Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We've all been a bully or been bullied by someone at some point in our childhood. Whether we were part of a herd mentality or it's something we saw at home, we have all been affected by it at some point.

But the bullying in the news is over the top. To bully someone to death for suspecting they are gay, to break someone's arm for being a male cheerleader, or when an adult bullies a child with autism.

It begs the question, what example are we as parents setting at home? Are we bullying our spouse, our children, other family members? Are we standing by idly while one of our children bullies their brother or sister in front of us?

Are you teaching your children tolerance and respect for others? Or are you sending your children a message that anyone who is "different" deserves contempt? 

Are you teaching your children to think for themselves when their friends are being mean? That it's ok to stand up and say hey you're being mean and knock it off.

I understand peer pressure and I get that for the most parts our kids want everyone to like them. But there are some kids who are different, who embrace their differences, who aren't afraid of a choice that may make them a target and shouldn't we celebrate those kids who are not afraid to be different?

What is to be gained by standing by while a child who has special needs is picked on by their classmates? Are you teaching your children it's ok to pick on someone with special needs? To use the word "retard" as a joke? That autism is something made up because there are parents who can't control their kids? That it's ok to THINK you are making yourself look better to pick on and abuse someone who can't defend themselves or doesn't understand you really aren't their friend?

Please please teach your children that no two people are exactly the same. That differences are wonderful. The classmate you mock and belittle today may be the one to save your life one day. Not everyone has to be friends but everyone should be treated with respect.

You are your child's most important example. Make damn sure you are a good one.


  1. this is a much shorter and delightfully more concise version of a speech i gave last night to our school community. damn, i could have saved a lot of time if i'd just linked to you. :)

  2. That is a huge compliment coming for you! Thanks!

  3. A most important message. I've been thinking about this lately, even though as far as I know it's not a current issue for Nigel. I'm just so angry that it happens at all.