Raising Wayland: Bullying and Your Kids
Bullying happens everywhere ... even in Wayland.
Bullying. The topic has been all over the media lately. From popular TV shows like "Glee" to news stories of bullying that ended in tragedy.
In January, I attended a Wayland Middle School PTO meeting during which a couple of Wayland Police officers talked about the prevalence of cyberbullying ... yes, even in Wayland.
And while cyberbullying might be the 21st century version, bullying itself has been around as long as there have been children (and adults, for that matter). But as a parent, how do you handle the topic?
I was bullied as a child. Never physically hurt, but kids can be vicious with words. I was a bit overweight, had glasses and braces, and I made good grades -- it was a perfect storm in terms of things kids like to pick on. But looking back, I know that I said and did some things that weren't very kind either -- always to someone whom I viewed as more bully-able than myself. I was raised better than that, but in the heat of a playground moment, those lessons on compassion and kindness and respect went out the window from time to time.
Still, my parents never gave up on those lessons. Respect for people's uniqueness was drilled into me. Humility, saying "I'm sorry," and always trying to love the unlovable were lessons my parents never wavered in teaching. And they took.
So how do you handle bullying in your home? Has it touched your kids directly? If they are bullied, how should they respond? How do you teach them to avoid retaliatory bullying?
They're tough questions, but they're important to the health and well-being of kids today who will grow up to live in an adult world that still has its bullies. How are you helping your children learn to respond?