Day 158 Question 158

Day 158 Question 158:

As a society, how do we reduce the amount of bullying the seems to be occurring more and more often?

A recent news story caught my attention and in mere moments I had a wide array of emotions rushing through my body.  I am going to attach the 2 videos that have streamed across the Internet for those of you that have not heard about this story or seen the videos.  The first video (in my opinion) is hard to watch.  This video shows a 68 year old woman being verbally abused on a school bus by middle school aged kids.  I was absolutely appalled and all that kept flashing through my mind was my mother.  What if that was my mother sitting there having young kids call her atrocious names and bully her while she sat there doing her job as a bus monitor.  This video disgraced me in all forms of the word and sadly I would be willing to bet that these kids will get a slap on the hand.  Their mothers and fathers will defend them up and down because we have grown to become a nation of entitlement and placing the blame on others.  I do not have children and I am VERY unsure if I want them but if I did or do, I would NEVER allow that type of behavior to occur.  I am not saying that we need to raise our children military style but I am beginning to feel that all rules and regulations and teaching of common respect have gone out the window.  If that was my child (any of them taking part in this bullying), he/she would be yanked out of school that day and would be home-schooled for at least 1 year and in his/her free time, he/she would be volunteering at nursing homes and in the community and a public apology would occur immediately.  Bullying of that form (in any form for that matter) should NEVER occur and the thought of a child bullying an adult like that makes me absolutely sick.  Is respect becoming a thing of the past?  Are kids being coddled and spoiled so much that they believe it is ok to treat another person like that?  Honestly, I am so sick of reading stories about bullying.  Who is teaching these kids that they are better than anyone and that treating people as if they were garbage is ok?  Who is teaching these kids that the world owes them a favor?  Why are schools continually failing us by not taking proper disciplinary actions in cases such as this?  Is it due to laziness?  Is it due to too much paperwork?  Is it due to politics?  If we continue with that sort of mentality, I fear what this country is going to be like in 10 more years.

I am the type of person that tries to put a positive spin on everything if at all possible but I am also human and sometimes I get angry.  This story made me absolutely livid.  I do not blame all kids.  There are massive amounts of great kids out there that are role models and leaders but there are FAR TOO MANY that are growing up to be selfish brats.  Sorry to say it but it is true.  I am a nanny currently and I have so much respect for the people I work for.  They love their children so very much but they also show them limits.  They do not allow their children to run their households.  They would NEVER allow their children (when they get older) to talk to adults with such disrespect.  They are the type of parents that play the roles that parents are meant to play…the authoritarian figure that guides them through life.  Prior to this job, I had different jobs where it was the complete opposite.  I watched parents give into every single one of their child’s temper tantrums and meltdowns.  I watched parents cram candy in their mouths just so they wouldn’t bother them anymore.  I watched parents (over and over again) blame the teacher (for whatever it might be that day).  Oh no, their kid could not have possibly done any wrong.  I watched parents display despicable behavior right in front of their children.  I cannot wrap my brain around how a parent could do any of these things.  I am not a parent but I know how I function as a human being.  If I were to become pregnant, I would become a changed person.  From that day on, life would no longer be about me.  My job would be to protect and do what is best for my child/children.  It is inevitable that all parents will make mistakes but there are certain things (in my opinion) that are common sense.  At a young age I would start teaching my children respect and about what it means to be compassionate and empathetic.  I would enforce rules and teach them about giving back.  I understand that sometimes it is necessary to go into survival mode when a child is absolutely freaking out but how have we gotten to the point of our children getting on a bus and harassing a grown woman?  Why are we constantly competing to be better than everyone else?  Remember, if you are reading this, I am NOT speaking for all parents and for all kids…I am merely voicing my opinion on an issue that is becoming a bigger and bigger problem as time passes.  Is this becoming a bigger problem because of the technology boom?  Is this becoming a bigger problem because in most households both parents are working?  I really wish I had these answers and I wish I had a solution.  The solution comes individually though….the solution comes only through all of our choices.  This videos show that there are some people out there that had made some REALLY POOR CHOICES (both children and parents).  I couldn’t even watch a majority of the video because I started to have that sinking feeling in my chest and I couldn’t help but think, “What if that was my mother?  What would I do?”

