Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

Is Grandpa on Speed Dial?

In my last post I was contemplating bullying and the subtle nuances of friendships and home life that most certainly feed a culture of one-up-menship and false superiority between seemingly disparate groups of people. You were all so kind in your comments and feedback, which I adore.

Just as I was starting to think I perhaps had a handle on this part of parenting, my father called. Well, actually, my mother called but she handed me over to dear-ole-dad with little ceremony or warning. I knew immediately that I was in trouble when he said… “so I’ve been catching up on reading your blog.”

Oh shit

DAD: “I put the word bullying into that thingy on the top of the screen where you can search for stuff and everything that came back proves the idea of bullying is indefinable and arguable.”

Oh shit

DAD: “If you’re really worried about bullying and helping Aaron to accept different people and situations, you also have to think about the little ways in which bullying happens every day inside your own home.”

Oh double shit.

DAD: What about when you guys want Aaron to pose in the photo studio and you bully him into it, or you guys cajole or bride him or each other to get what you want. Everybody uses some sort of coercion, small and big, to make things happen. Isn’t that also a form of bullying?  How will you know if it’s simply part of Aaron’s natural personality, or learned behavior if he starts pushing other kids around to get what he wants?

Oh triple shit

I wonder if Aaron has my father on speed dial. When I’m in the shower and can’t hear a thing, he probably calls his grandfather and tells him little stories like how when I woke Aaron for school that morning, through sleepy little eyes, he asked me to please not put carrot sticks in his lunch box AGAIN. Then he promptly rolled over and started to doze again. Like any parent who spots an opportunity, I told him if he didn’t get out of bed I most certainly was going to fill his lunch with carrot sticks. Bullying? I thought this was just resourceful parenting.

I sense a generational conspiracy here.

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13 comments to Is Grandpa on Speed Dial?

  • Jan

    Hmmmm – well, I suppose if Aaron starts threatening other children with carrot sticks if they don’t pose for pictures for him, you’ll know it’s definitely a learned behavior.

    I also see the thingy at the top of the screen where you can search for stuff is gone in the new layout, too…

    Jans last blog post..Let the Good Times Roll

  • He brings up an interesting point. Coercion is bullying, in some way. But, there is more to bullying than simple coercion. Bullying, to me, involves using scare tactics. Would Aaron really be scared about carrot sticks in his lunch? Probably not. Now, if you told him that if he didn’t get up right that second he would get a beating, then that is bullying.

    To me, bullying involves fear of pain and suffering. Aaron knows in his heart that you would never hurt him. So, he is not afraid. So, you are not bullying. Just my two cents.

    Also, love the new layout!

    WickedStepMoms last blog post..Quirks? I have no quirks…

  • So when I tell my kids I’m going to lock them in their bedrooms until the Second Coming if they don’t stop arguing, does that mean I’m a bully? Because they laugh at me.
    PS Love the new layout!

    Sammanthias last blog post..Spin Cycle: Licensed To Mentally Ill

  • Amy

    Great changes!

    Yeah, my daughter consults frequently with her ‘attorney’, my aunt, who is indeed an attorney!

    Amys last blog post..Friday Flashback – Just For Fun!

  • Food for thought.

    But what happened? Did he get up or did he have a Bugs Bunny lunch?

    Smalltown Moms last blog post..Dreams That Need to Go Away

  • THAT’s nothing! If my kids won’t get up for school I shove them in a locker and steal their lunch money and head off to Starbucks! What would Grandpa have to say about that!?!

    PS – only kidding only kidding grandpa! :)

    Thanks for stopping by…love your site! You are now in my reader…you’re welcome (<—total sarcasm)

    Peggys last blog post..Happy Friday & Drunk…Squirrels?

  • Every time I hear from my dad that he’s been catching up on my blog I break out in a sweat. I don’t know why I’m more comfortable w/ perfect strangers reading it, but it’s just kind of weird, in an “oh shit” kind of way.

    HeatherPrides last blog post..Add This to the List of Things NOT to Joke About With Complete Strangers

  • Your father makes excellent points …however I think it is kind of the opposite. If you didn’t push and encourage Aaron and just allowed him to eat what he wanted and do whatever he pleased…then to me that would lead to pushing others around…or even perhaps bullying.
    If you never pushed Aaron to take those pictures then what do you suppose he would say when he is an adult and there is no photo’s of him? Sorry son you just didn’t want to sit for pictures and we didn’t want to bully you into taking them.
    That is the hardest part…as parents we have to push, encourage…and yes sometimes even “bribe”…although I like to call it compromise. Sometimes we have to do things that make us feel like the bad guys…but that is not bullying. Now if you were to say ’sit there and take that picture or I am going to beat you when we leave’ Now that is a bully.

    I didn’t respond to the blog yesterday because the topic of bullying is a tough one for me. My son was bullied without mercy in middle school…not only by some students (who drugged him with sedatives) …but also by faculty. One of these days I will write a blog about it.

    Aaron is a very lucky little guy…he has parents and grandparents who will raise hime to be a respectful, thoughtful and compassionate man. Most children who are bully’s are not that lucky.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Monicas last blog post..Favorite Photo Friday

  • Tricia

    If ever I could “blame” something on my parents (or more specifically on my father, it would be my anal behavioral tendencies and ability to over think just about anything. My father loves to pose the questions and leave me to figure out the answers. I’m quite sure he’d agree with many of the comments that bullying isn’t necessarily the result of what he implied, yet he’d sure as heck find a determined approach to make me think outside the box. I love that even though I’m 37 years old, he still parents in this way.

    Monica: Stories like your son’s make my heart ache. I can’t imagine the difficulty you describe, and I truly hope you do write about it and share your and his experience. I recently spent two hours with our local elementary school teacher asking questions, one of which was whether or not the school had a bullying policy. She looked at me like I was nuts. She had NO idea what a bullying policy is, and seemed to lack knowledge that there has been a national push for schools to adopt programs and curriculum designed to help our children foster a culture of respect, specific to bullying practices. For goodness sake, we even have a national bullying awareness month, and a principal doesn’t know that? I was rather stunned. If you can help build awareness, even if it’s painful to write about, I hope you will and I’m sure there are lots of supporters who would be happy to link to your post and help spread your son’s story. I do think this is such an important topic.

  • The “rules” of parenting are changing so rapidly and pretty soon we’ll have so many rules we won’t be able to parent. No wonder I don’t consider myself a good parent because i can’t keep up with what is the right thing and what isn’t.

    Midlife Slicess last blog post..R.I.P.

  • You’re screwed.

    Smart Mouth Broads last blog post..SPRING HAS SPRUNG

  • This time the carrot was the stick. ;-D

    Cheri @ Blog This Mom!s last blog post..We Don’t Always Get What We Want

  • this sounds like my dad. who is coming to visit for a week on Tuesday. I’ll be writing about it.

    movin’ down the roads last blog post..Piano lessons

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