Every parent of a bully knows that their child is a bully. A bully is not spawned from dark, secret holes in the earth. They are born with the same potential for good as the rest of the world, with one exception: bullies have learned from their parents that they are entitled to whatever they want, and to use whatever means is necessary to get it, period. There is no James Bond cover-up on the part of the child to keep their sinister behavior from their parents. The bully is the dog they raised from a pup. They know who that child is, and so does the rest of the neighborhood.
Most people can walk into a kindergarten and point out the bullies on the first day. I was painfully aware on my daughter’s first day, at a small Catholic school, where the trouble lay. Emily was a beautiful child with fair hair, petite build and brilliant blue eyes. I thought her looks would keep the villains at bay. No such luck. If your child has a gentle spirit, there is no place on the playground for them to hide. It was eight years of pure torture. The worst part was, that the child who was the bully, was not only protected by her mother, but encouraged.
If you are the typical parent of a bully, and are denying any knowledge of your child’s violent, filthy, repulsive, deeds, then let me enlighten you on a few signs to keep an eye out for. If your child’s backpack is loaded with quarters and Snickers bars at the end of every week, your child is a bully. If your child has a closet full of jackets that don’t belong to them, then your child is a bully. If your child is getting free CDs, DVDs, or PSPs every week from “Some Friend at School”, then your child is a bully. If you have defended your child in the past week with the phrases, “All the kids do it,” or “It is part of growing up,” then your child is a bully, and always will be.
The bullies of this world did not sprout up on the playground. They have parents who they have emulated. They have Mom or Dad from which to watch and learn. Dad threatens the minivan in front of him with the steel grill on the front of his GMC. The minivan moves. Mom gossips about Jimmy’s mom to other women. Jimmy’s mom is now isolated, no longer a threat. Mom and Dad become more skillful each day in not hearing, not seeing the cruel and cutting remarks of little Katy Lee. And somewhere across town, or down the street another little girl or boy falls asleep crying, begging God to make things better.
Bullying is the plague of this generation, entitlement is the germ. Parents know that Bitch is Boss for kids. They believe that the victims need to “Toughen Up” “Grow a Thick Skin”, yet the disease seems to keep spreading.
How-To-Stop-Bullying.com reported that 77% of children in school are being bullied. 282,000 kids are physically attacked each month in secondary schools, with no intervention in 85% of those attacks. Over half the suicides of children in their early teens was a result of bullying.
It’s time to stop blaming the victims. It’s time to put the blame on the shoulders of those who commit the crime. If you know a child who is a bully, it’s time to make sure Mom and Dad know it too. As Edmund Burke reminds us, “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." Let us do something today.