We send children off to government education facilities for the majority of their formative years, and the psychological abuse they endure will leave marks on the psyche that will never wash away. We don’t understand kids, or what it means to be a kid in modern America, so we are powerless to help them. We either overreact by pushing for legislation, or we turn to psychotropic drugs, or, in some cases, we join in the mockery and tell them to just “get over it.” The answer, usually, is both simpler and more complicated: the problem isn’t the bullying itself, it’s the psychological and spiritual phenomenon that has left kids so susceptible to it.
Our children are torn from our grasp by a combination of the school system, the media, advertising, the internet, government interference, and pop culture. They begin to look to their peers, rather than their parents, for guidance and direction. They plant their roots in shallow, rocky soil, and it doesn’t take much more than a stiff wind to blow them over. They become desperate. They search for validation in the chaotic mass of confused, broken adolescents, and they never find it. “Bullying” usually doesn’t manifest itself by wedgies and spitballs, like in corny 80′s movies. Bullying — the worst and most effective kind — can be a simple glance, a rejection, a whisper. It’s your daughter reaching out to her peer for affirmation, and getting a snide look and a vicious insult in its place. It’s not the snide look and the vicious insult that’s a new phenomenon; it’s the fact that our kids are so helplessly vulnerable to it. Kids spend all day at school searching for meaning through peer approval, and now it doesn’t even end when the bell rings. They go home and paste themselves to their phones and laptops, rejecting the unconditional love from their parents in favor of “likes” and Retweets.