Tag Archives: bullying

“I want to leave behind me the name of a fellow who never bullied a little boy, or turned his back on a big one.” ~Thomas Hughes


Yesterday I was faced with a really difficult dilemma.  As you all know by now, my kids love giving me a hard time and occasionally have those tween/teen attitudes, but for the most part, I have great children.  They’re respectful (to everyone except me), smart, driven, motivated, talented, and very well-rounded.

Starting just this year, things have gotten a little tough with the seventh grader/teenager, as these little aliens, also known as hormones, have taken over his life, causing him to because more lazy and not so on top of his homework and things like that.

No, he’s not a delinquent, and he isn’t flunking out of middle school.  I’ve just had to ride him a little bit harder than I always have.  Let me also mention that he’s never done drugs, never had a “serious” girlfriend (well, as serious as they get in middle school), hasn’t had sex, has never been in a fight, and have never been to juvie.

With all that being said, yesterday something happened that I never imagined I would have to deal with from any of my kids.

Gerald was on the playground for recess, playing gaga ball (I have no idea, so don’t ask, but it’s the latest rage in recess games) with his friends.  One of the not-so-nice kids at his school started picking on and bullying Gerald’s best friend.  Gerald told him to leave his friend alone.

They proceeded to play the game again, and the bully kid got out.  He refused to leave the gaga ball pit and wait for the next round, as one is supposed to do when he “gets out” in the game.  Gerald said to him, “Dude, if you’re not going to play right, then why don’t you just leave and not play at all?”

Well…. that’s when it happened.  The kid got in Gerald’s face and pushed him.  Gerald says that he continued to grab his shirt after he pushed him and didn’t just push him and let him go.  So he says he pushed him back to get the kid off of him.  Of course when Gerald pushed him back, things escalated, and the kid tried to all-out fight him.  A tussle ensued, and to make a long story short, both kids got suspended.

Needless to say, I get a call from one of the school administrators yesterday to tell me what happened, and as you can imagine, I wasn’t too happy about it.  The administrator assured me that Gerald is a good kid and that it’s just school policy to suspend students who get in physical altercations.  He told me that usually when a kid gets in trouble, he almost always recognizes the kid’s name immediately.  He said this wasn’t the case with Gerald, and that he had to look him up in the computer to even figure out who “Gerald” was.  He said he’s a good student and has never been in trouble before and explained that this would not be on his permanent record or carry over to next school year.  He also explained that the suspension itself wasn’t really a big deal since the students are done working for the year and are just watching movies these last three days.

Not a big deal, huh?  Well, it kind of is to me.  My kids know better than to fight at all, much less in school.

So this is where I’m torn…

Gerald swears up and down that this kid is one of the school’s bullies and that he was being really mean to his best friend.  When I asked why his friend couldn’t stand up for himself, he asked me the best (yet hardest) question ever:

“If someone isn’t strong enough or comfortable to stand up for himself, shouldn’t I do it for him?  You always told me to stand up to bullies.”

Source: CoolNsmart.com

Source: CoolNsmart.com

“If you see someone being bullied, make it stop.

Why is that so hard for us to do?” 

~Susane Colasanti

What could I say to that, really?  I hate to say it, but he kind of had a good point.  While I’m so angry at him for getting into a fight and getting suspended, I’m also kind of proud of him.  He’s usually such a follower (his little brother is the leader amongst his friends), but this time he didn’t care what anyone else thought of him.  He saw someone being bullied, and he stood up to him.

It’s in times and situations like these where you realize that parenting is the hardest job ever.  And where you constantly question whether you’re failing as a parent or doing a pretty decent job.  Unfortunately, the true answer to that test probably won’t be clear until our children are adults themselves.  But in the meantime, I’ll keep doing the best I can and keep praying for my little boys who grow up more and more every day.

 “Bullying is not okay. Period.”

~Jim C. Hines

Source: Bethel Clinic

Source: Bethel Clinic

Resources to Help Stop Bulling:

stopbullying.gov

PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center

the ellen degeneres show

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“Racism is so universal in this country, so widespread, and deep-seated, that it is invisible because it is so normal.” ~Shirley Chisholm


Source: hayspost.com

Source: hayspost.com

Before I start with my “ignorant quote of the weekend” story, I want to take a second to thank all the men and women who have died bravely serving our Country.  Also, thank you to those who are currently fighting for the freedoms that we take advantage of daily.  It is thanks to YOU that we can even write these blogs and share our honest feelings.  And it is thanks to YOU that I could spend my weekend lying on a beach, enjoying the perfect weather, while you spent yours in a desert hell, never knowing whether you’ll be safe the next second and counting down the days until you can be back home with your families and friends.  THANK YOU.  We owe you our lives and our freedoms.

Okay, so now to my unbelievable weekend story…

Father Figure, the kids, and I went to the beach yesterday to enjoy our perfect, 80-degree weather here in beautiful Charleston.

At this particular beach, you can’t have dogs on the beach from 10 to 6.  While I love dogs, I think that this was probably a good idea yesterday because it was packed.  Everyone was enjoying their last day of the long weekend, and there was hardly an empty spot on the beach from all the people.  It would have been miserably full if everyone had their dogs out there, too.  So a cop came up to a couple who was on the beach right in front of us and told them that they needed to come back without their dog or could come back with her after 6.

I admit that I did feel kind of bad for them because they had just gotten all of their stuff unpacked and settled on the beach, their kids had just gotten in the water, and their big old fat dog was adorable.  She was just lying there, enjoying the sand and the sun, and she looked like a big baby.  She wasn’t running around or barking like crazy; she was the perfect dog.

