Cruel 'Like if You Hate' Facebook Page Is Latest Way Your Kid Can Be Bullied

Heartbreaking 6

bullyI want you to imagine for a moment that you're in the sixth grade. You just finished your homework or studying for a test, and you log onto your Facebook account to see what everyone is up to. All of a sudden your heart begins to pound. Your stomach starts to ache. You get that feeling like you want to cry. You realize that someone in your class has created a "Like if You Hate [You]" page. And it has 57 likes.

Now even worse, imagine this happened to your child.

A recent essay in The New York Times by Emily Laden talks about how this very thing happened to her little brother. And it's heartbreaking. At one point, she says: "On the Monday after the Facebook incident, my brother dreaded school for fear of facing his 57 bullies, who probably never gave their likes a second thought." Fifty-seven people.

A million years ago, when I was in sixth grade, bullying and making fun of, obviously, still existed. I am yet to meet a person my age who never was on the receiving end of cruel joke or worse during their adolescence. But it ended -- sort of -- when you went home. Sure, there were phone calls, stretching out the drama, once school got out. But there was never a constant stream of hate in the form of social media. I honestly don't know how kids do it today. School is hard enough. I can't fathom having to deal with Facebook and Twitter on top of it.

Now that I have a daughter of my own, I wonder (read: worry) about how I'm going deal with these things when she's old enough to go to school. This form of bullying is all but impossible to prevent. You can't stop Facebook. Every parent's worst nightmare is their child being bullied/made fun of/excluded, etc. So, what do you do?

I'm still new at this parenting thing, so I can't really say that I have an iron-clad answer, but what I've come up with so far is this: Not much. There's only so much one can do to prevent their child from being the butt of some brat's joke. But we can do something about having our kid not become the brat. And isn't that more important?

Teach your child -- as much as you can -- to be the kind of person who would never, ever take part in something like this (and who will stick up for the person being made fun of!). Drill it into their heads that this kind of behavior is not okay. Of course, there are things that fall (inadvertently) outside of a parent's jurisdiction -- and often peer pressure supersedes parenting -- but trying is all one can do, right?

I'm not saying that the reason the kid who created this mean Facebook page is because he "wasn't raised properly" or whatever. I have no idea what this child's home life is like. But I am saying that although it has to be the most heart-breaking thing on earth to see your child being made fun of, it's a whole other issue learning that they're the ones doing the making fun of.

What do you do to teach your child that bullying is wrong?

Image via Eddie~S/Flickr

behavior, bullies


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Newle... Newleaf32

This makes my stomach hurt. I talk to my son regularly about bullying, how to stand up for himself, for a friend, or for someone he doesn't know. Hopefully even though he's only 6 this will have some sort of an impact. We have to teach children to have compassionate hearts. I can't even imagine the pain I would feel if this happened to my child, or I'd I learned my child participated in somethif like this.

Newle... Newleaf32

Typo - something


OK, here's my feelings on it, and I'll probably get blasted for it, but here goes:

1) Sixth grade is WAY too young.  I thought there was a minimum age for FB, 14 I think?  Anyhow, my kid's not getting on there until high school.

2) My son understands "good guys" and "bad guys."  I know that's not the hip trend in parenting.  But it's the way the world is.  Bad guys can become good guys just by being nice and doing the right thing.  But most importantly my son is ALWAYS a good guy (this is what I tell him).  He's a hero, just like Spiderman.  He helps people, he protects people, and he's nice to everyone.  It makes sense in his little mind, and I've already seen him stand up for kids.

3) My son will kick some a** if he has too.  His dad knew how to protect himself, and still does.  "You never start it, but you better finish it."  We're not naive to the fact that kids settle things physically at times, and my son's going to be ready.  My husband kicked some butt his first day at a new school because a kid was messing with him.  He later was best friends with that guy and (just like they say) no one messed with him again.

GlowW... GlowWorm889

You need to teach your child compassion. Bullies have no compassion for other people. Normal people feel bad when they hurt someone's feelings. It might not be right away, since things can get said in the heat of the moment, but the regret does come.

As for how to respond when your child is being bullied, I've always felt that teaching them to be above the bullies is the best thing to do. Why would your child want to waste his time caring about people who only want to make him miserable? Why make HIMSELF miserable trying to conform to a standard that is constantly changing? Why not be himself, find people who share his interests, and be happy? If the bullying is physical, do something about it. But other than that, ignore it. They can't destroy something that refuses to be destroyed. That was the advice that my parents gave to me in middle school, and it worked. My school was very clique-y and had a roving band of mean girls who were huge bullies. They constantly berated me for everything--my clothes, my friends, my smarts, my lack of a boyfriend (at 12...jeeez). But I never really "got" why I should care what they thought of me. I had friends, I had good grades, I liked who I was. Who cared what someone else thought? By high school, those same mean girls were at the bottom of the social totem pole just like I was.

nonmember avatar HS

It's important to raise a kind child who won't bully. It's equally important to teach your child to have thick skin. Mean people exist and being able to brush off the small things or being brave enough to report the big things are also important traits. Bullies will always exist at all ages so knowing how to handle them is a valuable life lesson.

My son is turning 3 soon and has been in preschool since January. A child (who the teachers described as "physical") hit my son in the head. My son knew to tell me but didn't tell his teachers. When I brought it to their attn, they explained to my son that he should tell a teacher when something like that happens and I told him the same thing. It starts early y'all and taking it seriously from the start will help my son develop an understanding as he encounters new bullies and we deal with them. In the meantime, I'm confident my son will not partake as I have seen him (in a group of kids) being the one who hands the outsider kid a toy to play with. When I see it I tell him what a great thing that was for him to do. Diligence, diligence :)

jessi... jessicasmom1

bullying does start early and I am first to say I will not put up with it one bit! 

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