I recently had an experience that made me question how parents are raising their sons. We were at a party when a boy repeatedly bullied her, no matter how many times I tried to interfere. My daughter is not used to people being mean to her, she is used to playing well and sharing with others because that is what I expect of her. I want my daughter to play with nice kids, I want her to know that all boys are not mean, and I don’t want my son to learn this type of negative behavior.

Is it just that these boys are “All Boy”? I don’t think so at all. I think that parents allow for more slack in their parenting with boys and don’t correct their children’s behaviors with the excuse that they are just boys being boys. I guarantee right now that I will expect the same level of appropriate and kind behavior out of my son as I do out of my daughter. I will not let him be mean.

I think many parents are confusing mean bullying style children with being tough. They don’t want their boys to be looked at as sissy’s so they instead turn their heads to ignore mean behavior so their son learns how to be tough. No that is not a tough kid, that is a mean kid. Tough kids, have not been coddled and their parents have taught them when they are not really injured how to toughen up and not to melt down over a scratch. A tough kid is the kid that can fall down have two skinned knees, skinned elbows and scratched forehead, spit on their injuries to get them clean and go continue to play.

The good thing that came out of my daughter being bullied was that I had a teaching conversation with her to help her to deal with this type of behavior. By the time we were ready to leave she was telling him when he was being mean, “Please don’t be mean to me, that hurts my feelings!” I got to explain to her that if this happens at a school it is never OK for people to hit you and that you should tell an adult so they can correct their behavior. My daughter is going to preschool in a month and hopefully this experience will help her deal with mean children.

You know what else drives me nuts when parents say something but don’t follow through with what they are telling their child. Here is an example, “No, no, Frankie, don’t tease. Don’t steal toys. You need to share.” These parents are just saying these things and doing absolutely nothing to correct the behavior. These parents need to walk up to their kids, look them in the eyes, make sure they are listening give the message and give them a consequence for their actions. If my kids take a toy from another kid, I tell them, “Don’t steal toys, it is not nice.” I make them give it back. If my kids tease they will get a time out, no question. I am still trying to figure out if these parents without follow through are spineless parents or lazy parents? I would rather sit down, socialize with my friends and yell from a distance to pretend like I am correcting their behavior, but really it does no good to just pretend. I will stop my conversation, and risk not being able to relax, in order to teach my children the correct and kind way to behave.

Sometimes people want their children to be popular and allow them to be mean to others, allow them to exclude others, allow them to snub others and generally not be kind. If this is what popular kids do I would rather my children be geeks and have a few, quality friends that care about each other.

I want my children to be kind, and I do not sit aside and just hope that they will figure out how to be kind on their own, I will constantly correct their behavior and teach them how to be good, kind, thoughtful people. I also raise my kids to be physically tough and not sissy’s but that does not mean they can be mean. I will never stand aside and allow my child to bully another child. I want my children to play with nice kind children, I want them to understand that a quality friendship is made with people who care about you and are kind. If children are bullies and are mean are becoming what is considered appropriate behavior, I will do whatever I can to protect my children even if that means private or home schooling.