BOSTON (CBS) — It isn’t easy being a parent these days, and one of the most galling experiences a parent can have is coping with their child being bullied at school. It can be frustrating getting school officials to do anything about it, let alone getting the parents of the bully to step in. That’s why I think the story I have for you this morning is so welcome.
A small-town Texas mom is making national headlines for the step she took when she realized her son was bullying other kids at his elementary school. She dressed him in a shirt that says “I am a bully” for a day.
“I did what I had to do to stop it from progressing,” she said. “He was calling other boys stupid and calling them idiots.”
A local child psychiatrist disapproves. It’s “not a good idea to embarrass your child and solidify a negative identity in an elementary school child. She needs to find somebody to help her. And I think the school is one resource,” he said.
But mom says she talked it over with school officials and they endorsed the idea. And I have to say, I’m with them and mom. The boy should be embarrassed and ashamed to be caught acting that way.
Fear of embarrassment and shame are two of the strongest brakes we have on undesirable human behavior, and the idea that we can’t use them to address one of the most pressing problems we have in our schools is misguided, to say the least.
Mom has taken some heat over this, but quotes her son as saying after his day of shame: “I learned that I didn’t like the way that that felt and I don’t want anybody else to feel that way because of me.”