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Letter: Is It Too Late to Raise a Bully?

I would like to believe that we all want to instill kindness into our children. I want to believe that this is what seperates adults from our offspring, since every one of us has at some point been a victim of the social nastiness that comes with childhood. As grownups we have learned that it does not matter how popular you were in high school. We all find a place of comfort and acceptance that creates the confidence to excel in life and prosper in society. This is what I would like to believe. I would like to believe in the kindness of grown ups. I think I might be dead wrong.

Instilling kindness and respect in my daughter has cast her as an outsider. She is a loser. Not popular. The uncool crowd. Her friends are all losers too. These lovely girls that care about others feelings or have immigrant parents and feel a little outside the box…losers! Good students, good helpers, good athletes….loser city. Now I see that it is all my fault.

I should have taught her to be mean. She needs to make fun of others. Tolerance is not cool and don’t even think about saying thank you. I have put my daughter at a distinct disadvantage because I did not teach her to make fun of people and their clothes and their houses and their parents and their cars and their shoes and their hair. What was I thinking?

There is a large group of mother’s that volunteer and “run the show” in this town. I did not jump in. Being new in town I concentrated on her activities. I was unaware that this was also High School for Grown Ups and forgot to suck up to the head cheerleader. My daughter has paid the price. I didn’t realize that these hard working women who thankfully run every event and volunteer with pride were also spawning children who kept scorecards on everything I did as well. The plastic smiles to my face translated to gossip at home which led to abuse of my child. And many, many others. That is how the cycle goes. Your superiority has taught your children to be mean. Just plain mean. And the meanest kids parents never have a clue because they are too busy snubbing other adults or planning another bake sale.

So now I find myself in the interesting position of having a daughter that can handle the abuse but is becoming a hater. I can see the insecurities and how they affect her socially. She either loves or hates and it all stems from the queen of haters across the street who barely acknowledges her. To hide the pain she feigns indifference yet cries alone and swears she hates her. When this girl needs her my stupid puppy runs like the wind. My fault. I should have taught my daughter to treat this girl like garbage. I should have taught her how to abuse somebody. I should not let her leave the house everyday with the directive “be nice today”. I should have insisted she kick butt and take no prisoners.

Is it too late to teach my daughter to be a bully? To have her make fun of others and to make fun of their parents? Is it too late for me to teach her to invite people to a party that is not even happening so the whole school can laugh at her when she shows up? Is this what it takes to survive as a young lady in Manhasset?

I am begging every mother in this town to sit down for five minutes and teach your daughters some compassion and some manners. Please don’t read this and think it can’t be your daughter…it most certainly is. And the more involved in this town you are I can promise you the nastier your child is to others. They are feeding off your popularity, not your kindness. There is a huge difference.

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