by Jeanne Sager
It's never easy finding out your child is being bullied. As parents, we're supposed to be their protectors. But just how far do you take the mama bear role? For Jill Trahan-Hardy, being her daughter's advocate has translated into attending school with her 11-year-old every day, shadowing her in the halls like a bodyguard.
Moms and Dads, has it really come to this? Do we really need to give up our own lives to keep our kids safe?
I respect Trahan-Hardy for what she's trying to do. She says administrators at Earl Haig Public School in Toronto, Canada, didn't do enough to keep daughter Harley Campos safe from her tormentors. The girl's bullies got a day and a half suspension for a recent stunt, but otherwise the school's suggestions come off more as punishments for Harley than anyone else.
They've suggested making Harley eat lunch alone in an office or having the girl transfer out of the school entirely.
Of course. But is it any worse than having your mother breathing down your neck all day long?
Let me say once again that I respect Trahan-Hardy for pulling out all the stops to keep her kid safe. If more parents took bullying seriously, we might be able to really put a dent in this epidemic.
And yet, the idea of having my mom shadowing me in school makes me want to quote a movie popular in my school days: "There goes your social life."
How do you act like a normal kid when you've got your mom sitting RIGHT there? How do you chat with your friends? Get a boy's attention? Find yourself?
Trahan-Hardy may be keeping her kid from getting her @ss kicked, but she's not exactly making it easier for the 11-year-old to deal with other kids. She might even be making her kid more of a target, as she's now the kid whose Mommy is her bodyguard.
Try shedding that reputation as you head into high school. Kids don't tend to forget things like that. And they hold it over your head forever. Trust me. People still bring up the time I accidentally made a goal for the other team in youth soccer (I was 7 or 8?).
This is the conundrum for parents. When do we have to let our kids fight their own battles?
I say it's when our intrusion will hurt the child more than anything their peers can do. We can't follow our kids everywhere they go forever ...
Do you think this mom is right?
Should this mother have to go to these lengths?