Perhaps we should look in a different direction for answers

Yes, another national special day is coming Feb. 12. It’s called Stop Bullying Day. Before I sat down to write, I gave it a great deal of thought because it is that important.

What did I come up with in my deep thought? I came up with the idea that we are concentrating too much on symptoms and not the real problem. Please bear with me and perhaps you will see it from a different perspective.

Here’s a question: Bullying–that’s the big problem, isn’t it? Or is it not the problem but really one of the symptoms of a problem? Let me give you two examples of why I pose this question.

Some time ago, a man was at my house taking care of some business. The phone rang and I picked it up to answer and the caller was the man’s teenage daughter. She was having a problem and couldn’t finish mowing the lawn as she was supposed to do, so she asked to talk to her dad. I gave him the phone and she told him about not finishing the lawn. He became extremely angry and in a very loud and hostile voice cussed her out and used profanity with words that were as filthy as I had ever heard. I could not imagine how that young lady must have felt.

So here’s another question. What do you think that child will do to take out her anger for the devastating and brutal lashing that she received from her very own father?

Then we have the other extreme. I was visiting with a friend one day having a nice conversation, but we had a hard time hearing what the other was saying because his son, who looked to be about four years old, was in the room playing and making a lot of noise. So the father asked his son if he would go in the other room and play. The little boy just said, “No.”

The father then said, in a pleading tone of voice, “Please go into the other room and play.” He got the same response, so for the third time, said, “If you go in the other room and play, I’ll give you some cookies.” Again was the single-word response of “No.”

Do you see a problem here? If a father allows his child to have absolutely no respect for him, and allows his child to have the attitude of, “I can do whatever I darn well please,” do you think that child will have any respect for others? Do you think that child will try to act as required in public or will do as they please? I believe that most any child will carry out and act accordingly to the respect or disrespect that they experience at home.

It brings to mind one of Newton’s laws of motion, Where there is an action, there is a reaction. Yes, Newton was referring to a physical law. But there are also laws of human nature which may not be as predictable as the physical laws but certainly enough to show there is plenty of evidence to confirm the fact the majority of bullying is the result of parental upbringing. While it certainly is important to search every area to come up with an answer, I do not believe we give enough attention to parenting. In the evening cable “news,” how often do we hear them discuss family values? As I have said before, talking about family values these days is like the old gray mare: “She ain’t what she used to be.”

So, then, what is the answer? It gets a little complicated now, because of another law, which is nearly as predictable as the law of gravity and it’s called the law of extreme.

Alright — I just made that one up. But it is out there, whatever it’s called, which I have observed often. And it goes like this: For every issue, there is an extreme way of thinking which will solve no problem but generally create more. This extreme way of thinking rules out common sense and objective thinking as each side has all their answers chiseled in concrete.

I am not talking about those with different opinions in a reasonable exchange of ideas–only extreme. My two examples above show two examples of extremes, neither of which will work. Let’s understand children’s behavior will be a direct result of whatever goes on in the home. Let’s spend a little more time talking about that. Please be reassured that I do not make such statements unless I do much research on it. Do you have any doubts? Just do a little research.

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