Mixed message on bullying
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 10:00 AM
To the editor:
One current societal injustice the nation has decided to focus on is bullying. We are bombarded with stories about bullying. The latest story is about a 6'5" 300-pound NFL player who is being bullied by his teammates.
Sesame Street teaches our children strategies to cope with bullying. Our schools have a selection of stop bullying programs they can adopt. The government even has the StopBullying.gov web site.
Our children are repeatedly being told bullying is wrong, and they need to report bullying to a teacher as soon as they see it.
Unfortunately, our children are also being taught that bullying is quite acceptable. Television is inundated with reality shows where bullying is par for the course. Our children see women yelling at and belittling each other just because their child didn't get the solo in a dance routine.
The most influential bullying training our children receive comes directly from their parents. This training comes in many different forms under the misconceptions of a parent protecting their child.
The type of bullying I would like to address is happening in our schools and at our public athletic complexes. This bullying is when parents bully their children's coaches.
A coach's job is to try his/her best to teach and guide our children. They make the decision of who plays, how long they play, and even who their assistant coaches are. They are not perfect and will make mistakes. We as parents need to give coaches our support not our complaints. If you don't like a coach or assistant coach, please feel free to remove your child from the team or better yet, let your kid enjoy playing and remove yourself. Before you make a negative comment remember all of the hours a coach puts in, especially a volunteer coach. Before you cast the first stone think about what you're teaching your child about bullying.
As the father of three, I understand the desire to protect my children from all the bad and unjust things in this world. I also see the need for parents to sit down with their children and inform them life isn't perfect. We all have a choice as parents, to teach your children to be bullies or adults.
Please feel free to write or tell me your bullying stories. I will be the guy sitting in the bleachers, cheering on the team, and supporting the coaches.