One thing Scott noticed this weekend camping with Drew was that Drew gravitates to kids who are "like" him. The outsiders, the ones who don't quite fit in. Scott also noticed the disdain for this group of "misfits" from all the other boys that age. He said it was apparent that the other boys hadn't been taught to tolerate all kids and that Drew's friends were scared to be involved with the group probably because of previous taunting. It really makes me sick that kids learn at such a young age not to embrace differences. Drew has said "Why are we taught to tolerate change? We should embrace it because we are all different."
I know there have always been bullies. I was bullied horribly bu a group of girls when I was in high school. In my case and many cases back then the parents got involved and it got stopped in its tracks. Now, parents are just as much to blame as kids. They make snide comments about someone in a grocery line or on TV and their kids hear it. So the kids learn it is OK to say mean things. I know I have been guilty of saying something about an actress at an award show. And Drew had called me on it saying ""mom, you don't know her or her situation. Maybe her kid ripped the dress, or got sick on it and she was stuck with that one" POINT received loud and clear little buddy. My comments were bullying comments. They were critical and hurtful.
Kids are not mean to start out with are they? I know my beautiful niece who is not quite one shows so much compassion for the kids in her nursery class. My sister tells the story of when there was a fire drill and the babies were put in to cribs - two each- and rolled outside. My nieces crib mate looked scared and my niece reached over and stroked her face as if to say "it is gonna be ok. They (the teachers) are going to take care of us. Where do children lose that? Do we do such bad jobs as role models in our everyday life for our children - even unintentionally - that they think it is OK. If we are alerted that our child is picking on a kid do we put a stop to it or do we react like the scene from Breakfast Club where the jock is talking about making his father proud by bullying a nerd by taping his butt cheeks together and encourage it?
You often hear stories about baseball and basketball teams letting the team manager play in the last game. Or of the popular girl going to prom with a special needs kid. Those stories make me smile. I was at Disney last year for some training during and there was a group of kids dressed for prom. Everyone was stopping and looking at the couple in the center of the group. A handsome young man with Down's and a very pretty young lady. The boy looked so proud and had such a smile. I was so proud of that young lady (even though I don't know the whole story) for making his dream come true. It will be a memory for both of them.
So gentle reader, remind your children not to tolerate differences but embrace them because the person they are being nice to is just like them.