Sticks and Stones

Bullies have existed since the dawn of time. And, they will continue into the future. When I was a kid, they only existed once I left the house and found them at recess, in the cafeteria and as I waited for the bus before and after school. Now, with computers in virtually every home, cyberbullying has become the forefront of a battle that is being fought by parents and even politicians. Scary as it is – and trust you me, it IS scary – let’s take a step back for a minute. I may make a whole bunch of people mad with what I’m about to say in this highly politically-correct world we now live in. What ever happened to telling your child the old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”?

That’s what my Mom and Dad taught me. True, it happened outside of my house. But it stuck. It gave me confidence. They gave me TOOLS to know the “bully” was merely insecure and it was his or her way of out letting something to try and take away my power. I couldn’t control the “bully”; all I could control was how I reacted to the “bullies”.

What happened to parenting? While the bullying may be closer to home now; why, oh why aren’t we as PARENTS helping our children not feel like victims and learn to understand bullies are insecure – whether in person or behind a computer?? Instead, we’re screaming that our children are victims and the bullies must be stopped. That’s NOT helping our children. Life’s tough. Period. And in this age of technology, we have to prepare our children to deal with the bullies that LIVE BEHIND COMPUTERS.

They are the same insecure kind of people who used to say mean things and try and pick fights with our generation on the blacktops of the recess school grounds. They are NOBODY. Instead of stroking our children’s hair when they are hit by a cyberbully and going on the rampage to find the bully and call him or her out – I believe we should better arm our children with the toughness it takes to remember the “sticks and stones” saying and let them learn that no one can take their power away from them.

That’s what I’m doing in my home. Our job as parents is to raise our kids to grow wings and someday fly on their own. We can’t spend our time spinning the wheels of political correctness and ask government to come down harder on “cyberbullying” without first arming our children with the knowledge that THEY are strong. Physically and emotionally. Watch what your kids are doing. Talk to them about what they’re involved in. Know who they’re talking to, and what they’re doing on the internet.

It’s OUR job as parents to be one step ahead of our kids. It’s wrong to sit back and wait for them to be abused and then point the finger at someone else. Bullies will always try and get their way. How about we teach our kids how to handle it BEFORE there’s an issue. It seems our society thrives on being victims. Don’t teach our kids that. Teach them to be empowered. Sticks and stones…

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