In the wake of yet another teen suicide in my community as a result of bullying, I need to vent. Mean people suck. Simply put. I just don’t get it and I know I never will. This coming from someone who was not one of the cool kids, nor was I one of those kids that can say I looooved high school and would jump at the chance to relive it. Hell no. I loved my teachers and excelled, graduating with honors. While I got along with everyone I never quite fit in with any particular group either. As a result I kept to myself. Solitude, music and books were my best friends in those awkward raging hormonal years. Perhaps that’s why I was one of the lucky ones. I stayed in the shadows. But I saw. Even some twenty-three years ago, bullying was happening. Nothing compared to the scale that it is today though. Nowhere near.
It completely and utterly saddens me to hear when a fourteen year old girl takes her life because some popular boy doesn’t like her and a group of girls, the bitches we can be especially in packs, relentlessly making her life hell. And this girl, she kept it balled up inside her, like most kids that age do. And I get it. I so get it. You’re humiliated enough amongst your peers why bring it home where you have some sense of control. Schools these days are like fucking battle grounds. Education takes a back seat to behavior. But, but, it’s up to us parents to be involved with our children. That is the key people.
I’ve often bumped heads with my children’s pediatrician when it came to signs of illnesses over the years. Why? Because I know my children more than anyone. Every parent does. Well, a participating parent. We know their every day behaviors. We know when they are sick. When they are lying. When they are hiding something. When they are withdrawn. And we can’t ignore it. No matter how awkward it may be. We simply can’t. It sucked major ass that I had to talk to my daughter about sex in the fourth grade because of things she heard in school. But I did it. And she walked away still believing in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy and knowing what “jerking off” was. Yah me. It totally wasn’t the way I’d visualized that conversation to go and totally not at such a young age. But I did it, while silently cringing.
But that’s what we do. That’s what we are supposed to do. We are supposed to be their protectors. The ones they can trust with anything. And when they get to that age where they get all hormonal and crazy, where mine is these days, it’s up to us to reel their asses back in, ride the storm, and pray for the best. But that takes an effort. And effort takes diligence, not to mention patience and understanding.
We owe it to our children people. God knows parenting didn’t come with an instructional manual, I know. I tell my fourteen year old all the time, we’re in this together kid. This is your first time being a teenager and my first time raising one.
Bullying is a sad reality effecting our kids all over the world. It knows no boundaries nor color. And it thrives on people keeping silent about it. Talk to your kids. You know yours better than anyone else.