This may be a cartoon, but the point is there. The new way to be ” bad ” is to be always on the lookout for any word, any look or any sound that can be misconstrued as disrespectful. Then to drop everything like you have such a wicked temper that it is necessary to run up on someone and say ” why you be disrespecting me B ? “
Then the showdown begins . The sad part is for 90% of these kids it’s a total act . They don’t care about someone bumping into them in a crowded hallway. Or someone dropping a water bottle that lands on their foot. It does not bother them if someone made them drop their textbook by accident. But now they are have to remember to make sure it is known that not only did it bother them, but it will not go unpunished. Otherwise it will backfire and the kid will be see as being soft, weak and having been punked out.
All they are doing is whatever it takes for them to do to get by without being labeled weak. It is unacceptable to be seen as weak, primarily because you then have opened the door to being punked out on a regular basis once everyone finds out you are soft. It is a sad testimony but it is not just kids either. Full grown men are posing for this too. Whether in Wal-Mart or at the library – everyone is on guard all the time. Worse yet it has now become common for women to get involved.
The most unattractive thing ( besides gold teeth) on a woman, in my opinion is one who can take me in a fight. It literally makes me sick to my stomach to see two mothers with small children get into a shouting match in public and start making physical threats. The kids are shaking, the women start showing their ghetto ( usually learned from some rap song-not from living there) and before you know it weaves and fuzzy slippers are flying.I hate seeing anyone get hurt male or female. I am a big guy, but I have never picked fights and always do everything to deesculate a situation.
With the exception of defending myself or someone touching my children I have excellent self-control. It has never mattered whether I was bench pressing 400lbs at the time or if I was not even working out. I don’t change on that issue. I dont like to hurt people and I dont like to see anyone get hurt. I am the guy at the store who you bump into and I say “sorry are you ok” . It has too much personal response cost for me as far as memories of a violent home go when I was young.
So what is the answer? The answer is to not be afraid to model the opposite type behavior in public. Do something nice for the person that bumps into you. Show your kids how smooth things can be if you give a little. You don’t have to be a doormat and you certainly dont have to sit like some whipping boy and never stick up for yourself. In most situations that would never be required.
The difference between escalating a situation is most times in our response. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to it. Its our choice. It really is up to us to start modeling appropriate social skills for people especially our kids. In today’s world the risks for bullying in middle and high school is not just a black eye and a wounded ego. It is absolutely destroying me as a parent and as a social worker for 20 years to see the consequences of todays schoolyard ” punk “. First off there are just as many girls harassing and stalking other little 12-13 year old girls as there are guys..
The apathy in some kids today is unprecedented. Just yesterday I posted a story of 4 teens only 8-9th grade who watched a 31-year-old disabled man drown in a retention pond. Why you ask did they not walk over to the little pond and help? They were too busy filming it for YouTube. While he went down begging for help, they mocked him and told him was going to die. He did. No charges files against the kids as there is no law against not helping someone dying.
When asked about it, the prosecutor was taken back, and just responded ” I never thought we would need a law for this “. Cyber bullying is so rampant today that even young children around 10-12 years old are attempting suicide at an unreal rate. A few years ago here is Florida a 12-year-old little girl was being cyber bullied by 3 girls who she used to be close with. She jumped into a stone quarry to her death. What must hurt feel like that makes a 12 year old jump to her death? Whatever is happening we all need to step up and model change. Teach social skills. Educate your kids about the impact of bullying. This whole thing is really getting to me. It is actually making me fighting mad.