I’ve seen a hundred TV shows, blog posts, news articles, YouTube videos, etc… dedicated to anti-bullying. But, is anything changing? If anything it seems worse. We live in a reactive society and we need to be proactive.
My own brush with bullying involves my daughters. We had just moved to a new house in a new neighborhood and our new neighbor was a single Mom with two kids. I let them come play with my girls all the time. After a time I realized that even though they are close in age to my girls, they were allowed to do things that were far beyond what I was was prepared to allow my girls to do and this cause a lot of friction and I had to put a stop to all of the hanging out. Shortly after that my girls started to be bullied by them and their friends on the school bus. I was very pregnant with twins & working full time. I wanted so badly to be able to drive them everyday but it wasn’t a possibility. As soon as I heard about the bullying I went directly to the bus driver & asked that he keep an eye on it and move my daughters to different seats. This went on for a while. Finally, I went to the school and requested that they step in. What they did infuriated me! They pulled my at the time 7 year old daughter out of class into a meeting with the bullies. There were no parents present or even notified! I wouldn’t have ever even known about it had my daughter not told me. In my opinion is was the wrong way to approach the situation. Regardless, the bullying continued and I continued to bring it to the attention of the school, teachers, and bus driver. It all came to a head when one day I came home from work and my Mom was there helping me, she said that my daughter had been getting strange messages on her phone. I checked it and there were terrible voice mails and texts from this girls number, only it didn’t sound like her…. it sounded like an adult. As soon as I heard and saw this I marched my enormous pregnant self over to her house; no one was there. So, I called and left a message asking them to call back and saying how I really hoped that it wasn’t the Mom leaving the messages. She called back and admitted to leaving those awful messages & the texts. I was so shocked that I just said you realize this is a 7 year old girl right? It was appalling! Needless to say, she called back several times & had her daughter call me to apologize. She also sincerely apologized in person, but I just can’t look at her the same. I can easily forgive the children, they are only acting in the way that they were raised. But, she was an adult terrorizing a child and that really unsettled me. It scared me to think that an adult was capable of that.
Be proactive. Be the change you want to see (not my quote :o)). Be the voice for your children. Be a voice for other children or adults who don’t have one or are to scared to speak up. If you see or hear of bullying report it. I watched a YouTube video where people were walking by a man being bullied in an obvious way and so many just looked away. Don’t be that person.