Bullying, Business and Parenting

Dec 08, 2017

Having two smart kids has been a blessing.  I’m not going to lie, my kids’ smarts don’t come from their mother.  Granted I think I’m intelligent and can figure things out, but my husband has always been this different level of smart.  His IQ tests convey the truth and thus, our children, thankfully got his ability of brain power when it comes to their way of thinking.  I’ve barely needed to work with either of our children when it came to homework, and when there have been issues it hasn’t been because of their lack inability to do the work.  

Recently, some things have come to light when it comes to my kids and their smarts in school, and I released how those situations related back to the dynamics and environment of us as influencers on Social Media.  I thought I’d share as I’m sure many of us are in the same position.  It’s December, we’re planning our holidays and wrapping presents but we’re also planning our 2018 strategies and building ourselves up to believe that in this next year, the work we do will make a difference.

I’ll start with “A Round Peg in A Square Hole”...

When my daughter was just small, probably about 18 months old, she had one of those toys where she had to place the different shaped blocks in the correct shaped cut out in order to put all the blocks in the container.  She’d sit and do it over and over, after only showing her once she’d pick up each block and we’d hear them one by one fall into the container with ease.  She did this for days, happy and content as they went in their designated place.  Until one afternoon, as she went through this normal routine we heard her start screaming.  Not a crying, “I’m upset or need something” baby scream, no this was, “I’m angry as a MOFO” scream.  Both my husband and I looked to see her pushing as hard as she could on the round block, but she was over the square hole.  My husband went over to her and pointed to the round hole.  She pushed his hand out of the way and pushed and screamed harder, making little intentions in her hand from the block she was pushing fiercely on so it would move to her will.  She knew, even if she couldn’t verbalize it that the round one wouldn’t fit, but she didn’t care… she was bored, no longer challenged, and she wanted a challenge. This continued to be her personality, even today.

This story we’ve told so many times, to others to explain the determination and will of our daughter.  If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know, she’ll need it.  She desires to be the first person on Mars, and that will surely take fierce determination.  

What I’ve realized over this past year of learning more about social media strategies, content development, and how I incorporate that into my business is that it also requires fierce, a round peg in a square hole, determination.  You see, to enjoy and to continue to influence with it appropriately we need to have our goal as targeting what will bring others enthusiasm and commitment to our brands.  We need to develop new skills and ultimately be able to motivate others to be determined as a MOFO to achieve them. Whether that’s to purchase one of our products or to even read our blogs the only way it will get any traction is if it is helping someone overcome their boredom or support them overcoming a challenge in their life.  They have to want it so badly they ignore what they know and join you in your tantrum to be seen.

As much as what I feel that is the start, we also just experienced with our son something I knew was bound to happen, that eventually he would be bullied, and he would prefer it instead of standing up to it…

You see, our son, he’s a smart kid, and for what his sister possesses in determination and drive he possesses in communication and empathy.  I’d say that it’s more vividly seen with my son that he received his intelligence not just from my husband but he carries my intuition as well.  This, I must say, is can be our downfall as when it comes to someone who isn’t at that same level of communication (most pre-teen boys are not at), my son is intimidating and not understood because if the intelligent way he communicates and understands others.

Over Thanksgiving break, we enjoyed a few more breakfasts than normal together as a family.  Breakfast is our thing with DJ, my husband, working second shift so it was nice for us to spend more time as a family together.  Over on particular morning where I made french toast, my son began sharing about “how weird he was” and I could hear when it said this, it was the prideful way he would usually state it.  I questioned him further and he shared about how boys in his class were treating him, one kicking his desk consistently in one class, and another group calling him stupid.  I pressed a little further, reminded him of his High Honor Roll report card, and as the tears began to well up I knew he was feeling like his accomplishments didn’t matter because they didn’t look the same as these other boys in his class.

You see bullying doesn’t just happen through words or even actions, it actually can happen when a group of people makes others believe their way is the only way.  I’ve witnessed this in the past few years here on Social Media and even participated in it, to my shame, it took a while to get myself back in a place where I know what I believed, in the beginning, to be true about business, on Social Media or not.  Each of our unique talents and skills will be what transforms the world, no one way is correct, and no one person will be the one who gets to take credit for making the difference.  Much like the reviews on Amazon that say “others who purchased this item also purchased this”, knowing what to look for to stay away from in Social Media groups filled with bullies has been a reminder of how to help my son work through the issues he is having with this type of bullying at school.

Lastly, and I’ll try to keep my emotion and anger in check in this portion as I don’t want it to be a feminist rant, is a situation that nearly broke my heart recently with my daughter.  When someone makes your idea seem stupid, how it can diffuse your curiosity to keep going.

This year was exciting for us, as it’s her first year in high school.  You remember right, picking your classes, lunches have no seating chart and first formal dances?  All of that was wonderful until we look at the end of the marking period grades.  Like I said earlier, we’ve never had an issue with grade, unless there isn’t a challenge or there’s boredom and so when incomplete homework showed up on the system to see their grades, a red flag went up for me on what was happening during this particular class.  As the emotions ran wild between my teenage daughter and me to uncover the truth a statement I never thought would leave her mouth ran out.  “I should just give up on being an astronaut, it’s stupid, I feel stupid saying it!”  I stopped.  I sat her down, and calmed down, and asked what in the world would make her say that.  “The teacher went around the room, asked all of us what we were going to go to college for, everyone picked normal things, when they came to me, some of the boys laughed and said that it isn’t a real thing, and then others laughed at it too.  It made me feel like it’s stupid to even try if no one believes me, it’s embarrassing, Mom.”

Wow, first, let me just say I wanted to beat up some teenage boys.  Hence why I said I would try my best to not make this a rant, and also a little annoyed with why a teacher wouldn’t then applaud her for her goal to encourage her amongst a bunch of naysayers, but that is a tale for another day.

What guidelines do you have around Social Media for your kids?  What are your thoughts on bullying now versus say when you were a kid?  We'd love to hear your thoughts here on the post comments.