Its all about control.
My brothers kids are prime targets for being bullied. Part of it has to do with their parenting as my brother is the King Nerd and his wife is His Queen. That fact can't be changed, though I have suggested he take the Amway sign out of his front window and that he stop celebrating International Bermuda Shorts Day so adamantly.
My nieces and nephews, whom I call affectionately the niecephews, attract bullies like I attract Multi Level Marketeers.
Honestly, and I will be to the point, their being bullied around chaps my nethers. There. I said it. I just want to go to the school my niecephews had to vacate to escape the mini-butt heads and do a little punking of my own - which shows, I guess, that anyone can be a bully if the circumstances are right.
I keep telling them to just tell the bullies to shut up or put a sock in it, or take a flying leap, none of which really worked for me, but I don't know exactly what to tell them. In Lu of wisdom I have been teaching them both how to make a righteous fist. I have my son, Ihoma - who is becoming a butch offense linesman, practice the interactive smacktalking and crude language skills he has learned playing x-box on line with a guy from the French Foreign Legion.
I tell the niecephews that bullies come from a place where they lack parental and family support and these poor souls use bullying as a way to get control or attention. I make sure they understand that these children/bullies do not know the correct form of asking for attention, love and support from others, including their peers and that they lack any control in their lives except for the control they place on others.
The niecephews look at me with glassy eyes and glazed expressions and nod their head. They are too kind to say out loud to me what would have been my response had I been in their sneakers. "So what? I still don't want to be punked on."
And they shouldn't have to be.
I understand all about the peer pressure adolescents face on a day-to-day basis, and that when placed in a school setting the need for some control grows like the stench of death in Ihoma's football pads. And when anyone looses control they will do what it takes to get it back. Adolescents feel peer pressure to bully, especially in educational settings, in order to obtain control in a complex social environment.
Blah, blah, blah and whoopee snot. Don't care. Leave my family alone.
I don't care that my family walks funny, or has small feet, or that my niece is overweight or that my nephew can't say his r's. I don't care that their father, my brother, is the king o'nerds and wears ankle weights over his pants to church and school board meetings. Get over it. I have.
Until, however, I can instill more of a self preservation instinct in the niecephews, I may have to resort to a little control of my own. This simply means that I am going to have invest in some saran wrap, a gallon of methylene blue, a few buckets of eggs and then excuse Ihoma from football practice at the High School for an hour one day this week so I can take the niecephews on a...field trip.