Do Unto Others

 Washington DC Zoo, 2006

I think I can safely assume that we are all familiar with, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  Why then, when there are so many nice people in the world are there so many mean ones?  I know, all things must have opposition.  I get that.  But when it affects your loved ones, it makes it even harder to swallow.  I have seen a couple of posts recently that speak directly about this kind of behavior.  One is from Nad and Zara Take on the World:  Are you raising a mini me?  This post speaks of what we are teaching our children.  You know the expression, "Monkey see, monkey do."  It's true.  Those people do as we do!  Good, bad or ugly!  The other post came from:  Enjoy the Simple Things:  A Need for Civility.

It was this post that really got me thinking more about this growing problem. Some kids can be so mean.  Down right cruel.  They had to have learned that cruelty somewhere.  And kids who are supposed to be friends with one another are betraying each other as if it is expected and normal.  It's all around these kids.  Where is it coming from?  And how do we teach our own children to turn the other cheek, to love one another, and to forgive those who hurt us?  Part of me wants to say, to heck with it.  Eye for an eye I say!  Perhaps that is the mama bear in me. I am supposed to be raising my children in righteousness, and to be "productive people in society."

I had people torment me when I was a kid, but they were never even friends.  They were just mean people.  They probably don't even remember doing it.  I don't care.  I don't even remember their names.  But never once did my friends ever betray me or hurt me.  And I see it happening more and more.  I hear about it from my own daughter when she talks about happenings at her school.  "Well aren't they friends?"I ask  "I thought they were!" Is her response.  I want to teach my children to be kind, to love and forgive, and while doing that I want to give them that tough exterior they need. And I want them to have the ability to know who will hurt them and who will not.  It's quite the undertaking.    

What are you teaching the little ones in your life?  How do we encourage love and kindness and eliminate the cruelty?


I've don't it again!  I started a third blog!  Yes, I am in fact crazy.  This one is to share pictures with friends and family.  You are all welcome to visit any time.  Just remember to be nice.  ;)  Go on over to POINT AND SHOOT


Emmy said…
Wow! A third blog, you are on a roll :)

And yes, it is so hard.. that balance of, being kind, turning the other cheek, but also not putting up with crap and being totally taken advantage of or hurt. Can I just stop my kids from aging??
JDaniel4's Mom said…
Stopping from SITS! I hope I am teaching my son that. At two he thinks lots of things are funny that I hope I can teach him aren't.
mormonhermitmom said…
OH yeah! My four year old has already learned to say "crap". And it's all my fault.
Jenny said…
Hi Lourie. It is really hard to teach kids to survive with the mean epidemic in the world.

Since my Grands have been little I've told them...there are a lot of mean people out there who will hurt you and try to make you cry. And you just need to recognize that they HAVE to hurt you to make themselves feel better.

Don't be mean back but just walk away. Don't fight them, don't argue because that is what they want.

And then I remind them that there are still many people that love them even while people are being mean to them but the most important thing is to be their own best friend.

It's hard to hear the eight year old tell me stuff kids say to her but she says "I just walk away Grandma".

On top of all this talking we actually practice mean-ness.

I tell them we are going to practice and then I will say mean things to them...oddly a lot of the mean things other kids have said so they were kinda/sorta prepared.

It just kills me though that it is even necessary. I wonder if this is why there are so many home-schooled kids.

OK, sorry for the novella for an answer!
Tracie said…
My kids go through this at school All. The. Time. It's very frustrating. We tell them not to hang out with the mean kids but they have to be friends with someone. I don't know the answer.
CJ Sime said…
I read somewhere the best way to prevent bullying is for another kid to stand up for the target.

I don't know what I will do if Shorty gets made fun of and bullied. BUt I have discussed at length that if she sees someone else being picked on that she needs to stand up for the kid.

I recognize this may turn her into the target but I hope she learns to stand up for herself when standing up for others.

It is a tough situation.
KK said…
It is sad, isn't it.
I can't believe you started another blog ;)
Christina Lee said…
UGGHH it makes my stomach hurt just thinking about him moving through school years and all the meanness and mocking that may befall him.
Laura said…
Ugh, I can't even imagine!! My daughter is 3 and in preschool and she already says little things about the kids, not even being mean but you can tell it won't be long...and it already gets my undies in a bundle, I am going to have some problems in the future I think! But you're very right, the main thing is to teach your children how to be kind and loving to people, because (unfortunately) we can't do the same with the other kids.
Laura Lynn said…
Thanks for mentioning my post, I really appreciate that.

I guess what I do is just tell my kids that they HAVE to be the one who sticks up for others. Don't wait for someone else to do it - others are waiting for someone to make the first move also - Strength in numbers.

It can be as casual as when they hear someone say, "that girl thinks she's all that..etc, etc," They can reply -"Oh, she's always so nice to me and is really smart in science.." maybe softening the others up. (Again, that is an example.) I just try to illustrate situations to them. I was taught that very same thing and it has stuck with me.

It can be a tough world out there.
I'm sorry you had to go through some of that as a kid.
Thanks for this post!
Holly said…
First...yes you are crazy...a third blog! I am actually going to do a third, but a private one for the fam - no more kid pics on Facebook.

I try to teach my kids the same thing. I am pretty blunt with them about people. I also tell my son "You do not have to be friends with everyone but you must respect them. If they are going to be mean, that is there problem. You do not go to their level." We have some pretty nasty little kiddos around here.

I also teach them to be responsible - which is hard in a society where being irresponsible and passing the buck is so popular. I show by doing. If I mess up, I make sure they see me apologize or make it right.

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