I previously wrote the following on Tuesday March 13, 2001. I had children in High School at the time of this writing. I was living in Northern California, it was published in 16 Bay Area County newspapers. I wanted to share this as October is NationalBullying Prevention Month. My children are currently 28, 31 and 38. I have my first grandchild on the way due in April. Parenting is the hardest job in the World, in my opinion. However, it is a privilege as well. Please read on:
Have your kids been the victim of a bully? Have they witnessed this behavior? Maybe your child is a bully. I want all parents to remember when you were in school and ask yourselves the same questions.
I’m a parent of three. I’ve heard of kids being in class and struggling to understand the work, and a teacher says, “Of course you don’t get it,” all you care about is sports. Teachers need to be mindful of what they say to our young people as well. Parents, (you) need to look within yourselves and ask, is there anything you are doing to demean your children as well?
Some of you may think, this (bullying or abuse) could never happen in your home with your children. Trust me, it can. Take responsibility and be accountable. Whether you have an athlete or maybe one who some might consider a nerd, both types of kids have similar issues. They’re the same. Stop hearing and start listening to your children. There is a difference.
Kids, if your parents won’t listen, find someone who will. As parents, naturally we provide for our kids by working and providing a safe home environment for them. I know there are some parents who don’t spend a lot of time talking to their kids. Maybe you are tired from working or had a bad day. In either case, start listening.
It is time you start being bothered by your children instead of being overwhelmed by your own lives. Remember your children were given a personal invitation by you to be here. Be a good host.