Saturday, October 22, 2011

Where are the parents?

Where are the parents?

While spending a wonderful Saturday at the park with my sons I was abruptly awaken out of my afternoon bliss by a stick to the head.  Two 10ish year old boys were throwing sticks at an injured squirrel in a tree above me.  I politely asked them to stop several times as the sticks kept hitting my family and the already injured squirrel.  After requesting the kids stop no less than five times one of my sons said “where are there parents?”  Good question.  When I asked them they said “I do not know” and continued to torture the poor squirrel. 

Bullying usually occurs when the parents or adults are out of site.  Bathrooms, the bus, the playground and after school walking home are perfect places for children to be bullied since there are few, if any adults around.  What makes it even more complicated is that sometimes the bully acts like a prefect angel in front of adults and his/her parents.

So what is a parent to do?  Talk to your children and make them aware of when and where bullying most likely happens.  This information may help them make better choices on where to position themselves– perhaps to sit at a lunch table close to the lunchroom staff or a seat in the bus close to the bus driver.  Also, find out from your school who is in charge of the lunchroom, the playground, before and after school grounds monitoring.  Make sure your child knows who is in charge during the times.  If they are bullied or observe someone being bullied, have them inform the adult in charge and you.   

As a side note, according to a study done by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Northeastern University, animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against another.  Yes, I know it is “only” a squirrel but as another observant and caring parent at the park said to me “today it is a squirrel, tomorrow it is a cat, and ten years from now it is a human”. 

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