Monday, March 7, 2011

No Bullying For My Boys: Watching Dateline

Sunday night my boys and I watched Dateline NBC. They had a show dedicated to bullying. It’s a topic that is probably highlighted daily at schools and in the news. I had seen a couple of the spots on the Today Show and I wasn’t sure how my boys would respond in similar situations.

Watching the Dateline show wasn’t intentional. I just happened to check it out as I was flipping through the channels. I called my boys down and told them what we were going to be watching.

So, they hopped up on my bed and we watched and we talked. Well, I should say, “I talked”. Now that I’m thinking about it, I should’ve engaged them more. I still have opportunity though.

We watched the girls bully other girls and then the boys bully other boys. Throughout each segment, I told them of my expectations, of how hurtful bullying is.

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What do I expect from my boys?

  • That they NOT join in with the bullying, even if they’re amused or pulled in
  • That the do NOTHING because as they said, doing nothing is like agreeing with it
  • That they tell someone if it’s needed
  • That they don’t wait for someone else to step up, that they’re the first ones. Someone needs to go first, may as well be my boys
  • That I don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl being bullied, they need to step in
  • That God made each and every person special: big, skinny, short, tall, etc

Now, I don’t expect them to put themselves in harms way, but the situations on the show showed some times where it could become physical, especially with boys, and I’d want them to get someone in authority: a coach, teacher, parent, adult.

I was just about to type that my boys have never experienced bullying, but you know what? I have no idea if they have or not. My oldest son is pretty little for his age. To top that off, he’s one of the younger kids in his grade. Totally possible that he could be bullied for that.

My other son wears a hearing aid in his left ear. If not now, in time, it’s possible he could be bullied for that.IMG_5418So I realize we can’t just assume our kids aren’t being bullied. This post, even after having watched the show shows me two things, I need to check with my boys to see if they’ve dealt with bullying and discuss with them how they might handle a situation that could come up.

Dateline has some tips for bullying for kids and adults.

Have your kids dealt with bullying? Has yours ever bullied someone? None of our kids are perfect so we have to accept that as parents and try to rectify it if they have.


Joy Tamsin David said...

I'm sorry I missed that show. I wonder if they're going to rebroadcast it. I commend you for your expectations. Those are awesome. I expect the same thing from my kids.

One of my sons (10) has been getting bullied at school. I have contacted the school about it, but it seems to only make it worse b/c the offenders find out he's tattled to his mother.

So our next step is to get him into some sort of mixed martial arts class so he can learn how to defend himself.

Liz Mays said...

My kids were never bullied, but my friend's daughter was bullied from elementary school through high school.

Cheryl said...

My kids all have been bullied one time or another. It seemed worse when they were little, but I have found the bullying is intense as teens. My daughter was bullied so badly, from my son's ex girlfriend, just because she was mad about the break up. This girl bully and about 6 friends and 2 boys, actually chased my daughter, while she was driving, and tried to run her off the road. I went to the police station twice and they told me they could not do anything till they actually harmed her! My daughter's boyfriend's dad is a supreme court justice and when the police found out, they sprung into action. Finally the bullying had stopped, but not before it did some really damage on my daughter's nerves. She is also teased at school because of our faith. She doesn't go out and do the stuff that her peers do, and she catches a lot of flack for that.

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