I was asked to take part in this initiative to bring awareness to an ongoing issue of cyber bullying.
No mud slinging. No name calling. I won't stoop to a high school level. But I also won't sit back and act like this "community" isn't toxic in parts.
Some of these very advocates are screaming for acceptance. Are screaming that words hurt their children. Yet, these SAME parents are slinging these words at adults.
Now I ask you. If your child, your brother, your sister, your mother, your father or anyone you love for that matter, was being called vile names, would you sit back and ignore it? If any of those people you love, were being publicly ridiculed, blogged about, having memes made about them, would you not say anything? Would you tell your child to keep quiet if they were being bullied?
Hell no! You would tell them they need to stand up for themselves. And if they can't??? Then YOU would stand up for them.
So without calling people out. Without dragging their names, or their pages through mud, I will still stand up and fight. I KNOW the back story. I was there. I know who did what and when. Screen shots were taken. That is neither here nor there, because the point I am making, is bullying is bullying, plain and simple.
I will say that you can't ask people not to bully your children, when you in fact are a bully yourself.
I will say that we all joined this "community" with a common goal. To meet other parents living with and affected by autism. NOT to be throw around cliques, or to be bashed in private blogger forums. Not to have the mean girl cronies coming out of the wood work to defend who's wrong when they don't know the back story.
We are all here, from different walks of life. With different opinions. With different stories. That doesn't make you better than me, or vice versa. It makes you DIFFERENT. Shouldn't that be embraced? Isn't that what we want for our children?
So stop and think. Before you speak. Before you type. There are REAL people behind these computers. Real people, with real feelings. Words DO HURT. We all know that. So lets start paying closer attention to the words we throw at others.
Let's stand as a COMMUNITY with a common goal and cause. Let's start acting like adults. Let's be role models for our children, and show them how to behave offline and online. Let's learn from our mistakes, from others mistakes. Let's start choosing our words. Stepping away from the key board if we are upset. Because we all know, that words most certainly hurt. Sometimes just as bad as a punch to the gut.
On that note, let me share our story.... Not one of cyber bullying, but the "old fashioned" kind of bullying. Words and actions...
My son was bullied. He was bullied for almost a year by a neighbor child. Just out of my ear shot. I had no clue. Though my son is very verbal, when he is upset, he clams up and holds it in. Even though I was always right there, this would happen where I couldn't hear it, and I was literally clueless.
Until one day in 2010. We were walking home from their house after we had a movie night. (We would put a movie in for the kids in their room, and the adults would watch a movie together in the living room) Liam started bawling when we were no more than 5 feet from their door. It was then that he came forth and said he was being bullied. Physically and verbally. My heart crumbled. He was upset for days, as was I. How did I not see the signs? How could I have missed this? Why wasn't I there to protect him. (It's not like he is ever far from me.)
He had had enough, he took a stand. He stood up to his bully, and now they are friends. Pretty good ones at that. Liam wanted to speak out about his bully, so other kids wouldn't feel so alone. So at just 5 years old, he came to me, and together we created this quick video.
So that's our story. I pray you don't have one as well. Sadly, I think many of us do. PLEASE, teach your children that words hurt. Teach your children what makes a bully. Teach your children by YOUR example.
One more thing. This is Disney Channel's Friends for Change video about Bullying. Liam enjoys it. When I told him what I was blogging about, he said I should share this as well. Share it with your children.
To check out the other blogs joining in today, head over to A Legion for Liam. Look for the pinned post at the top, and the blogs will be listed in the comments <3