Another ‘Taboo’ Subject…….Bullying….Today I Seek Your Input!!!!!!

bullyingWhen you were in school, what was more common; kids who did things positive and creative, or kids who were bullies?  I was speaking with an old class buddy of mine and certain names came up and it was immediate when one particular name was called a bully.  We stated what an idiot and he received his 12 seconds of remembrance at being a moron, and we moved on.

The bullying we hear about today is not like when we were younger.  Back ‘when’ no one did anything about being a bully.  One kid in my grammar school bought a gun to school and shot many kids with this pellet gun.  Newspaper?  No such thing.  That said, our Principal in this Catholic School beat the living daylights out of the boy.  If that happened today, it would be national news.  Not saying it wa right, I am saying it was the way it was.

Now there are a million things wrong with this story, my point is that in my day, bullies were not stopped.  Notice I did not say bullies were allowed, they just were not stopped and we had to deal with it in our own way.

And believe me when I tell you that many of us had our own way of dealing with bullies.

It’s a different world today and it’s my hope that bullying is not the same as when I was younger.  Surely it’s not tolerated as much these days……..or is it?  Is teasing the same as bullying?

I find it very disturbing when I read of a child being made-fun-of who has diabetes.  I know it happens and I know many people also do not talk about it.  But it happens.  It’s easy to say well “kids will be kids” and teasing is part of what they must endure.

I think that is a whole wheel-barrel load of crap.  It should never be.  Ever.

I remember a story about a child who was made fun of for having diabetes.  This one kid in particular just would not stop, I am told, and a few times a month it was the same thing.  He was out of school for two days and on the third, the teacher told the child’s mom that the young boy was diagnosed with diabetes.  The boy’s mom asked the teacher to let her know.

That afternoon, the mom and her daughter went to the hospital and spoke to the parents and the young lady went in and spent time with the boy telling him that it would be okay.

No one is quite sure what the two of them discussed, at bedside, but it was clear that the young lady helped and did not ‘get even’ with the newly diagnosed young man.  An interesting turn of events for sure.

The lesson here is compassion.  No  matter how hard it is…..compassion.

No one should have to ‘put up’ with anything like teasing or bullying while also dealing with diabetes.  That said, the compassionate heart will always win out.  As hard as it seems, the best thing to do is ignore it as much as one can.  Many times it will stop just because the person realizes that ‘it’ is not working.  If it gets to the point of unbearable, something could/should be said.

But in many cases, even saying something does nothing.  Many times the person just finds more creative ways of doing it without being found out; or the parents—you find—are not that different from the child and it’s clear that nothing will be done.

The most important thing you can teach your child is that when these things occur, it HAS NOTHING to do with them.  If they did not have diabetes, it would be the color of their hair, their clothes, their shoes, or something else.  The other thing is that they are not alone.  Even though they may not see it, others are getting it also.  It is about the person saying things and not about anyone else.  THEY HAVE THE PROBLEM.

Now all of this is nice to say but believe me I know how much your child just wants to punch them in the nose and make them stop.  It’s not like the movies, that would not necessarily work either.  SO I ask all of you today, what did you do to handle bullying?  What did you tell your child?  Did it get better?  It happens and it is not always discussed.

Today let’s discuss it.  PLEASE share….you can help many others.

Talking to the teacher?  The Parents?  What was your course of action?  Kindly share.
Today I seek the wisdom of those who have been through this very tough subject.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’



5 replies on “Another ‘Taboo’ Subject…….Bullying….Today I Seek Your Input!!!!!!”

my kids aren’t perfect but I think they stay out of trouble partly because they clearly know where I stand on the issues of bullying, swearing, respecting adults, underage drinking, smoking, & drugs. I don’t think my kids would take a chance on any of these things because the thought of facing me would be scary. I want them to know there are consequences for everything in life – we talk a lot about these topics. It’s my responsibility to make sure these children are decent human beings – bullying is something I have zero tolerance for. It even happens in the adult world and that makes me especially sad.

Diabetes bullying in the public schools is rampant. “Het ‘Diabetes Boy” or “I don’t want to sit near you ’cause I don’t want to catch you diabete” are are daily taunts.

Howver, it’s the bias and comments from faculty and administration that are most distubing. It often manifests as a significantly “hostile” learning environment. School nurses and guidance counsellors should champion student advocacy. Vice principals responsible for “late” arrivals are, too often, openly hostile towards a student who experiences frequent early-morning highs or lows.
It’s up to parents to educate and advocate against such behavior. Its innapropriate, hurtful, and illegal!

One day, when my daughter was in 2nd grade, I showed up for lunch volunteer duty and found my daughter was sitting all alone at a table for 8. When I asked her why no one was sitting with her, she began to cry and finally told me that one boy in her class had told the other children that they should not sit with her or they would catch diabetes. She begged me not to do anything. She was so ashamed. Broke my heart. Apparently, this had been going on for a while. How I handled it: I spoke with the school nurse and asked her if she could come in and speak to the class about how diabetes is not contagious. When the teacher heard, she called me–she was angry and told me she spoke to the children about how unkind their treatment of my daughter was. It did not happen again and she is a happy, well-adjusted college student now!

Tom, I am delighted that Marc Blatstein referred me to your blog. Marc sends you his best regards. I have been enjoying your posts, the timing and subject matter seems to perfect.

For almost 20 years, my family fairytale, “Princess Shayna’s Invisible Visible Gift” has been helping children, their families, and their teachers recognize and deal with Bully Behavior by discovering and appreciating each individual’s Praiseworthy Gifts!

Princess Shayna is heroine who girls and boys alike, can emulate and respect. The princess has T1D and demonstrates that no one is perfect, not even a princess, and you do not have to be perfect to be loved!

10% of the royalties from the sale of “Princess Shayna” is allocated JDRF.

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