After they were told they couldn’t have Luna (the dog) on the beach with them, they started packing up.  Paw went to get the kids out of the water, and Maw was trying to pack everything up with one hand while holding Luna’s leash with the other.  Like a sweet southern belle, I got my lazy butt out of my beach chair and offered to help Maw by holding Luna while she finished packing up their towels, toys, and cooler.

She thanked me and then proceeded to tell me that she was from somewhere in North Carolina and that they didn’t want to leave Luna at their hotel all day.  She said that it really sucked that they had to leave because the day before, they had gone to a different beach in the area where dogs are allowed at any time of day, but that they didn’t like it there because of the “type of people” who were there.

I assumed that “type of people” meant maybe rich and snobby since we live in a pretty affluent area, and these folks sounded pretty country.  I also assumed that maybe someone hassled them about their dog since Luna was pretty big and wasn’t a small frou-frou lapdog.

Anyway, I stayed and chatted with Maw while she finished packing up, and then her boyfriend came back from the water with the kids.  Paw introduced himself, grumbled about them having to leave, and then he told me his version of why he hated the other beach that they visited the day before.

And when he did… I finally started to understand who the “other type of people” referred to.

Here’s what he said [read with your best country/redneck accent]:

“Yeah, we went up to that other beach over yonder yesterday, and the whole damn beach was full a’ those watermelons.”

Huh???  What did that mean?  Why was the beach full of watermelons?  The Watermelon Festival isn’t this weekend, and it’s not at the beach, is it?  Why wouldn’t people throw their rinds in the trash?  Why would they even bring watermelon to the beach?  Doesn’t it get all sandy and make a sticky mess?

Then, Maw cut in and cleared it up for me a little [again, read with your best country/redneck accent]:

“Yeah, those damn watermelons and pit bulls… The whole beach was full of ‘em.”

What?!  The beach was full of watermelons and pit bulls?  How strange.  I don’t see many pit bulls on the beach when I go, and there certainly isn’t trash all over the beach.  How strange…

Paw made another comment that I think was supposed to be funny because he laughed his best redneck beer-belly laugh, and suddenly a light went off…

They weren’t really talking about watermelons and pit bulls.  That was their best euphemism for black people!!!  And isn’t a euphemism supposed to be used instead of something that can be found offensive?

At this point, I couldn’t even believe what I had just listened to.

Source: Newd Magazine

Source: Newd Magazine

These morons were racist!  And they didn’t want to go to the other beach because … wait for it … black people were there!  They said that they would just waste the rest of their vacation hanging out at the hotel’s pool so that they didn’t have to go back to the other beach.  Are you kidding me?!  Clearly these rednecks from the hills of North Carolina had the smallest pea brains in existence.  Father Figure and I just stared at each other in unbelief!

They finished packing and left with their kids and their poor, albeit adorable dog.  As I sat there thinking about this whole conversation after they left, I felt more and more sorry for their poor kids.  They were still young, and it was sad to think that they, too, would probably grow up to be racist idiots just like their parents.

Source: Relativity Online

Source: Relativity Online

I wish that in the middle of their conversation on why they hated the other beach (you know, the one full of watermelons and pit bulls), that my two biracial kids would have walked up and said, “Hey Mom, look at the shell I found!” or something to that effect.  I imagine the looks on Maw and Paw’s faces would have been priceless.

Source: Kefi.co

Source: Kefi.co

It makes me sad to think that this is 2013 and racism and hatred still exist.  You may remember my previous post about racism.  It’s an ever-growing problem.  Unfortunately, it’s not just an issue with race, either.  We see so many stories in the news now about poor kids killing themselves because they’re being picked on and bullied about ridiculous things.  This is NOT okay!!! 

We need to teach our children tolerance and love.  We also need to teach them to stand up for these poor people who are picked on and hated on.  Only our kids can change the future.  As F.D.R. said, “We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.”  The place to start is with love and acceptance.  No, we don’t have to agree with everyone’s choices in our increasingly liberal America, but we do have to at least tolerate them.  Set the example.  End racism through unity.  Don’t ignore it – STOP IT!

Source: KULfoto

Source: KULfoto

RACISM

WRONG


“I’d learned that some things are best kept secret.” ~Nicholas Sparks


Photo by Alicia Benton

Photo by Alicia Benton

Photo by Alicia Benton

Photo by Alicia Benton

Ten secrets my kids don’t know about me:

1.  I am absolutely TERRIFIED of the world in which they’re growing up.  Murders, drugs, gangs, bullying, lack of respect, Liberals…

2.  I wonder every day if I’m failing as a mom.  Do all moms wonder if they’re doing a good job or ruining their kids for life?

3.  I’m broke.  No, seriously…

4.  I’m worried about whether I’ll ever be that mother-in-law.  You know – the monster who hates any female who tries to steal her son from her.

5.  It breaks my heart every morning that I drop them off at school and don’t get to walk them to their classes anymore.  Psycho.  I know, I know.

6.  They’re my heroes.  [See why here.]

7.  I really don’t have eyes in the back of my head.  They still wonder, to this day, how it is that I know every time they’re doing something they shouldn’t be.  (I’m just awesome like that, I guess.)

8.  I’m not really counting down the days until they move out.  In fact, in reality, I’m dreading it.  What will my purpose in life be when I’m no longer needed as a 24-hour-a-day referee?

9.  I don’t really sit around all day and think about how to make their lives miserable.  I don’t know if they’d believe this one since I’m often known as “The Meanest Mom in the World.”

10.  I love Bruno Mars.  If they knew that, then they would decide that they hated him, and we wouldn’t get to listen to him in the car anymore.

Someday (hopefully no time within the next 40 15 years) they’ll have little munchkins of their own, and then I’ll finally sit down and share my secrets with them.  By then, they’ll have their own secrets to keep from nosey little ears (and not just from me).  How terrifying refreshing will that day be?!


Tiffany Kleiman ~ Author

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