Is Your Child a Loser?
I'm sure the title got your attention, how dare I compare a child to being a loser! Well...hang with me here, there is a reason why I asked that.
I work as a substitute teacher for our local high school; two years ago while subbing for a Spanish class full of freshman and sophomores, a male student I was checking on sitting with a group of his friends, glowingly bragged about not being part of the loser group sitting nearby. The tone of what was a casual conversation changed for me; I asked him why he referred to them that way, in which he replied "Look at them". I looked over this group of "losers" as he said, 3 boys and a girl who were noticeably different in dress and manner than others in the class, however, sitting quietly at their desks that had been moved together. They weren't bothering anyone, they weren't doing the work assigned to the class, but no one else was either; this group was behaving, talking amongst themselves, generally minding their own business. I wanted to turn around to this kid who felt he was superior because he played sports and wore the name brand clothes and give him a piece of my mind; how dare he feel the way he feels. I wasn't sure what else to say at that point; I knew kids like him when I was in high school, I guess that's why it bothered me and I really took it to heart. We have all heard news of school shootings and the increase in teen suicides due to being made fun; does this kid realize any of this, his words could have long lasting effects.
I wish I had could have said something to change this kids mind, he judged a group of kids who had done nothing to him but be in the same class; how fair is that? The only "loser" in that class was clearly this kid, who used his popular social status to embolden his over inflated ego to demean others he felt were inferior.
I believe there is a stereotype to these bullies, and yes, this kid is a bully; the media portrays them as the big kid, dressed in black, with spiked wrist bands, always starting fights, however, being in the public school system I see it differently. Quite often, it is the more popular students, certainly not all of them, who like to make fun of other student's less expensive clothing, looks, or even a quiet demeanor. Don't get me wrong, I've also seen other popular students being the ones to take up for their less popular peers and putting a stop to the bashing. As parents, we are told to look for signs of our child being bullied, but none of us rarely think to look at our own child as the bully. There seems to not be a one size fits all bully; they can come from good and bad homes, rich and poor homes, the high school football star to the local pastors kid. We as parents have to be proactive, let your children know while they are young bullying will never be tolerated and teach them how to understand differences in others. Make sure you always set a good example for your child, watch how you talk about others in front of your children, be a positive role model.
Has your child or someone you know experienced bullying? I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment with your story or experience, it may help someone currently dealing with this.