Parents: WAKE UP!

I haven’t posted in a while and now I’m back with a touch of a rant.

I naively posted a while back about how evolved we are in our little slice of suburbia in that so little bullying goes on in the schools.  I didn’t intend to tempt the universe to prove me wrong, but I’ve heard a few things lately that show me that my earlier comments were inaccurate.  I couldn’t be more sorry about that – not because I was wrong, but because of the situations that have come to my attention.

I’m not going to go into what I’ve heard in any specifics – that’s for the school officials to deal with.  I will say that some of this stuff is very serious – extremely cruel behaviors by kids who are styled as leaders in the high school setting – the sort of thing that makes headlines when the victim takes desperate measures to make it stop.

There’s also the insidious, more mild, but still appalling garden variety crap that goes on.  Snotty teenagers forming (and even naming) exclusive cliques, ensuring that all those who aren’t included know exactly what they’re missing, while the individual members are in a clear pecking order, and talk about each other being their backs.   Insecure middle schoolers who try to manipulate social situations, again through selective inclusion and public exclusion.

Here’s the thing.  The kids should know better, for sure.  They’ve had guidance classes every year since they were 4 talking about feelings and bullying and being kind.  In middle school they are required to take a Leadership class in which this sort of thing is confronted.  There are news stories about bullied kids committing suicide in their despair.

But kids are immature and often just flat stupid in spite of what they have been taught.  My real question is, WHERE ARE THE PARENTS?  I know these people, some personally, and some at least in a general sense.  They are educated.  They are affluent.  They talk a huge game about their superior parenting skills.   And yet they have failed.  But they can’t see it!  They seem to have no idea what is going on – posting all happily on Facebook about their wonderful children and cozy lives while their kid is out there doing real damage to people.

I’ve had it.   And no, I’m not referring to anything specific that has happened to my own kids.  They see the stuff, sure.  And they are certainly affected at least somewhat by the snotty clique stuff, just because it happens right in front of them.  I just needed to get this out here on the off-off chance that someone who needs to read it will do so, and then step up and do their job as a parent before someone gets seriously hurt.

Oh, and happy Monday, everyone.

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7 Comments

Filed under Everyone is Entitled to My Opinion

7 responses to “Parents: WAKE UP!

  1. My initial thought on reading this was thank goodness my kids are done with school. But it really is everyone’s problem and we really all need to be involved in the solution. I’m just not sure how much we can do if the parents are clueless! Let me know when you figure it out, mmmkay?

  2. Thank goodness your girls are not being targeted by this nonsense.

    In my experience, people who go out of their way to blow their horn aren’t actually doing anything to deserve the horn blowing.

  3. I hear you. The attention and attitudes of the adults have an enormous impact. Somewhat locally there is an incident under investigation. Football players “hazing” in the locker room. I have a feeling it is just as ugly as I imagine it to be. Four players have been suspended so far. Anyway, the most disheartening comment I heard from a resident of the town was something to the effect that it was too bad that this had happened, as the team was having a good season. The whole thing makes me sick.

  4. Bullying has always gone on, but it’s so much worse now or at least, the consequences are more dire. I’ve been both the outcast and the cheerleader (switched schools in 6th grade) so I’ve seen both sides. The both have their drawbacks, but as a geek, I knew who my real friends were.

  5. Beth

    I was a target in 7th and 8th grade. Almost 45 years later, with some measure of success, a great husband, wonderful friends, and loads to be thankful for, I still can feel the sadness and hurt and confusion and pain that it caused. I’ve been lucky enough to meet your girls and I know that they are kind people, in part because you and El Jef have required that of them. I can’t stand when parents don’t set standards for this sort of thing.

  6. Marie

    I don’t think you should hold your breath that the parents will step up. I spent some time yesterday at the playground after the end of the school day at my son’s elementary school. I watched a 2nd (?) grade boy try to push my 4th grade daughter’s feet off the jungle gym, bully a kid smaller than him, and then climb on top of a 3rd grade girl and push his forearm down on her sternum, sliding up towards her windpipe. The kid’s mother wasn’t paying any attention to most of this, although she was two feet away from the last bit and all she managed to do way say “oh, you should stop that.”
    So my confidence in the parenting skills of that particular mom are pretty low.

  7. Important rant, Nora.

    Bullying or being a bully for doesn’t end in school, it just changes form. I’ve recently watched an individual in her 60s form a clique, small but still effective, and attempt to use it to support her own goals.

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