Parenting Blog

Quick Thoughts: Bullying, Barney and Happy Birthday

The Bear had a school assembly this week.  ‘Assembly’ is one of the cutest words to hear her say aloud.  She accentuates the ‘bly’ this way: ba-lee.  I ask repetitive, kinda idiotic questions like “what did you say you had today sweetie?” and “your teacher said it was time to go to what” just to get her to say it over and over.  Freakin’ adorable, really.  She’s on to me though.  But she placates her old man and still gives me 2 or 3 at a clip.


The topic of the Assembalee: Bullying.

The speakers were older students, maybe 7th or 8th graders says the Bear but she’s just guessin’.  She thinks they may have been some of the kids in the drama club, which stereotypically speaking probably qualifies them above all other groups at the school to discuss this subject matter and to dish on one’s possible reactions to being bullied.

The ideas they presented on how to go about responding to a mean asshole (my words, not theirs) were intriguing, to say the least.  The preferred defense in such a terrifying scenario appears to be singing “Happy Birthday” or breaking out Barney’s greatest hit “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family”.  In short, act like a half-baked weirdo.  The idea goes that yeah, you may get called a name (this is an absolute certainty) as a parting shot, but the bullying prick (my word again) will just snort and walk away shaking their head in a combination of disbelief and disgust (also a mortal lock).  All this will leave you unharmed physically.  Win. And as long as you know going in that you’ve got a verbal slur coming your way, and can cope with that, you’ll escape emotionally unscathed as well.

I dig this approach.  People are frightened of folks on the freakier side of the personality spectrum.  And perception being reality, all you gotta do is act a smidge left-o-center.  Singing the maniacally gleeful song of a purple dinosaur reveals nothing about your next move.  The unpredictability inherent in such acts of seemingly spontaneous oddness may just be the best bullet one could fire in the face of a mean ol’ bully.  As such, I’ve endorsed this behavior for the Bear.  Moving on…

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