Friday, May 25, 2012

Teach your kids not to be dbags

I'm starting a new series of posts. Whenever something pops into my head that I think everyone should teach their kids, I'll be sharing it with you. Wait, wait! Don't run away yet.

This won't be a collection of do it my way or else I'm going to judge you, you bad bad Mommy you or I really think you should parent like this because it's so much better - look, here I'll even cite sources posts. I think hope you know by now that I'm just not that kind of person.

Rather, it will be an assortment of things that - if everyone out there had been taught - would have saved me a lot of pain, sadness, and frustration at some point in my life. And others, too, of course.

So let's begin - with my adolescent awkwardness.

Me (right) and my sisters, ca. 1996
Bad acne. Horrible braces. Scary hair. No confidence whatsoever. And to top it off? A fuzzy chickie backpack (WTF?) As you can see here I was quite the epitome of cool.

Closer up, around 1998: doesn't my Mom look good? Me, on the other hand...
I was just all sorts of awkward, and almost everyone around me let me know it. I was barked at by kids on the bus and excluded by my group of so-called friends because I {and I quote} "wasn't hot enough to get any guys". Is it sad that I still remember that 15 years later? Even my sisters made fun of me on a regular basis (we're tight now; it's all good). On my 14th birthday, a "friend" called to invite me to see Titanic in the movie theater and said she'd call me later. When I hadn't heard from her by late afternoon, I called back and her Mom told me she was out at the movies. ::gutpunch:: <~~~Yep, looking back I totally laugh at this and how dramatic I was, but in my 14-year-old mind, it was akin to the end of the world.

At times I felt like my only allies were my Mom and my teachers. Which is probably why, in retrospect, I always made homework my priority and straight A's my mission. I threw myself into my studies and tried my best to let all the taunting roll off my back. Not always so easy, though...I ended up going to see a therapist for some time. Shortly thereafter we ended up moving to a new town which gave me the opportunity to completely start over. I never looked back and things just got better and better.

So...on to my point. Teach your kids not to be little jerks. I know we can't control everything our kids do, especially when they are not under our supervision all the time, but showing them how it feels so much better to be nice to someone than to be an ass really isn't that hard or time consuming. And if you ever find out that your kids have been bullying or teasing another child? Take action. Please don't shrug it off and mutter, "kids will be kids".

I was fortunate in that I found solace in my Mom and in my textbooks. And on the bullying severity spectrum? Mine was quite mild. Many other kids have not been so lucky. I just read that a 7-year-old (7 EFFING YEARS OLD) committed suicide on Wednesday because of bullying. I can't even...

Seriously, teach your kids not to be dbags.

What was your experience like growing up? Were you ever bullied? Have your kids been bullied?
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