South Dakota mom's blog that children need to work through conflict draws praise and ire

  • Article by: CARSON WALKER , Associated Press
  • Updated: November 14, 2013 - 9:20 AM

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A South Dakota mother is the target of both praise and criticism after she blogged that kids being bullied should toughen up.

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zyxwvuNov. 14, 13 6:37 AM

your children are toddlers and you're an expert on bullying? Let's see what happens when you release them to the real world, or will you be home schooling them? "toughen up" only helps the bullier avoid accountability for their actions.

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holmescity49Nov. 14, 13 7:11 AM

Sooner or later they will have to stand on their own two feet. It may not be right but they need to learn how to deal with others who are "over agressive". If they do not, they will be walked over for the rest of their lives. We were kids once and there were bullies, we learned how to "deal with it". "Gets along with others" was on the report card. It is a social skill to learn how to get along and deal with others, the good and the not so good. Life is a journey and those who who become self sufficient will have an easier path to walk.

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julio57Nov. 14, 13 9:58 AM

I've read the blog, and while I don't agree with every thing she says, she absolutely nails one key element, as noted in the article. It is NOT a parent's job to be their child's friend, it is the parent's job to PARENT. This woman's children are still pretty young and have not experience true bullying yet, so it is a little presumptuous to opine about bullying. However, I do applaud her for having a philosophy on raising her kids. Too many parents just 'go with the flow' and let their kids run their lives, which is the opposite of what should be. It is a parent's job to run their childrens' lives.

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thismompaysattentionNov. 14, 1310:09 AM

It is a mistake to take on one current parenting extreme without also acknowledging the other end of the spectrum. Sure, over-parenting is bad and in the past we were allowed to handle more things on our own...BUT we also had more support from attentive adults dealing with overaggressive behavior from the would-be bullies. Just as over-parenting sets up kids for being less self-reliant, absent, overly permissive and distracted parenting that lets this serial aggression go unchecked also should be getting bashed. The victim's parents aren't isn't the only one to blame in this problem.

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raineyrooNov. 14, 1310:21 AM

That SoDak mother needs to realize that life's not a lightswitch. If your kid comes to you, it's probably because they cannot handle it themselves. When I was 11 or 12, I had some kid pick on me for a couple days. I ended up resolving that problem by breaking his nose in a lunchtime playground fight. That was the first my parents heard of it. I was also a bully to a neighborhood kid. Me and a couple of my friends used to pick on this kid quite a bit. I remember that we pushed this kid into a big mud puddle of water after a big rainstorm. His dad noticed that he came home soaked and called each of us offenders. I told his father that "Travis" had smarted off to us. Shockingly, his dad said that his son was a smart-mouth and probably deserved it. At that point, I felt sorry for the kid that his parent didn't stand up for him. I didn't pick on the kid again. Not wanting to appear weak around my friends, I sort of defended him from time to time, saying things like "He's not worth it" or "This is lame. Lets go to the store." I know that I would defend my daughter if she was ever in that same situation.

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stplooklistnNov. 14, 1311:47 AM

The word bully is used too quickly. But with fast and frequent texts and Facebook, those nasty messages are targeted to kids and it takes on a life of its own. The pendulum swings, parents are lambasted for not being involved and the next generation gets it for being too involved. Most are in the middle doing OK.

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joseupieNov. 14, 1311:50 AM

What has always bothered me about the "bully" talk is about helping people from being the victim. We need to talk more about not being the bully. In the natural flow of life and relationships, sometimes your actions are hurtful to others, unintentionally. It is important to coach kids, and adults, to be intentionally not-hurtful. Our current response of just supporting the victims is a soft and non-viable solution.

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morbthrmsnowNov. 14, 1312:04 PM

with two boys in grade school, we spend a significant amount of time as referee, since they wrestle and fight each other on a regular basis. It does toughen them up to a degree, but dealing with a sibling is different than a peer. And we try to teach them to talk through their arguments. Sometimes it actually works!

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goodgrief100Nov. 14, 1312:32 PM

I love how parents or should I say adults get all fired up about children bullying children. Yet, these same adults and parents are bully's to co-workers, family members, neighbors, and yes...even children. Every single person I know has been both the bully (perpetrator) and the bullied (victim) at some point in life. DUH! Get over it already. The bottom line is treat others how you'd want to be treated. Nuff said.

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thinkb4uspkNov. 14, 1312:52 PM

I read this woman's blog post and what I took away from it was not that the bullied need to toughen up, but that it is important to teach our children to try to solve their own problems first before running for help. Also, kids need to learn disappointment and that they will not always win or be successful at everything they do. I agreed with the mother's opinions and think this article tends to blow her blog out of proportion.

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