Oct 24, 2017

Why are Kids Being Bullied at a Younger Age

Due to a recent bullying incident with my daughter, I've been reading about bulling and how to handle it. One thing that struck me was that every article said that bullying is on the rise, especially among girls.

I understand that being a mean girl is one way to increase your popularity in middle and high school. Also that social media makes bullying easily accessible. I just don't understand why our girls are being so mean at a young age. How is it possible that bullying is so common in elementary schools that the anti-bullying programs begin in Kindergarten?

What's changed?

When we were kids we were free range kids before that was even a thing. Learning to ride a bike was a rite of passage. Once you could ride a bike you had more freedom to roam the neighborhood unsupervised. Of course we made sure to return home when the street lights turned on. And friends? We played with the kids that were around. Who remembers knocking on doors looking for kids who could come out and play?

Today my kids don't play with other kids unless the parents have arranged for a playdate. Which really requires the moms to friends. Or at the very least friendly.

Which makes me wonder if that's not part of the problem with our girls. Our kids don't just play with anyone they encounter in the neighborhood. There’s no knocking on doors until you find a friend or just heading to the park and playing with whoever was there. They’re only playing with a select few kids.

Before our kids start school their friends are our friends' kids. Then they go to school and they make their own friends at school but for the most part they only play with the kids outside of school when we are friends with the mom.

And I am as guilty as the next person. I work at my kids’ school and I have to be careful around parents outside of school. Teacher moms are reminded often that we are teachers first and parents second. Kinda hard to make connections with that hanging over your head.

I have no answers to this problem. I don’t even know if my theory is even a tiny part of the problem. It’s just something on my mind as I help my daughter through this horrendous stage of life.

I do know that as a mom I feel so helpless and all I want to do is wave a magic wand and make everything ok. Anyone have a magic wand I can borrow?

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