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If You Hit Me Then I’ll Hit You Back

So we all know that bullying has been in the news quite a bit over the last few years.  I know I haven’t been a kid for a loooong time and that times change, but I keep thinking that surely the bullying in 2011 can’t be that much different than the bullying was…well, let’s just say a while ago.  I was a tall, skinny black kid with red glasses living in a very WASPY world – trust me, I was teased.  A few girls tried to punk me on the bullying tip, but I pretty much told them I’d fight them whenever, wherever.  The fact that I’d never had a fight in my life didn’t stop me from talking big noise.  They backed down and left me alone.  I don’t remember anyone that I went to school with committing suicide – or attempting to – because they were being bothered at school.

What do y’all think?  I think it’s a shame that kids can’t fight without being kicked out of school and/or having charges filed against them.  I think it’s a shame that kids don’t fist fight any more – that guns prevail more often than not.  I think not enough parents are telling kids to stand up for themselves.  I think not enough parents are telling their kids to treat others nicely.  I think that today’s kids are kind of soft – not very many of them seem to be able to be teased without snapping off. 

I’m in no way blaming the victims, but I can’t help but wonder what parents tell their school aged children nowadays.  What coping mechanisms, if any, they teach.

What issue(s) do you all think are responsible for what seems to me to be a pretty sudden incerase in bullying cases across the country?  What, if anything, do you say to your children if they’ve been bullied/teased/harassed?

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11 thoughts on “If You Hit Me Then I’ll Hit You Back

  1. There’s probably not that much of an increase. It’s likely commensurate with the increase in population. Bullies have always existed. We’re just more sensitized to it because there’s so much more exposure. (Okay not you, you’re CLEARLY not sensitized to it!) Were you being facetious when you said kids should be able to fight in school? I need there to be some other options than somebody’s brat putting their hands on/shooting my child! I used to love that I got automatic street cred for being black when I clearly grew up in the same suburbs as the rest of them.

    • Eh. I wouldn’t say I’m not sensitized to it – okay, may I would – I just keep thinking that it is being blown out of proportion. But I don’t know how to say that without sounding like a complete tool. Maybe it’s not possible…

      No, I wasn’t being facetious. I’m not an advocate of violence, but back in my day (ask Rashan if you don’t believe me) beef could be settled with a fair, one-on-one fight and by the end of the day if y’all weren’t friends, there was at least a mutual respect, and everyone moved on.

      And I think if some little kid slaps Lovegirl every day (or some other foolishness), Lovegirl should be able to defend herself without catching a case.

  2. Children can’t fight back in our school system without getting the same or similar punishment as the bully. I, as well as other parents have said to hit back if hit. I was bullied and picked on as a kid and I still remember it, vividly. Out of my four children only my son was. It’s even harder as a parent because you want to fight a kid and a parent! I don’t think enough is done to curb bullying. I hope more parents step up and are aware of what happens at school and play. Teachers need to pay attention as well.

  3. We were just talking about this…I think kids are getting too soft. Everyone gets teased. We were taught to ignore people or to have a snarky comeback, and I don’t think parents are doing that anymore. Everyone has to air their “feelings” now. Plus with all the technology, bullying isn’t just limited to the school grounds anymore. I’ll tell my son the same thing I was told: “This too shall pass. Unless someone hits you, ignore them.”

    • Right. My mouth got me into – and out of – a bunch of trouble. And I plan on teaching Lovegirl how to throw out a zinger or two. Not that I think she’s going to need much help…

  4. We talk a lot about peaceful alternatives. It does help that the Montessori philosphy focuses heavily on the idea of “peace” and most of the parents at our school are on the “crunchy” side. But on the real, we also talk a lot on speaking up for oneself and doing so….strongly- as to put an end to all foolishness & intimidation immediately 🙂

  5. I believe that the loss of free play in early childhood has produced children who lack the skills to resolve things on their own and cope when challenges arise. They do not have the know how, confidence or resilience to manage what is just childhood behavior.

    Kids used to play, have a fight, make up and then play some more. Sometimes you had to make up to finish a game. Now everything is structured and micromanaged by parents and school staff.

    These kids become adults who can’t manage workplace bullies.

    • I agree with you on this! I think also when conflicts do arise and parents jump in too fast to defend their children instead of teaching/guiding them how to handle it on their own they are creating a sense of entitlement in the child – like they’re entitled to never be picked on and if they are mom/dad will raise holy hell with a teacher, other parent, principal, jesus, someone.

      My parents would have never come to our defense on silly little school disputes. Sure, if we were in danger that would be different, but Bobby calling me a fatass for years and years wasn’t something that warranted parental intervention…instead I learned from them how to handle it without needing to hit someone. In fact, my parents knew Bobby’s parents quite well and it was never an issue between them. My parents weren’t trying to fight them because their 9 year old son was calling me names. Come on. That’s asinine in itself, but you know it happens all the time.

      When a neighborhood boy hit me one summer my parents didn’t get all confrontational with his parents or him. They taught me how to punch and told me next time to hit him back right in the nose. I’m sure it upset them that this boy hit their precious girl, but they didn’t act foolish, they just turned it into a lesson…one I luckily never needed to use. But that’s not how most parents handle things these days. At least not from what I’ve seen around here.

  6. Couple things.

    1. The word bullying is overused
    2. Bullying is worse nowadays that’s to technology. Kids don’t just get teased on the playground, they get texts forwarded, Facebook pages put on blast and just generally more people have access to their humiliation and that’s scary.

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