Good question … one that I am still searching for the answer to. There are two other Facebook pages that are good ones that are dedicated to Amanda Todd and provide good resources and reading material. Amanda Todd Official and Amanda Todd Safe Haven. I have posted on both sites, including my own. Subsequently, I have gained many people in my message box. Some comments are good. Others are strange. I get the usual ones that ask if I am Amanda’s real mom. Then the others that ask about her death. Different people. Different personalities. Different questions.
The comments that I enjoy reading are the ones where people share a story. There was one today that was posted in this blog. I find that when people share their stories in written form and post it on the internet, they are showing strength. Strength to tell how they feel. Their emotions. And the value of their life.
What I don’t like reading about are the ways people can be treated as if they are insignificant. How in the world does this happen? I remember being in the McDonald’s play area with my kids. My girlfriend was with me with her kids. My 2 plus her 3 = 5 rambunctious kids. But also — mannered children. As many of us mothers were doing, we would watch from the sidelines. There is nothing worse that those indoor play areas sometimes. (I once heard about a child throwing up in the black tunnel at Crash Crawly’s … ewww).
So from the sidelines, we sat and we watched. There was always the kids that pushed. And yelled. And was the big bully. I think they liked to be recognized as ‘king of the castle’. Do you remember that rhyme? “I’m the king of the castle. You’re the dirty rascal.” Now what does that truly mean?
One day, it was either myself or my girlfriend who had a heated discussion (or confrontation as you may) with another parent/guardian of a child. The other child was pushing the kids down the slide when they weren’t ready. Now picture this. Amanda was not a big child growing up. She was actually smaller than average. She probably wore 12 month old toddler clothes when she was 18 months old. She didn’t really grow out of her clothes quickly. When she was 5 years old, she weighed abt 38 lbs. At Kindergarten age, she was still supposed to be in a regular carseat. Thank goodness they made fancier and more ‘older children’ish’ looking ones. So anyways, Amanda was one of the smaller children getting pushed down the slide. Well .. remember I said that I was with my girlfriend and we had 5 kids between us. 4 boys + Amanda. The older boys told us moms what was going on. As moms, we didn’t really attack but we went in for the protection of our young. One of us, I don’t remember who, went towards the child and told her that she was scaring the younger/smaller children by pushing them down the slide too quickly. Did this child listen??? Nope. Next step. Talk to this child’s parent who we think was the grandmother. Remember the saying … apples and trees. That was it. The grown up didn’t see that anything was wrong. We tried. Eventually we had to leave. Funny thing is that the next time we bumped into this child and her grandmother again, another parent had to speak up.
As watchful parents and as bystanders, it is up to us to speak up and make wrongdoings better. I know that ‘fear’ will often get in the way. That is why incidents have to be gauged. Kids feel the same way. They are fearful of retaliation. But if all bystanders would speak up or if youth spoke up in groups, then the fear would lessen.
I read a blog tonight where the boy (who is now a dad) was bullied. His best friend didn’t know to help him after he became quiet and isolated. That’s because when his best buddy was around him, the instigators didn’t bother teasing or bullying the boy. How is it that children become targets? What makes bulliers choose their victims? If you have bullied someone, can you be truthful enough to share your thoughts?
It goes back to ownership. Can you own your behaviours enough (good or bad) to speak up about them?
We will wait and see …
Please read this blog post from the dad who was a picked on boy – Memoirs of a Bullied Kid – http://www.danoah.com/2010/10/memoirs-of-bullied-kid.html
Love you princess!!
Wish you were here to tell all those who have bullied to stand up and share why they did what they did.