Honestly, I don’t have any answer to the question posed above.  It simply comes down to the choices that people make and if parents do not step up to the plate (as well as communities and schools-because I strongly feel that it takes a village to raise a child) then we will never see any improvement when it comes to this issue.  In fact, we will see the statistics of these incidents shoot through the roof.  I am not a parents (and these are just my thoughts and opinions) but we need to love and guide our children but we need to stop allowing them to control the household and the classroom (or anywhere else for that matter).  We need to teach them about respect and common decency and we need to teach them to see the world outside of themselves….we ALL need to stop being selfish.  What changed my life is the realization that everyone else in this world has walked a different path.  I have no idea how anyone else really feels or where they have come from.  It is unfair for me to just assume and make blind judgments.  Just this morning I went to get coffee at my usual gas station and there was a couple sitting outside with a sign that said: TRYING TO GET HOME AND VERY HUNGRY!  They could have been drug addicts (who knows) but in that moment I got out of my car and handed them $5.  While handing it to them I said, “When you make it back home you need to do something for me.  I want you to do a good deed for someone else.”  I think they were both shocked at my gesture and they smiled really big.  They told me more than once that they definitely would.  Whether or not they would or whether or not they spent the money on booze of drugs, I will never know…it was a kind gesture in a moment that I felt drawn to do.  I felt drawn to do it because I thought, “What if that was someone I knew?  What if that was me?”  We can never know where someone truly comes from so being compassionate and empathetic (in my opinion) is the best path to take because anger and disrespect and violence will never solve anything.

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16 Responses to Day 158 Question 158

  1. Thanks for sharing — two minutes in I wondered about the kids’ self esteem. My mother was a first grade teacher for 33 years and can testify that kids are almost always a direct reflection of their parents. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see what these kids’ parents do for a living and how they’re perceived in their community, both now and before this video went viral?

  2. Never enough, learning as I go. says:

    I was infuriated when I watched the video! And then came disgust. You’re so right about people putting the blame anywhere but on themselves. And so many people are willing to give rotten buggers like these an excuse or way to blame someone else. I’m sure the parents have a lot to do with their kids behavior, but these kids weren’t 3 years old. They were old enough to know what they were doing. They took pure joy and entertainment in torturing someone. It was entertainment for them. With all of the anti-bullying campaigns out there, no one can make me believe they weren’t acting of their very own violation.
    There comes a point were a person has to take ownership for their behavior. These kids are certainly old enough.
    If I were their parents, I would be ashamed. But then again, my child would never act like that. I suppose that’s the difference between my family and theirs, right?

  3. This video is so horrible. We forget that kids can be just as bad as adults. I’m glad this woman got a few hundred grand out of it.

  4. The school should step in for sure and have the kids make a public apology and do some afterschool service in a nursing home or senior center. But you got to wonder how these kids are being raised if that’s how they treat others; maybe the parents need to do some of that service time with them. Or just perhaps they should go back to punishment in schools and not just “time outs” and notes to the parents that the parents probably never see anyway. Way back when… if we stepped out of line at school we were sent to the office where the principal had a wooden paddle. And we knew we’d get even worse when we got home. Kids have no respect for themselves or others any more. If I had ever caught my kids treating someone like that they wouldn’t have seen the light of day for a very long time.

  5. The-Marnray says:

    *Slow hand clap*
    Bravo. I love how outspoken this is, you hit everything on the nail concerning the way (some) kids are being raised today in this world. I couldn’t imagine ever being able to make some elderly people this upset and my level of compassion for them is a great blessing.
    This video has to be one of the most disturbing things to watch because, like you, I imagine that to be my grandmother/mother.

  6. I can’t even watch the video, I know it will be far to sad. I have been thinking about something lately. My daughter in law used to work in a very well known, highly reguarded daycare and they were not supposed to be pick up kids/babies who had fallen down or bumped their heads etc. Recently someone else told me the same thing about another nursery. Well if these children are not nurtured and shown love, compassion and empathy when they are young they won’t know what it is! Of course there have always been bullies but I think the problem may be getting worse and part of it probably has a lot to do with such horrible daycare practices. It’s a shame.

  7. julibre says:

    I did not see the full video – still I’d like to say – having raised two boys (now 20 and 22) – it takes a village to raise a child. People need to find a reasonable middle ground to approach situations like this and step in/speak up. I see a lot of “non-parenting” happening these days (so many times I watch parents pay more attention to their i-phones than their children which I find appalling) as well as teachers not being capable of reasonably disciplining kids in school. One does not have to apply physical force to discipline children or bring order to a situation like this – what it does take however is a strong presence (combined with a sincere interest in children – who are not monsters BTW but human beings still developing), stepping in and speaking up and explaining that their behavior is unacceptable, rude, and hurtful. Yet, what I find equally unacceptable (as their behavior) is the presence of police in schools (criminalizing kids) or pushing the responsibility of raising mindful kids over to the authorities instead of asking more of parents and teachers. Kids and young adults need boundaries, good role models, appropriate attention, understanding, chances to fail and if necessary a strong (adult) hand and mind that can tell right from wrong all through school and college (more or less of it depending on age of course). A rounded education (academically as well as in regard to becoming a decent human being) needs time, dedication and patience from many people. I’d also like to question the choice of taking a perfectly lovely but obviously not necessarily qualified aid on the bus with a handful of rowdy boys. I am not defending the kids behavior in any way but an aid/monitor needs to have the tools to deal with situations like this. The flow of monetary contributions (and attention in general) that this incident has sparked seems totally out of proportion to me.

