As a kid, I experienced my fair share of being bullied at school. My desire to do well in school coupled with the fact that I actually liked learning new things was not helped either in any small part by the fact that I had to wear an insane looking brace for my teeth. The result was that I looked like I was wearing a horse bridle to school everyday. The teasing and bullying hurt, but what helped was comforting parents and the knowledge that I would be rid of the braces in a couple of years and they’d move on to some other poor unfortunate kid.
Thankfully we didn’t have a culture in Irish schools back then that was principled purely on popularity, unlike that of, say, the United States. However whilst that was certainly true in the case of my generation, it is fast becoming the contrary for the likes of the younger generation. Nowadays it’s all about how pretty you are, what clothes you’re wearing and how cool you are. Almost a carbon copy of the vain, witless and naïve idiocy that has become staple television fodder for the younger generation exported from the likes of the USA. The fact also that, for example, more and more girls want to marry someone famous (a footballer for example) rather than going to university is an indictment to lack or morals that exist in the world we live in today…that if you’re not pretty, cool or famous, then you’re a nobody. Never mind if the guy/girl you’re marrying hasn’t got two brain cells to rub together. Take Posh and Becks….he earns millions for kicking a football around a field, and she earns millions for looking anorexic and grumpy all the time. Hardly choice role models for any generation of children, least of all a generation who has become obsessed with celebrity and fame.
So it was heart-warming to come across the video below which depicts kids just being kids and pursuing the hobbies and interests that they are passionate about, and oft-times ridiculed for, and depicting them in a positive light, rather than mocking them as one typically sees on the likes of You Toob uploads. If you kids are being bullied, the only two pieces of advice I can give are this:-
1. Do not expect the school to deal with it in a fastidious manner as you would expect. Keep on at them, and feel free to personally get involved with the parents of the kid who is bullying your child so that they are also aware of what’s going on.
2. Love your child and hug them a lot! Giving them words of encouragement along the lines of “stand up for yourself” does not work for every child. Help them cope with the knowledge that this too shall pass and that together you will help them find that inner strength that they need to face the challenges of the days, weeks and months ahead.