86. That’s how many messages from parents I have gotten in the past 12 hours.
They’re asking for help…they’re asking me to use my voice to keep talking about the bullying epidemic…they’re offering to help me in order to finally put an end to all of this nonsense.
But the biggest thing everyone is asking me is this: Why? Why does this continue to happen?
Not everyone is going to like what I have to say. And that’s okay. But if you know me, or of me, then you know that I am unapologetically real. I have zero minutes in my day to sugarcoat anything…because let’s face it, it just wastes everyone’s time.
Ok, here it goes: Parents, stop blaming teachers for all of the bullying.
This is not like the movies in the 80s and 90s where kids are getting thrown into lockers or meeting out on the playground to settle the score. It is NOTHING like it was when we were growing up. Back in the day, Friday was the day everything came to a head. By the time the weekend was done, everything had blown over.
Now, thanks to social media, Monday is the new Friday. Things build and build over the weekend…and it all collides just in time for classes on Monday.
Our kids are bullying and harassing one another from the confines of their bedrooms. Their fingers are assault weapons…typing and posting away.
Teachers can NOT be held responsible for something that is happening in our own homes.
Here is the thing: parents, take back your house. The privacy your child thinks they deserve? Umm…nope. Your house, your bills, your rules.
Privacy comes when our children are “off our payroll.”
Stalk them. Know everything they’re texting. Know everything they are posting. Know everything they are receiving. Know everything that’s being posted about them. Follow them on social media. Follow their friends. BE IN THE KNOW. Set a time every night where every [darn] device is turned off and turned over to you. Sure, your kids will roll their eyes at you…they’ll probably call you clingy or annoying.
I call it parenting.
Am I a parenting expert? [Heck] no. Most days I have no clue what I am doing.
But I have been involved in the anti-bullying movement for QUITE some time now. I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of messages from bullies and mean girls. I’ve read the diaries of the victims where they outline the pain. I’ve sat down with the parents of the victims who told me they had no clue their child was struggling. I’ve sat down with the parents of the bullies who were shocked that “little Johnny could do this!” I have been to the FUNERALS of young children who have killed themselves because they couldn’t take it.
Let that sink in. FUNERALS of young children…because they couldn’t take it anymore.
Our kids need to learn empathy. As much as our children know that they are the center of our world…they need to understand that everything doesn’t revolve around them. Feelings matter…words hurt…words scar…words kill.
There are so many children who don’t have parents who are willing to be involved. We need to know who those children are…because they need us.
We, as parents, need to take off our rose-colored glasses and realize that our kid could be the mean girl…the bully. We need to stop feeling thankful that “at least they’re not the one getting picked on.”
Our kids don’t need to be friends with everyone.
They don’t need to like everyone.
Not everyone is going to like them.
And that’s okay.
Because that’s how it works in the real world.
There are several people who I know who I have no plans to have a pizza party with, hold hands and sing Kumbaya.
It’s about being respectful and civil.
So to answer the question “Why is this happening?”
I believe that answer can be found in our own homes.
No matter who you are, I will always fight for your kids…I will still be a voice.
**This post originally appeared on Amanda Unfiltered.