I've also heard of grammar school reunions. If there was ever any group of people I was happy to put in my rear view it was those brats, except for one person I stayed in touch with and two people I didn't. These were not nice people. I was bullied but I don't think they called it that back then. Nowadays it's a huge deal in schools. We are lucky to live in an amazing school district where we couldn't ask for better teachers for our daughter.
There are all sorts of meetings, programs, books and public service announcements about preventing bullying. What I'm wondering is why can't we just teach our kids to leave each other the hell alone? To quote the philosopher (or maybe it was Will Smith?) 'Don't start nothin', won't be nothin'.' We can't expect the schools to raise our kids for us.
I know there are plenty of people out there who say that bullying is always going to be a thing and kids need to stop being 'wussies'. That may be true but only up to a point. First, bullying should not always be a thing. I firmly believe that the problem starts at home. Whether it's lack of parenting or poor behavior being modeled at home, I firmly believe we are products of our environment. I also believe that kids will do whatever they feel they can get away with. I live with cute but evil.
It would be great if we were all born with a thick skin. Unfortunately, much to my dismay, I discovered recently that I can hold a grudge like a nun. An old friend let me know she reconnected with an old bully on Facebook. She let me know the woman has a disabled daughter. I don't know if I said it out loud but my first thought was 'It serves her right', not exactly magnanimous!
If we're supposed to enjoy karma, why do I feel like such a rat bastard for even thinking such a thing? While I admit the problem is mostly mine, it's a lot like the old therapist joke, 'If it's not one thing, it's your mother.'. I most likely went to school with a bunch of people who were not taught how to behave. Some wounds fester and it appears that I was swimming in a fish bowl that was never cleaned. It's now up to me to clean up. Beware, lest your offspring become the victim of someone else's bad parenting!
Don't get me wrong. I do plan on teaching our girl how to defend herself (preferably verbally first) and eventually how to agree to disagree. First, since she is still young, I want her to understand how to be a good friend. Fortunately, the rule is simple, treat others how you want to be treated. The execution part can be complicated. She hasn't asked me yet 'But mom, what if the other guy is an asshole?', for example. I'm still working on my response to that one. There's a fine line between nice and doormat but that can be hard to explain to someone who is 8.
I do plan to make sure she understands that greeting someone with a punch in the face is not acceptable behavior ( especially at a reunion).