Rhyan says I should be sure to clarify my stance on bullying. She thinks I come across as a big aggressive alpha male and if I don’t say it out loud some of you may come to the wrong conclusion. I don’t know why she would think this. I’m just a big adorable lovable little fuzzball teddy bear.
I think there are two huge Dad jobs on the subject of bullying.
There’s the bully and the bullied.
1.) Teach your kids to be strong, firm, and proud.
Let’s focus on the proud aspect. You are going to get “bully’d” at some point. I think people have gone way too far and gotten way to soft on what bullying actually is but regardless of how you define it, it is going to happen. Someone will make a comment about you that you do not like. If might reference your opinion, intelligence, religion, race, weight, hair, eyes. Whatever it is. I teach my boys to be proud of who they are. To be confident in how God made them. You’ve got to have thick skin in life. You have to be able to take not only good-natured ribbing but insults, criticism, even hate. You going to have so much better of life if you don’t let other people’s negative opinions ruin your life. And this starts at an early age. That means Dad is constantly affirming that his little girl is pretty and smart. He is always telling his boys how they are going to grow up and big strong, successful great men. You have to build their confidence and that is easier in some kids and will take a lot more effort in other kids. But they need to believe in themselves. It upsets me when I read about a kid that takes their life because they were cyberbullied. Other kids’ opinions should not matter. They are dumb kids. They know nothing. I wish they had had a voice in their life telling them how great they were. Telling them to ignore other kids because past grade school, those kids will be the losers and you will be the winner. I wish someone had been more involved and noticed the change in attitude. The sadness. The anger. And intervened. Found a counselor. Anything is better than death. Grade school is so short in the big picture. Life is long. To end it so soon is heartbreaking because just a short time later would have been the light out of the tunnel.
Be proud of who you are. Naturally shy and insecure kids ought to hear this a lot more than the naturally confident kids. This Dad thing is not black and white. Kids are different. Dads are different. Families are different. There is no 1 answer to everything. That’s why I keep saying think about what you are doing and why.
The other side of these equations is the kids who never care what anybody thinks. It’s not so much a too proud issue as it is they have no shame issue. Now if we are speaking truthfully, and I always am, this starts when they are young. Kids have natural personalities, but they act the way they do because of what they have seen, heard, and absorbed. (their influences). So DAAAAAD. Be the model of what you want your child to be. If you want your kid to grow up to be the person getting arrested for causing a scene at McDonald’s because they were out of McNuggets. Then teach them to never care what anybody thinks about her.
Teach her to have zero shame. And she will grow up to be a part of society you wish would just care a little bit more because Daaaaaaammn.
Sooooo Dad. Raise them to be confident. Raise them to care about YOUR Opinion. MOMS opinion. GODS opinion. Because our opinions are for your best interest because we love you. (most moms and dads should be sayings this) At the same time, mom and dad are human. I have met full grown adults that are still to this day trying to earn their parent’s approval and are crushed when they don’t receive it. If your parents won’t give you approval forget it!! Its time to move on. Dads you know we are here to build your kids up, keep you humble, and guide you to be a great adult.
In the book Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. It mentions you should care about what people think about you. And to an extent, you do need to care a little bit, because if you dress like an idiot, talk like an idiot, and act like an idiot, people are going to assume you are an idiot. How many people will present you with opportunities when they think you are an idiot? It is beneficial to care what your image and actions are portraying to the outside world. (The world you have to live in.) At the same time, you need to know its okay to be who you are. Regardless of anything, there are people who love and care for you no matter what you look like, what you say, or what you do. Another person opinion should not cripple you. It may cause you to think. But have the inner confidence and strength to move on or make a change.
I’m trying to teach my kids to be a hero in the eyes of other people. Not a jerk. The Bully doesn’t win long term. You can’t build a business long term because no one wants to work for a jerk, and no one wants to support a jerk. Nobody wants to date a jerk. Nobody wants to spend time around someone that makes a hobby of tearing people down. I might work short term. In school, you can be the cool kid. You might get a business going short term off fear and intimidation. But these things are not sustainable. A jerk loses his friend over time. He loses his family. His employment. It’s not a characteristic that attracts the good things in life. So be nice. Kind. Humble. Of course, strong, brave, firm. But if you can only feel good about yourself by tearing down others you have a problem.
Strong men do not need to be bullies… They don’t need to pick on the weak ones to feel strong. Real men, real strength is taking on the big bad bully and winning. That’s who we stand up too. That’s who we would fight. Stand up for the weak ones, the young ones, the ones who need a hero. My sister showed me how this was done in middle school. She was the cool high schooler picking up her brother from middle school. Some of the cool kids were making fun of a not cool kid and she jumped in a ripped those turds a new one. They didn’t want a high schooler tearing them apart verbally, so they apologized. This is what I want my boys to do. Be the hero. Don’t be the bully. So, when the opportunity presents itself, I tell them or show them ways to be a hero. I point out when someone was acting like a jerk and I’m informing those little boogers, that’s not how Russell’s Act. My boys are not going to be soft. They are not going to be snowflakes. But they are not going to be bullies so they can feel better about themselves. My boys will have more self-confidence, more self-respect, and better moral values than to do that. Now for the record, I have all boys. Testosterone is flowing here. I don’t have a daughter, and I’m sure with a daughter while the lessons are similar, they may be a little more delicate than I am presenting here.
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