Hello Pooka Family. My heart is heavy and I am not in great spirits today, mainly because of two separate incidents on bullying that have been in the news recently. The first one is about the little girl in Florida whose father went on the school bus to berate and threaten the kids who had been picking with his daughter (who by the way has cerebral palsy). Some may not agree with his methods, but as a parent you can identify with his intentions. I'd always feel compassion when I'd hear about these incidents in the news but now that we have Taiye, I find myself more compassionate to the victim and angry at the perpetrators. Since day one when we found out that we were having a child, my prayers at night changed from, "God bless, my husband, my sisters and my family" to "God, I pray that we raise Taiye to be a strong, confident, Christian person loving God first, us second, her family & friends and her community." I think it is so important that we raise Taiye to be a confident child so she is not easily manipulated by what others think of her or influenced by some little boy who says she needs to prove her love to him by doing God knows what! As a teenager, I was insecure and not completely confident in myself so I definitely don't want to pass on those feelings to Taiye. I want her to be a leader and not a follower and achieve all the goals she sets for herself.
The other incident of bullying that has affected me was, in my opinion, a form of cyber-bullying. This was the incident where two students taped and then streamed on the internet an intimate encounter between his roommate and another person. As you may have heard the result of that incident lead to suicide. I'm sure these two student probably did not mean for this to happen and I'm sure they thought what they were doing was a joke, but what does it say about us/our children, that we find someone else's personal preferences a joke? Why are we so judgmental? Why do we feel we can make other people the butt of our jokes? Like I said, I am sure they did not mean for that young man to commit suicide, and yes, that young man could have possibly been suffering from some other issues that contributed to his decision to take his life. Nevertheless, it does not absolve those students's culpability of what they did. I feel sorry for the parents of all of the students involved in this tragedy. I'm sure they did not expect that when they sent their sons/daughters off to college that their children would end up being responsible for someone's death and for the parents who loss their child, this was probably the furthest from their minds.
Let's teach our children tolerance and confidence!