Dear Middle School Parents,

I’m angry at you. I’m angry at your kids and I’m wondering if you even know why? Probably not since I’m sure they don’t tell you everything that happens during the day especially if it involves them being cruel or being a bully. What child would tattle on themselves for being so hateful? Mine wouldn’t, and I am certain yours wouldn’t either. And, because they won’t tell you, I will.

When your child makes fun of another child for having dyslexia and then calls that a child a “p” because it hurt their feelings and they cried, that my dear parent makes your child undeniably horrible. Yes, there are many, many other words that come to my mind but I’ll let you use your imagination on what those words would be.

Beyond wiping the tears off cheeks and reassuring my child that they are neither stupid nor weak, because words break more than bones, I’m wondering what type of parent you are and what sort of home environment your child comes from?

Are you as cruel and mean as your offspring? Are they learning all their behavior from you? Do you bully them and tell them they are less than because they don’t get good grades or look a certain way? Do you listen to them or do you tune them out and shut them down when they have a problem, telling them to “Suck it up”?

Yes, children can be cruel and mean, but this is beyond a simple tease. When did kids become so nasty and vile to each other? Who do we blame for that? Social media, television, the movies, video games, politics? Maybe. Perhaps, some of those things are an ingredient to their callousness, like a cake that needs flour, sugar and eggs, but those ingredients don’t just happen into the bowl by themselves. No, the baker takes care to measure out each item placing it in the mixer, beating it and then pouring it into the pans before baking it in the oven.

You, parent, are the baker allowing ingredients of low EQ, hate speech, course joking, teasing, lack of compassion and many other things to be stirred and mixed into your child’s soul. “But I can’t be held responsible for my child”. Yes, you can and yes you should. They come to us as blank slates. They don’t need to be taught how to be bad or ill tempered, but they do need to be taught how to be kind and loving and if you are not filling them up with the right ingredients then you ARE responsible for the sour and distasteful human that you unleash on society.

So Middle School Parent, I implore you. Be nice to your child, be kind to them, show them how to be vulnerable and have compassion. Stop bullying them and teach them how to take responsibility for their actions and their words, because they are in essence your actions and your words. They look to you, they mimic you, they want to please you and be like you. Ask yourself this “Do I want them THEM to be like ME?”

Gena

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