppers… “He called me a mean name.”  A student is crying and in a deep depression because of being called a name.  Or “He is teasing me.”  Students run to us/me because they do not know how to handle this, and want me to handle it for them.  I handle a lot of things, but when it comes to this, I usually try to make the recommendation that they handle it themselves.  WHY?  Because if I bring the other student over and handle it myself, the problem always (100% of the time) worsens the minute that I turn my back.  It is counter-productive and usually leads to a bigger problem for all involved.  Let them handle things on their own once in a while.  Try it.

There is always a safety valve for today’s youth.  A safe haven.

The question though, is this.  Will those safe havens be there for these kids always? 

Let me help you with the answer to that.  I have lived for 43 years now.  The answer is a big, fat NO…

-Corey Twigg

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