The Bully Problem

The Bully Problem

Last year, my six-year-old had some trouble with bullies on his school bus.

It’s almost insane to say, “bullies” and “six-year-old,” especially in an era when more attention is on the dangers of bullying than ever before, but here we are. And he’ll be taking the same bus in September.

My wife and I doing our best to squash it, which isn’t easy when your kid is too young to emotionally protect himself, too young to understand how to defend himself, too young to understand why it’s even happening. Hell, I’m 40 and I don’t understand why it’s happening!

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When Bullying Happens To Your Kid

When Bullying Happens To Your Kid

Isn’t bullying supposed to be over?

Lately, ending the scourge of the schoolyard bully has become a popular cause. With the social media age bringing a new style of bullying to schools – and far scarier consequences with it – parents are on high alert. As a relatively new dad in a relatively progressive area, I hardly expected to encounter it.

Especially not in first grade!

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Toddlers and Bullies Have a Lot in Common

Toddlers and Bullies Have a Lot in Common

As both a Miami Dolphins fan and a not-exactly-physically-imposing writer type, I am really torn on this whole bullying scandal.

Bullying is deplorable, and, despite being raised in an era (not all that long ago, really) when the default suggestion for dealing with bullies was to fight back and expose the bully as the coward he truly is, fighting fire with fire is no longer an acceptable tactic. But judging what goes on in a football locker rooms by the same standards with which we judge “the real world” is a little insane. I’m not defending Richie Incognito’s actions, but context is important, and I don’t think we have all of it. It’s impossible for non-football players to understand what it’s like in that environment, but I am relatively certain it’s less like your cubicle farm and more like The Hunger Games.

That said, I always find it obnoxious and condescending when someone tells me I can’t possibly know what something is like because I haven’t experienced it. And then I thought about parenting. And I realized most parents take the same attitude with non-parents, and it’s equally obnoxious and condescending.

But that doesn’t make it false. And the inability of outsiders to fully understand what the day-to-day is like is just one of the ways parenting a toddler is like being on the Miami Dolphins.

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My Little Bronies

My Little Bronies

This morning, my brother alerted me to this story in the Wall Street Journal, about a burgeoning subculture of older people (read: teens and up) who are enthusiastic about the new version of the “My Little Pony” cartoon.

Older male people.

As a free thinking liberal who supports gay marriage, female hockey players and David Bowie, I have no problem with this on any kind of gender-stereotyping level. Besides, there’s a good chance that my previous sentence, in which I lump these male “Pony” enthusiasts in with homosexuals, is potentially offensive to the aforementioned “bronies.” (Yes, bronies. That’s what they call themselves. I know, right?)

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