There’s a pretty excellent blog post floating around by Stephanie Metz, owner of the blog entitled The Metz Family Adventures. In the post, entitled Why My Kids Are Not The Center Of My World , Stephanie says a lot of things I think most of us can agree with about child raising. She makes the argument that parents who make their kids the center of their universe aren’t doing the world any favors. She says a lot of things I can agree with, except for this one:
There was a time – not too long ago – when bullying was defined as slamming someone up against a locker and stealing their lunch money. There was a time when kids got called names and got picked on, and they brushed it off and worked through it (ask me how I know this). Now, if Sally calls Susie a bitch (please excuse my language if that offends you), Susie’s whole world crumbles around her, she contemplates suicide, and this society encourages her to feel like her world truly has ended, and she should feelentitled to a world-wide pity party. And Sally – phew! She should be jailed! She should be thrown in juvenile detention for acting like – gasp – a teenage girl acts.
Whoa, whoa whoa, stop the bus there, Nelly. I can’t think of any situation where anyone has called for a teenage girl to be jailed because she called someone the B word. That’s not bullying, it’s just having bad manners. Those of us who care about bullying, who understand how bullying works in these here modern times, aren’t talking about kids just being nasty to other kids. Susie isn’t just being called a “bitch” – she is usually either bullied and relentlessly harrassed until she does take her own life. She is being drugged at a party and raped and threatened by her peers. She is the victim of racism. She is being bullied due to her sexual orientation, or her weight, or the fact that she may be a kid with special needs. That’s the sort of bullying we talk about when we talk about bullying.
Kids being nasty to each other? That has been around since before you and I were born, and both you and I probably dealt with that to some degree ourselves when we were in school. No one is calling for these kids to be thrown in a juvenile detention facility. But is it so much to ask that when we do find out our kid has called another kid a “bitch” to have them apologize? To sit down and explain to them why that is unacceptable? To teach them the golden rule? Stephanie says in her blog that:
Modern parenting and thinking makes me crazy. The young generations of today (yes, I sound old. I realize I’m only 29 years old.) are being taught that they shouldn’t have to ever put up with anything doesn’t make their hearts feel like rainbow colored unicorns are running around pooping skittles onto piles of marshmallows.
The “modern parenting” that “makes me crazy” is when a parent find out their kid has called another kid a bitch and ignores it, brushes it off as welp, kids will be kids and doesn’t stop to investigate further. The modern parenting that drives me crazy is modern parents who aren’t fully modern because they don’t understand how vastly different the world is today than it was when we were teens. When I was a teen, it was a girl calls someone a bitch. In today’s “modern world” if a girl calls someone a bitch it is because that girl was held down at a party and raped by six of her peers when she wouldn’t give one of them oral sex.
I’m all for raising strong kids that know how to stick up for themselves and understand that life isn’t always fluffy kittens and “unicorns pooping skittles” but moreso than that, I’m all about raising humans who don’t act like savages and who understand they are expected to behave like decent humans, which means not calling someone else a bitch, for any reason. I wish we did live in a world where the worst thing our kids would face would be being called an unkind name, but us modern parents? We get that sometimes it’s a lot worse than that.