I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.
Long time no see. I'm sorry it's been go long but I'm back and here to stay.
I'm not certain if I've mentioned it previously, yet as a child I was bullied. Within the walls of my home, I was teased by my own siblings. Due to the fact I was a heavier child, my weight was a constant target of insults. Family meals weren't as pleasant as what could have been, yet I still remember feeling less than more often than not. I don't recall my parents taking a stand to make things right, as they too may have had sibling challenges as well, but what I do remember is the fact that I dealt with it. I disappeared into eating, television, books and writing, eventually moving into friends and boys.
Moving on to Catholic Grade School, I was too tall, too heavy, too shy, too stinky and too abnormal. I recall being the 5th tallest person in my class. Four boys, then myself, no other girls were my size. Reaching 6' tall by the age of 13, I stood out. I was called a variety of names for a variety of reasons. Picked last after the last for sports, I knew that I wasn't going to be the chosen one. Disgruntled team captains looked past me towards everyone but and made sure their disgust was known.
After years of hard work, I came to not only forgive but help others who, like myself, are considered less than or not good enough. Today I stand before you a confident, secure, outstanding, witty and compassionate individual who knows she's good enough, smart enough and dog-gonnit, people actually like her. Not only that, I am respected by individuals who are very successful and know the value of a well-rounded individual.
As I spend time with children in grade and high schools, I'm noticing a new trend of bullying. Similar to what I experience on this site, there are nameless, faceless cowards hiding behind keyboards waiting to strike. King and Queen Cobras, on the hunt for their next victims. What was once a face to face attack is now happening all hours of all days, every single day. One is left to sit on the edge of their seat as individuals know have access to their emails, accounts, phone numbers and, worse yet, home addresses.
As a child, we had a landline phone. Sure, we made prank calls, but in all honesty, our phone wasn't used to harm or violate anyone. We didn't spend hours trying to figure out who to tear apart next. I'm not saying we were perfect, we were just very limited regarding the amount of damage one could instill on a regular basis.
Was it because we were busy, playing outside, at the local park or field house, library, hanging with friends, participating in sports, cruising the highway, camping, with family or riding our bikes? Was it because we lacked cell phones, internet, cable television and a majority of video game systems? I'm sure we could answer yes to both questions. Yet, what has changed is this: parents are saying yes to the latest greatest and not setting limits as to the amount of time one is logged in to the internet on a regular basis.
I find it interesting that we hear about bullying via social media, yet no one is disconnecting or limiting their children's access until it's too late. Children as young as 9, 10 and 13 have facebook accounts. They also have smart phones with unlimited internet access.
Parents today, compared to the parents of yesteryear, are afraid of their children feeling "bad". Since the age of divorce mom and dad have been trying to "make it up" to Suzie and Johnny by upgrading and allowing them use of iPads, laptops and other devices which children can use in the privacy of their own bedrooms.
Given the fact children are being attacked via social networking and cell phones, isn't it time we put the kibosh on these items and completely block social media? Isn't it worth your child's self-esteem to make sure they aren't attacked on a regular basis which may eventually end in suicide? How many children must be bullied in the privacy of their own homes before parents say, "Yes, my child" and disconnect?
I can honestly say I am grateful I was raised in a generation which wasn't connected. We played outside, we spent time with friends and family and we knew the value of using our minds and appeasing ourselves. We didn't have parents who felt the need to make sure we weren't bored, they told us to go play outside and be in by the time the street lights went on.
To the parents of today, disconnect your children. Disconnect yourselves. Spend time with your babies before it's "too late" and they're having children of their own. The sooner you do, the sooner it is possible your Grandchildren may have a chance to have parents who are connected as well. It won't be easy yet nor will it if you are another statistic burying their child who couldn't take the bullying one minute longer.