Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Addressing bullying

Tim, a friend that I have come to know via online means through various gun organizations, and the owner of the blog Mental Brushfire, wrote today about bullying.  The post, "When good men do nothing" tells a story that rings true for many adolescents in this country that are bullied and have found no answers in their school and public officials that are supposed to provide a safe place for children to learn.  The post ends with this (emphasis added)
Would someone please stand up and do something before another life ends too early and another family suffers such a loss?

Will you?
 Tim's story started me thinking.  My son, Harrison, is turning 1 in a few weeks and has a long way to go before he heads off to school on his own, without the watchful eye and protection of my wife and myself, but yet this story seemed to touch me deep in my gut.  Perhaps it is because I am a parent that any story about the tragic loss of life of a child tends to stick with me.  What will I do?  How do I address this very real issue that Harrison may have to deal with?  How do I make sure that he does not become a bully himself?

I remember school, and while I had a good group of friends, I was not the most popular kid to ever grace the halls.  In general, I have good memories, and while there were a few people that made disparaging comments about my struggle with being overweight, I would not call myself bullied, and certainly not physically bullied.

So what about Harrison?

I do not pretend to have all of the answers, and parenting is not the type of thing that you can do by mapping out your child's life and your response and then following said map; it changes and you have to adapt, but I also will not pretend that I have not thought about how I will deal with issues that could arise in his lifetime. That is part of my job as a father.