I started to question why kids are so mean to one another after my daughter started high school and became a target of bullying and verbal attacks from her peers and classmates. I just couldn’t understand it and my eleven year old would come home emotionally bruised not because she couldn’t stand up for herself but because I told her not to engage in altercation with anyone. So she kept her feelings to herself and would come home to vent in her bathroom. I would help her through this difficult time by teaching her coping mechanisms and encouraging her to express herself and defend herself in school without appearing violent or with intent to fight anyone. I also taught her the power of music and journaling to help her through it all. And everyday, we would talk, I would listen to her and counsel her. While doing all of this, I went to the school to speak with the educators as well to get to the bottom of the matter and I realized that kids who could reason from right to wrong, are mean to others simply because those kids aren’t like them or do not share the same values or interests. Thus, my desire to understand why.
So I found this piece on 👉🏽 https://www.google.com.ng/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/growing-friendships/201803/why-are-kids-so-mean%3famp where it talked about why kids are mean. This article was written by Dr Eileen Kenedy-Moore where she talked about “empathy blind spots” in kids. Here is an excerpt.
“Empathy blind spots happen when children decide that certain people’s feelings don’t “count” and therefore feel justified in being mean to them. Empathy blind spots allow kids to make excuses for being unkind. They insist, “He’s so annoying!”; “She’s weird!”; or “Nobody likes him!” Believing these excuses, they tell themselves that the mean behavior is acceptable, unavoidable, or even righteous.”
As it turned out, this was exactly the reason why my daughter was being persecuted and she wasn’t the only one. Apparently, this set of “cool” girls were bullying others because they were not cool enough. So after my complaint and the girls were made to face a disciplinary committee, I was called to the school to give my opinion and I told the committee not to punish the kids but rather to counsel them because they really are just kids. In fact, I am of the opinion that parents should be held responsible for their children’s bad behaviors because it is our responsibility to raise the kids right.
One of the values that I teach my kids is tolerance and that they are sensitive to other people’s feelings. No child exists in vacuum but if we don’t teach them to be accepting of people, they are not able to have an open mind to embrace everyone regardless of race, culture or beliefs. There is no way on God’s green earth that we all will ever be the same – we will never share the same ideologies and we will never look alike – but we must be tolerant of one another and embrace or accommodate diversity. This is what we should be teaching our kids.
I know that parents are busy but we are responsible for our children and a child can’t raise he or herself – they look up to us to teach them well so let’s teach them not to have biases. The world needs more love.