Thursday, April 10, 2014

When the Anti-Bullying Movement Goes Too Far...

Today I realized how much is changing in the world, in society. I think the kids we're raising today are certainly growing up to be self-entitled, brats, with no individuality, or backbones to stand up for themselves. We're babying this generation too much, sheltering them from the real world, not giving them enough responsibilities, or accountability for their actions. We strip them of basic independence when we tell them they have to be friends with everyone as early as Pre-K and literally every statement is considered being "not nice" even when statements are neutral but honest. I was perpetuated with fear for my daughters but today I stand firm in my decision to raise my kids differently. The way I was raised in fact. I will not be bullied by the infamous Anti-Bullying Movement. Bullying is a real problem no doubt, especially when it involves kids exploiting one another on social media. However, an even bigger problem is brewing when literally everything is considered bullying and parents are involving themselves in what used to be a basic survival skill  for kids to learn problem solving and how to grow tolerant of others.

We're a bit pissed off, but not irrationally so. I think parents today are raising Pussies. There I said it. For the entire school year my husband and I have been hearing about this girl from our daughter who is always mean to her, always saying mean things, always trying to isolate her from others. One day they're friends the next day they're not, you really can't keep up, so we bought into the anti-bullying movement and shrugged our shoulders and said when it happens let your teacher know and taught her not to retaliate. No big deal, nothing worth mentioning to the teacher. They're four for God's sake, they like telling on each other, they like the attention, they can't stand not getting to be in charge when it's a pretend game. No rocket science needed there. That's what kids freakin' do. I'm not that mother who constantly defends and raises hell for their child without getting the facts straight. If anything I'm probably  at the midway point of being old school like when I was growing up. My mom always came to us first and got the truth out of us before confronting the other party. She always assumed we were in the wrong, because most times it's the parents who feel their child can never do any wrong are the ones who actually do.

I guess my daughter got tired of taking this girls bullshit so she starts telling the girl she's not gonna play with her anymore and they're no longer friends. The child goes back and tells her parents, and then her parents brought it up to the teacher. The teacher of course lets me know, and repeats the mantra to the girls explaining "We are a school family, and we're all friends". School family is fine but now when I'm telling  my daughter to stay away from the other child, my daughter becomes conflicted in tears saying I'm trying to stop them from being friends on purpose, and that's not what her teacher said. She was told they are all supposed to be friends.

Fuck that. Now if nobody was hurt physically, no bad words were used, nobody is being socially outcast-ed... why do the parents need to mention anything to the teacher? I surely haven't because I've constantly asked my daughter about her encounters and she's learned that it's not a big deal, and to simply move on.   You don't have to be friends with everyone. You will treat everyone with respect, be polite, not single anyone out for any particular reason, not tease anyone, and never put your hands on anyone.  I was raised with "if someone hits you, you hit them back". Yet I never taught her that. I was bullied in the 4th grade for almost the entire year until I stood up to the girl and fought her. She never bothered me again. My mother never fought my battles for me, and I'm glad she didn't. NYC isn't a place with any kind of Anti-Bullying movement, you learned to survive.

I just hate that we're brainwashing kids to believe that everybody is their friend, only to end up trying to wean them off the idea of conformity in High School when they succumb to peer pressure and do stupid shit with their friends. We're breeding followers, not leaders. We have too many followers to begin with. I want my daughters to learn how to love themselves, and respect themselves from now, and that means learning how to be tough enough to bounce back after dealing with the shit people will dish out from time to time. Be confident, be diplomatic, and be happy with who you are. Children have the right to pick and choose their close friends. You know in your gut when someone is good or bad for you.

8 Must Read References:
Why My Kids Are Not the Center of My World

12 Ways to Be the Meanest Mom in the World

When the Bully is Your Kid

7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders

11 Tough Leadership Truths That No One Talks About

14 Year Old Writes the Most Important Poem of the Century

7 Reasons Why You Will Never Do Anything Amazing with Your Life

The Overprotected Kid