Friday, October 8, 2010

Blame Game

I think it is truly sad that so many kids have committed suicide because of whatever pressures they were under. What I think is more sad is that we're convicting other teenagers for doing something that people have been doing for centuries... bullying. Yes, I said 'centuries'. People have been making fun of other people for being weird/different/strange/whatever for longer than any of us can remember. Only in recent history are we hearing about kid after kid after kid killing themselves because they're being picked on. Decades ago you let the bully pick on you until you got fed up then you mustered up your courage and socked him in the eye. Even more recently you told your mom and then your mom told the bullies mom and the bully got grounded. If anyone was commiting suicide is wasn't for bullying. Bullying was just part of growing up. You want to know what the difference is between then and now?

The parents.

Yes, grieving Mom's and Dad's I am pointing a finger at you. Don't pawn off your short-comings on other kids who are still dealing with this growing up thing just like your kid was. Don't cry on TV about how awful being a teenager must be.

Own up to the fact that you were not there to teach your child to LAUGH at bullies for being so small-minded and insecure that they have to pick on the skinny/gay/short/whatever kid.
Own up to the fact that while your child was crying themselves to sleep you were making sure your DVR was set correctly.
Own up to the fact that you talk to your children so little they never had the chance at the dinner table to tell you what was wrong so you could fix it.

Like so many celebrities who are now standing up against the 'atrocity' (p.s. that's my sarcasm font) that is bullying, I was bullied too. And you know what happened? My Mom asked how my day was at one point, and she talked to me enough that it was standard operating procedure to actually tell her how my day was. I told her what was happening and she said, "the next time you see that girl tell her you like her shirt, smile and walk away. She will never know what hit her." And that's exactly what I did. That girl continued to pick and pick and pick and each time I would laugh with her and make a lightly self-deprecating bad joke ("Yeah, I didn't want to look too smart this morning so I wore my stupid shoes.") And after a few weeks it stopped and I was on top of the world.

And what got me through those few weeks of her incessant picking? My parents.

And what made me smile through my teeth and laugh at her even though sometimes she was really hurtful? My parents.

StopAlign Left being cowards.

Stop being the most selfish generation known to man.

Stop blaming children for your shortcomings.

Your children killed themselves. No one else did bodily harm to them. And all that psychological hurt that they were going through could have been fixed, helped, healed by you. So no, I will not participate in your rememberance and wear rainbows day. No, I absolutely will not endorse whatever bullshit bullying legislation you're trying to pass. What I will endorse is you taking better of the kids you are damned lucky to still have. I absolutely will support you taking responsibility for your inaction and letting these bullies learn their lessons like teenagers will.

Yes, I know. I have no sympathy bone. But that's not entirely true. I feel for every teenager who feels like their inadequate, weird, unaccepted, studid and just plain old not good enough. And each and everyone of them should know be weird and unacceptable. Be unique. Be quirky. Get picked on. And then you know what, show some true character and laugh it off, or take care of it.


Anonymous said...

I think the first incident of bullying probably happened as Adam & Eve left the garden, because they were different from one another.

Manda said...

I agree that parents/guardians/an adult needs to stand up. It sounds like a lot of the kids are committing suicide because they can't talk to anyone or don't have an outlet or know what to do about it. Plus I think bullying can now be 24/7 with social networking/technology. More people see the kid being put down and they feel like *everyone* is against them.

R said...

I love you! I love your honest approach to everything. And I agree with you more often than I'd like to admit. Parents do need to get more involved in their kids lives, they need to take a more hands on approach and not leave it up to everyone else to help their kids. And trust me, working in a middle school, I've seen firsthand what happens when parents want to put the blame on someone else.

Emily Grace said...

Manda, I think you're completely right. But all that means is that as social networking expands parents, who believed they were responsible enough to have kids in the first place, should step up their game. The adults in the situation should give their kids that opportunity you mentioned to have someone to talk to.

And R, thanks :) Also, thank you for being there in the middle school for those kids. Teachers, TA's and the like can still do a lot of good no matter how much the federal government dis-enables (no, that's not actually a word) you and what you can do for the kids. Keep fighting the good fight.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it's the mark of a good parent to raise resilient kids, but what about the kids with sucky parents? Your parents were great, so you were lucky, but a lot of parents today are detached, and it's hard for those kids because they genuinely don't have anyone to talk to. And sucky parenting goes the other way- some kids today are downright horrible because they weren't "raised right." I agree that legislation for bullying is going too far, but I think the purple campaign is nice. I work in a high school, and I know you think it's silly but, if one kid in school today sees me and realizes that he's not alone and that there are supportive people around him and that helps him get up the courage to fight back, then my silly purple shirt did some good. And if not, then I still look good in purple, so it's a win win.

msantisocialite said...

A- I love rainbows.

B- I can't believe I didn't notice a new post for an antire MONTH, zomg.

C- you're parents are awesome, obviously did an amazing job, which means you should have as many babies as possible in attempt to repopulate the Earth with the thinking gene.

D- "thinking gene" heh.