Before we get started, let me say this post is not about how awesome Eva is. Well, she is, but really the whole point here is comparing two extremely similar situations, two out of many such situations happening across the country. Bullying is a serious issue, and standing against it is seriously important. Keep that in mind as you read.
I love the words ‘Tough It Out’. It can apply to all manner of things, right?
Stomach flu, a shitty divorce, pink eye, a bad day where have to work and can’t stay home in pj’s, diarrhea, twisted ankle, paper cuts, or a bad hair day…
Wait, what was that? Oh yeah! Got a bad hair cut? Tough. It. Out!
Now, what if that hair cut isn’t bad? There’s a reason your hair got cut….
I have a point, I promise.
Here’s the deal. My generation basically falls into two pails with how we were parented- the kids who had to ‘tough it out’ or ‘mommy and daddy will fix everything- EVERYTHING!’
So, people think of this generation as being pretty jaded in our parenting efforts.
Our kids should have everything, right? I mean, the mean girls get it all, so do the asshole jocks, and the kids sitting under a tree at lunch, reading, are the LOSERS.
Or the kids who become very socially conscientious- also losers!!! Your kid should be dumping people in toilets and excelling at sports. GOSH.
So let’s say you have raised a kid that is ‘sensitive’. Another fun label.
Your kid cares about recycling, finds wounded animals, cries at sad movies, and is maybe a little shy.
Or your kid finds out that someone they love has cancer and is devastated.
They want to understand what’s happening, why they or others are sad, and they want to help.
I just find it ironic that we have all, at one time or another, said that we want a compassionate child.
One that will not bully. That will show kindness and consideration in any situation.
One that will see another person suffering and try to help.
Then we turn around and drill into them- be PERFECT and the BEST at everything.
It can be at the cost of anyone- all that matters is that you are better looking, smarter, more athletic, and the most popular.
Now let’s talk about a little girl. It might be one who has made news very recently or it might be one I have talked about a whole lot here.
This girl is fun, smart and feminine. She might be athletic, into books, bright colors.
She might just be a really awesome and compassionate kid who saw someone else suffering and wanted to support them.
That person had cancer and had to do chemotherapy. This little girl felt the scared, the hurt, the confusion and wanted to help, in some small way.
So, she cut her hair! In fact, she donated it! She was really proud and felt she could out.
But her classmates didn’t like it. Adults made strange, rude comments. You are told that you are a bad parent….
FOR LETTING YOUR GIRL LOOK LIKE A BOY.
And the best part? You get to ‘Tough It Out’.
Bullying is no catch phrase, people. Not when there are 7 year olds taking pills or hanging themselves.
Not when there are school shootings at an average of one every 2.4 weeks.
No. Your kid shouldn’t have to endure being told that their appearance is lacking at any age.
So, you may have heard of a little gal called Jetta? She cut her hair to support someone she loved who is going through cancer.
That story that I just told? Jetta, honey, it was for you. Do you know why?
Because all those pictures of my daughter with short hair?
She cut her hair when I got cancer a few years ago.
Anyone who mocks her, she smiles and walks away.
No tears, girl. They aren’t worth it.
I wonder where Eva (who, by the way, wants to be your pen pal!) got the idea from short hair?
Just an idea.
This post could have been about Jetta, or Eva, or BOTH. Not sure how I feel about that.
I will say this. As parents, adults, and humans- we are tasked with raising our children to be kind and compassionate, as well as driven to their personal goal of success.
It should not come at the cost of making others feel awful. That actually is not success.
Rise above and walk with beauty and grace.
Stop compartmentalizing bullying, people.
My daughter and this girl have suffered a bit too long for sticking to who they are.
This is not an option. I can understand that we all have to ‘Tough It Out’ on a bad day. That’s life.
That is also different than relentless teasing, mocking, and even violence to make a kid feel inferior.
I bet you know a few kids too. It is not okay.
They do NOT have to tough it out.
Glitter and Sparkles,