A Suburban City Girl in A Small Town

Moment by moment……

Can We Be Too Sensitive?

on October 19, 2012

This is a subject that has been on my heart and mind.

This past year my daughter, Emilie, chose not to involve herself with a friendship with someone with whom she simply did not trust. I thought this was a quality decision because trust is the most important thing in a friendship. Emilie fought long and hard on this decision and really did try to make a friendship work. However, when it did not work, Emilie chose.

For this, someone she loved and trusted labelled her a “bully. And they were adults. Like myself, she felt the sting of the end of a longterm friendship.

I totally believe bullying is wrong. Emilie has been the target of a bully. I do not wish for  her to be the same nor have I raised her that way. However, the media has highlighted the term “bully” and most of the American public have fallen into the trap of hysteria. A sort of McCarthy-ism has taken root and now if a child merely looks at a child in a way that child feels is negative, the word “bully” comes out of their mouth and thus, a child gets labelled unjustly.

It’s the Salem witch trials all over only on a different scale.

I believe in keeping my eyes open. I believe in others doing the same. I believe in standing up for a bullying victim. However, I DO NOT believe that when a child refuses the friendship of another, that is bullying. Too many times, the public school system tries to force friendships between children who simply do not get along. I’m sorry but I don’t expect my girls to be friends with everyone. Honestly, people! Are you friends with everyone you work with? Go to church with? Go to school with? No! Be honest! So when my daughter decides not to be friends with another child, why would you label her a bully and then go public on Facebook about it where she can see it?

People, let’s try to keep this in perspective. A child not choosing to be friends with another child DOES NOT make them a bully. At this point, unless there is real evidence of bullying, that word should not even be used! Especially by someone who has spent most of their life working in the school system where their opinion is respected. For someone like that to unjustly label another child as a bully in a public forum such as social media can do irreparable damage to that child. To someone who has children looking up to them, I say SHAME ON YOU for your open slander of another child. You’re an adult. She’s a child! You should know better!

Bottom line is we need to stop sensationalizing these social stigmas to the point where our kids don’t know up from down or left from right anymore. My daughter was terrified of any and all friendships. Any argument with any other child could end the same. Will that child’s elders label her a bully also???? Will they do it  in the realm of social media like cowards are apt to do? And at that point is that adult “bullying” my child? Seriously?? Does anyone else not see how badly this can spiral out of control simply because someone tossed the word “bully” around??

Stop sensationalizing people! Start listening to your kids and if you have other kids who look up to you, start giving them and their parents the benefit of the doubt before you go to a social media website and start publically slandering them! And if you find your suspicions to be true – remember, you are an adult and you have NO RIGHT and NO RIGHT to publicly slander a child!!!


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