This Is When You Suck As a Parent: Bullying Edition

It’s about the time the kids go to school when the feeling of deja vu washes over you. Math worksheets. Lice checks. Playing boys chase the girls on the playground. Haven’t we all been here before?

If only the walk down memory lane stopped there.

Because when it comes to bullying, I feel less like I’m walking, more like I’m being frog-marched.

This is a childhood memory I could have avoided reliving through my child thankyouverymuch.

And yet, there it is. It begins these days in preschool with mean girls who belittle. It grows through the elementary years with intimidators who steal the joy out of a little boy’s recess.

It makes a stop-off in the classroom where a child who has just done the extraordinary, shaving his head to fight childhood cancer, raising money not for his own selfish childish pursuits but for a cause bigger than himself, is pushed down by the type of person who cannot fathom such selflessness.

This type is a complex sort: the bully. Some come from so-called “broken homes.” Some from what others, outside-peering-in looky loos would call the “perfect” family.

I’ve wondered if the rampant bullying on the Internet, aided by the wild west feel of commenting anonymously and the chance to cut someone down without having to look them in the eye haven’t pushed this along. After all, if parents are bullying on the Internet, how likely is it that they’re looking into the eyes of their little ones and night and seeing the signs?

But there it is: the solution to our problems, the one chance we have not to fall over this hurdle of childhood. The parents.

The parents of bullies have a responsibility to realize their child is the problem. It’s hard. None of us want to think of our kids as anything but the perfect angels they are when they’re sleeping with a stuffed toy clutched in their arms. But this is the only way.

They have a responsibility to realize that the kind of kid who shaves their head for St. Baldrick’s is the kind they should want their child to emulate not abuse. They have a responsibility to be honest with themselves.

If their child thinks that’s funny or worth picking on, they’re failing as parents.

If their child is stealing the joy of childhood from other children, they are failing as parents.

Once they start realizing their part in all of this, the healing begins.

And then we tackle math worksheets.

Have you “liked” Inside Out Motherhood on Facebook yet? 

Think childhood is too much “the same”? A look at why it’s not:

20 Signs Childhood As We Knew It Is Gone For Good 


  1. […] my child is the type who kids in uncomfortable positions would turn to; it means the lessons about being kind and not bullying have sunk in. But it only cemented the feeling of unease that sprung up in me earlier in the week […]

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