Do I even know where to start? No, I guess I don’t. One of the moms today said to me that she has a stiff neck. She’s feeling the pressure of her life on her shoulders. The stress of her job, dealing with the kids, taking them to activities and being ready for the birthday party of her partner, a man who finally makes her happy after her ex has basically wrecked her trust in relationships.
I saw my friend today. My friend who is fighting for her life while knowing she can’t win. I saw her smile and laugh and have small talk. I saw her leave because she was too exhausted to stay and watch the girls till the end of their game.
Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton are singing “Say something” and something about “can’t help myself”, “caught in the middle” and “looking for something I can’t have”, while I read the message of a new found friend of mine who is telling me about the heartache the separation of her parents cause to her. While we don’t share as much just yet, I can feel a frustration with her mother and the sadness she feels for her dad.
And I? I don’t even know where to start. I’m shaken. I haven’t felt like this for a very long time. Can I look my kids in the eyes? What can I tell them?
I don’t know. One in five in Australia. Me too. Words that sound so innocent if you split them up in single words. Together they do not paint a nice picture.
There are things in life that are hard to explain to your children. Things that seem so easy. Like love, jealousy or what being mean could do. Those are feelings, deep feelings and how would you ever be able to clearly describe a deep feeling. Something we all know so well, have been through, have made our experiences with. Feelings we know and we might actually be able to describe.
But would we ever get even close to what it really feels like? The butterfly feeling love can give you. The pain it might inflict if your heart is broken. The nagging feeling jealousy can give you. And the pain, the sadness, the numbness being bullied can leave back inside of you.
I had a conversation about feelings with the kids lately. All of those mentioned above came up. And I realized how hard it is to actually make them understand something they have not been through just yet.
They know what love feels like, at least the love they have for their parents and their sibling. They know what jealousy feels like because, as we all know, they get jealous. Thankfully my children have not experienced the pain being bullied can leave behind. And I hope they never will. But I want them to understand how much damage can be done. So we did this little “experiment” with them. An experiment I’ve shared with you in a post last year and which I would like to share again in this Blast Of The Past.
I just finished reading this amazing post here, written by Leslie Blanchard, which I truly wish all of you would read. Not only is it a post about the different ways bullying can occur but about the way we, as parents, need to deal with it.
First thing that comes to my mind if I think about bullying is kids that get physical in order to get something. But there are so many ways. Verbal abuse is for sure up there too. And then there are the little ones, the ones we maybe not even consider bullying. Like ignoring other kids. So many ways to hurt others, right?
“This conversation found me vacillating between heartache and fury, but one thing I knew for sure: Mama was about to put her money where her mouth had been all these years.”
I bet we all agree on this. We need to do something when we realize that our kids turn into bullies. We can’t wait and see if it happens again. Once is enough! But how do we react, what do we do then? How do we approach it best? Let me tell you: If my kids ever start bullying, I will remember this post and the way this mom approached it.
Nothing makes me more angry than bullying. I just don’t get it. It’s something that I would like to be able to delete from this world. Nobody deserves it and it should never be accepted. And yet, it’s something that we all go through in a certain way, at a certain time of our lives. Here are some of my thoughts, as a blast from the past…
“A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stomp on it and really mess it up but to not rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty it was.
She then told them to tell it that they’re sorry and to try to fix the paper. When the kids thought they were done, she pointed out all the scars they’ve left behind. Those scars would never go away, no matter how hard they would try to fix it. It’s the same with bullying. Even though you might say that you are sorry, you might not be able to fix all the scars you’ve caused. Some of them might stay forever.”
There are stories out there that just make me feel bad. I read them over and over again and can’t believe what people are capable of doing. There are things I can simply not understand. Bullying is one of them. And it starts with the so called little things. A little push here, a little slap there, some tripping and maybe some little teasing. But the little things add up. And often it doesn’t stop there. The lack of empathy some kids and also some so called grown-ups show is simply incredible. Just like in this case.
Remember when we were kids? Playing with other children on a playground, in kindergarten, school or during play dates? Remember when we were told to play nicely? Well, I do! I played nicely. Up to a certain point most of us did. And then?
When and why do people stop to play nicely? When and why do they decide that it’s beneficial to them to play dirty? How can it be beneficial? And even if it’s not beneficial in any way, why does it seem to be so satisfying to people to play ugly?
Where to start? By now most of you have probably heard about the remark Chris Wallace has made about Kelly Clarkson. Or better the multiple stupid remarks. Just disgusting! It makes me so angry to read this. Actually I am about to boil over.