I am sad that as a community, we don't teach our children to be kinder to each other. Regrettably, many times children and adults are just plain mean. If we as adults don't speak up, children can only assume we believe the behavior is acceptable. It is easy to say kids will be kids, but I don't think that is entirely true. Kids will be what they are taught to be, good or bad. We teach, not only through the behaviors we say we find acceptable, but also through the behaviors we witness and chose to ignore.
I hope that my children are never involved in the kind of incident that caused me to write this. I know they have been bullied. I hope they have learned not to do the same. My kids aren't perfect, nobody's are. I know that our children are not the same around us as they are when they are away from us. Sometimes they are much better and sometimes they are worse. Adults are the same way. I understand that my children see me at my ugliest, while the "public" generally sees a much nicer me. I have a long history of not modeling the behavior I wish to see in them. Maybe everyone is like that. I hope not.
I don't want to preach but we all need to understand. Bullying, rudeness, meanness, whatever you chose to call it, is not funny. It is not cute. It is ugly and frankly, choosing to laugh at it or encourage it, makes you an accessory to the behavior. I live on a military base, filled with people who make it their job to defend others. I don't understand why, as their families, we are not doing the same thing.
What I wish for is this. That if someone sees me or my children behaving badly, they call us on it. I also hope I will have the courage to do the same with them. It may not be received well but that doesn't mean it is the wrong thing to do. I hope that I can be more responsible in what I model to my children and to the people around me. I pray that others will do the same.