But it still comes down to these fundamental issues: where were the parents in all of this? Why did they not pay attention to what their children were doing or monitor their computer use? According to one report the girls were separated by the school so the bullies parents had to know. Why did the bullies’ parents not do something about this relentless actions of their daughters?
Here’s a question for the school district: Since the bullying did not stop, even after the victim was moved to another school, why wasn’t child services called in if there actually is a law in Florida to prevent cyberbullying? Why weren’t the parents of the bullies charged with child endangerment?
Years ago, the local school district near me did just that, called in the authorities. When a group of girls refused to stop bullying another student and their parents refused to intervene, the district actually had them all arrested and made wards of the court.
Are parents today so afraid that their little darlings won’t be popular that they allow and even encourage evil behavior by their children? Are parents today so afraid that they will be seen as not perfect themselves, that they refuse to believe that their children can be horrible human beings, the “Not my child syndrome”? The answer is yes to both.
Recently the following story from my town was related to me by one of the participants effected: there was a group of girls who after accepting an invitation to another’s birthday party, on the day of the party they all called 15 minutes apart to say they weren’t coming. They had decided that the birthday girl was not in favor anymore and they were going to ruin her birthday. When one of the bully-girl’s mothers was confronted about her daughter’s behavior, her excuse was that she was not going to get involved in the social life of twelve-year-olds. Ignoring the fact that parenting of adolescents is a necessary and overwhelming full-time job, this mother’s way of dealing with reality was to denigrate those that actually cared to parent their children.
This is what society is up against. Selfish and self-centered parents who see their children as extension of themselves to such an extent that they can never do any wrong. It is not easy to parent in today’s day and age with computers, phones, emails and social media. But you can do it effectively. In fact one of the best ways to do it is to say “NO” every once in awhile, set boundaries, limits and expectations of behavior for your children from the day they are born. Make certain that your child knows what is expected of them and the consequences for failing to live up to their responsibilities.
Behavior, right and wrong, ethics and morals is something that is NOT ingrained in our children. It is something that needs to be taught. Being afraid to hear your child tell you that they hate you is infantile and lazy.
When my youngest was three years old, he had gotten in trouble in pre-school and was given a time out. He promptly fired the teacher.
When I picked him up I was regaled with the event.
I told him to apologize and that since I had hired the teacher he could not fire her.
He then fired me.
I responded that he couldn’t fire me that I am his mother and will be until the day he died.
He then told me that I wasn’t his friend.
I answered that no I was not his friend, I was his parent. That when he grew up, if he was lucky and I liked him, we would then be friends. But until that day he was to do as he was told.
He huffed with his arms across his chest.
He never tried to unfriend me or fire me again.
Has he told me he hates me since then. Oh yes he has, more than once. At the moment it is a daily occurrence. I don’t care. What I care is that he learn to function in an appropriate manner. Learn what the world is about. Educate himself, and become self-sufficient.
I did not create my children to be my friends. I gave them life so they could live life. As a parent it is up to you to make sure that your children have the necessary tools to be happy and successful. And if that means clamping down on their actions, behaviors and “social standing” too bad. Grow the heck up and do your job.