I am so fucking tired of the negative attention parents and the media spend on ‘bullying’.
Let me just come right out and say it: I am Pro Bully. I know…I know. I’m the asshole right? Hear me out.
If you love your child and want him/her to grow up to be a confident and successful adult – then you should not just accept the bully…you should embrace the bully!
The birth of this idea came when I was recently asked if I had ever been bullied at any point in my life. My answer was no.
This is where I should point out that I was never a big dude. I was (and still am) shorter than most, skinny, bad at most sports, acne prone, not in the cool crowd, not a nerd, but also not a very good student scholastically speaking. In short, I was easy pickings for a bully.
A day after someone asked me that question, I was still thinking about it. Upon further reflection, I realized that there were times that peers attempted to ‘bully’ me, but I never allowed it to happen – either I walked away, argued or physically fought the ‘bully’.
There is a singular reason that I was never successfully bullied – confidence. My parents did a good job instilling in me a foundation of well-balanced ideals; the most significant of which was to never give a shit about what people thought of me. That has served me well throughout life, and as recently as yesterday.
The onus is on you. If you truly don’t want your kid to be the ‘victim’ of bullying, then you should do your best to instill in your kids the confidence to stand up for themselves. And no, that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to get into a fight, though it certainly could come to that. Sometimes the strongest reaction for a bully is simply no reaction.
Let your kids know that you love them no matter what. If they are not accepted by the ‘cool’ kids, have a disability, weight issue*, gay, straight, acne, not good at sports, etc. None of that shit matters. What matters is that your kid knows that you love them and you accept them unconditionally. This will give them the confidence to be above and not ever be affected by bullies and, perhaps, be an inspiration to their peers.
Teach your child to stand up for himself/herself and be an individual, not a sheep. In doing so, their confidence will grow as well as their love and appreciation for you and your support. Down the road, this will make them an awesome parent! It is up to you to teach them that a bully is nothing but a punk, and they can ignore the punk and move on in life, or get stuck in a rut they could spend the rest of their lives trying to dig out of.
A bully can be one of the first real tests of their young life. The bonus is that it is not pass/fail. Like all things in life, it’s a learning process. Prepare your child in advance for the harsh realities of the world. When they are adults, you will no longer be able to shield them from the bullies and assholes, of which there are many. If you coddle and protect them, they will bury their issues and that is when you read headlines of kids killing themselves or doing something silly over some stupid shit. Suicide is never a solution to any problem – this is another really good reality check you can instill in them.
It’s a tough world out there and you can’t avoid the bully indefinitely. Give your kids the tools and life experience they need to be confident enough not to get bullied, and they will go far in life. Their confidence will lead to future success and happiness both personally and professionally. Don’t pussyfoot around how the real world works. If you were bullied as a kid you are going to have a miserable youth and probably end up being bullied as an adult. Let them know that bullies never go away. They grow up and become our boss, a coworker, neighbor, etc. Preparation is key!
So while everyone else out there is giving bullies shit, I think they are fulfilling a much-needed place in society. It is the first of thousands of tests in life to see whether or not they can level up. If you handle your children’s issue for them, they are going to be faced with a world they are ill equipped to handle.
This doesn’t mean the bully isn’t a douche bag – they are, and they usually grow up to be an adult douche bag – it just means they serve a purpose. Prepare your kid to rise to the occasion and overcome. Bullies can set the tone for the rest of their life. It is the first test in a life full of unkind realities. The more you tame the bully, the less you will have them in your life.
Returning to the question of whether I was bullied as a kid, the answer remains no. There certainly were moments where I was tested, but that is called youth. Due to having the right mental tools, they were nothing but brief moments in time that have only had a positive effect on my life. The ‘bully’ is a quintessential part of growing up. Prepare your child for that test. I passed, and am better for it.
To any douche bag out there that attempted to bully me when I was younger… I thank you for making me a better person.
To the parents out there reading this, do you have what it takes to prepare your kid…or are you a pussy like you were in high school?
*Like everyone, your kid is what he/she eats. It is up to you, the parent, to teach your child the importance of proper nutrition and if you don’t know then get educated. Processed and sugary food products might be easy, but they are making your kid fat and will ultimately lead to life threatening diseases…and bullying.
(This is a guest post by Alex Klung)