  8. bibuji says:

    It seems to me that, young generation’s hate for the old should be their fear of being old.

  9. I read this article in the paper today. I can’t begin to tell you how sad and sick it made me feel. What’s wrong with some people today? I know there are lots of fantastic young people out there, so we mustn’t generalise and paint them all with the same brush. As a teacher I get to see all kinds of characters in young people: some you are proud and honoured to know, others you can’t wait to see the back off soon enough. It’s partly upbringing and partly their nasty nature and ignorance. 😦

  10. chris9911 says:

    i don’t know what upsets me more. My co-worker and I were having this discussion and he actually believes this incident was all her fault.

  11. There’s a part of me that wants to get up and kick all those young men right in the chest before sending them to boot camp!

    There! Now that I got that reaction off my chest ..

    Look, I didn’t have to watch this video to know that this kind of bullying happens. It used to happen to my autistic brother when he was a kid, until my father (who used to be in law enforcement) stepped up to the plate and put the fear of God into the hearts of two little bullies who wouldn’t stop picking on him. I was bullied as a kid until I started fighting back in the ninth grade. I literally had to punch several members of my high school wrestling team to get them to stop their nonsense.

    People need to understand things about bullying.

    SOME of it happens as a result of adolescence.

    People develop at different rates. Some young men in particular develop muscle and grow taller faster than others. They assume more popularity in most cases. That can start as early as 6th grade, and people tend to separate one another and put each other into categories. It’s how we all move through the world as a society. To some extent, this is normal.

    But the problem of bullying HAS gotten worse. This video is just more proof.

    These kids here are getting away with what they’re doing because they KNOW there will be no consequences for their actions. Part of that is upbringing. They have not had to deal with punishment for mistreating others in their own homes. There have been no extra curricular activities to keep them interested in positive things. These are the same kids whose parents used to take them to the laundromat and let them run around hopping in the machines and driving everyone else out of their minds. It’s actually rather telling to ME.

    But the other side of this is that these professionals LEGALLY have their hands tied when it comes to disciplining these kids.

    Bus monitors, paraprofessionals, and other such professionals are legally told that they are not allowed to put hands on children, even when they make direct physical contact with other children. They are told that they cannot risk legal repercussions for the companies that hire them out. Many of these poor souls are temps who literally cannot afford to risk their job opportunities. In my opinion, THIS is part of the problem.

    The people that they should be hiring for these sorts of jobs might be retired law enforcement officers and the like. I’d love to see one of these little hellcats try and bully someone like MY father. He’d have them in tears without lifting a finger. Why? Because he knew that they had nothing on his life experience, his strength, and his knowledge. There’s nothing wrong with the woman in this video. But she gave these kids too much power.

    It isn’t easy being faced with a group of young men who have nothing visibly better to do with their time. Even I don’t like it much. But if you want a solution to this issue, I think part of if is going to involve the re-institution of physical activities in and outside of school, and other extra curricular activities for those who don’t immediately gravitate to sports.
    We can’t sit here and pretend that budget cuts haven’t affected the attitudes of our youth. Psychology has documented research that explains that it may in fact be easier to tell someone to DO something else with their time than to tell them NOT to do what they are doing. Something about the negative may in fact spur the undesired action.

    The point is, without alternatives, PEOPLE tend to flounder and live up to the lowest of expectations rather than the highest. I love people and I generally like kids, but don’t think for a minute that you can lay off them and expect the best of behavior all the time, because chances are you’ll get a mix, and some parts of that mix will look more like this. To eliminate this possibility, we NEED to get our gym, art and music programs back. WE NEED to give adults more wiggle room when it comes to reinforcing good behavior as WELL as punishing truly nasty behavior, and we need to make sure that the consequences for bullying are QUITE SEVERE on a communal level. But that’s just my opinion

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will do my best to lead by example. That is really my ultimate contribution in this matter. 😉

  12. Reblogged this on Namaste Consulting Inc. and commented:
    Thank you. . .there is nothing else to say!

  13. Shantideva says:

    A very sad story that tells a lot about how we distance ourselves in the society today. Of course not all children are like that, but these videos tell a lot about the values these children have learned from their parents and how they have been shaped from the society they live in. It is not the children, it is a lot more than that, an this makes me feel really sad.

  14. Joe Labriola says:

    Those kids are lucky they got off with a one-year suspension. Some of their threats are unarguably criminal and they would face criminal charges if they weren’t minors. Hopefully they learn and their parents get the message to pay attention to how the hell they raise their children.

  15. sed0007 says:

    “Is respect becoming a thing of the past?”

    Unfortunately, yes.

    We must stop the governments’ incremental reduction of religion from something to cherish to “something to cling to”

    http://walkingwithstefan.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/walking-with-karen-a-lesson-in-humility/

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