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Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Do you kiss your mama with that mouth?

Posted May 17, 2015

Last week, I did a two-part series on bullying. We got so much profound feedback from parents whose children had experienced this firsthand. Their raw, emotional emails, calls and social media posts made me realize that we had definitely touched a nerve.

People were eager to share their stories- most of them heartbreaking - about what they did to try and protect their children. In the end, a great conversation was started among people who had dealt with bullying and could relate to one another’s plights.

But we also received some disturbing feedback from bullies. I kid you not, adults posted mean comments about some of the people in my stories, in effect, re-victimizing them. There was the Facebook poster who called a teenage girl in my story a “butt face,” and another Facebook poster who said the dad of a bullied child “deserved to be bullied” for his haircut.

Really, people? Do you kiss your mama with that mouth? Because it needs to be washed out with soap, and I’m not opposed to using Ajax. If I hadn’t seen these comments and others with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it. Luckily, they were in the vast minority.

The truth is that kids aren’t the only ones who are bullies. Adults can be bullies, too. I won’t go as far to say that all children that bully come from adults who bully. That’s not fair. But, there is no doubt that children are little sponges who learn much of behavior from their parents — good and bad.

We all have opinions. Sometimes we think things about people that aren’t very nice. That’s normal. That doesn’t make you a bad person. But here’s an idea, let’s keep those thoughts in our heads instead of feeling the need to share them like a busted sewer pipe with the world online where they will needlessly hurt other people.

The whole thing reminds me of the catchy pop song by the band Magic! called “Rude.” The chorus says: “Why you gotta be so rude?” That’s the question we should ask ourselves every time we push the “post” button.

Amanda Lamb is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.


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  • Steve Eubanks May 19, 2015
    user avatar

    I have to say, as someone who was bullied throughout my school years non-stop, bullying has existed since the beginning of time. Anyone who thinks they can eliminate it mistaken.

    While I don't believe bullies should get a free pass, but I believe as much effort should be put into how to deal with it as as a victim as eliminating it.

  • Melissa Townsend May 18, 2015
    user avatar

    Once a bully, often always a bully. That's why I think we need to couple our attempts to quell bullies with a plan to strengthen our children to stand up and thicken their skin a little. There will always be bullies, but there don't always have to be victims.

  • Karin Brezin May 18, 2015
    user avatar

    Great story Amanda! Unfortunately bullies don't realize how they affect other people until the too are bullied. Most often their parents are the ones who will say that their child would never do such a thing so the behavior continues. The kids in your story were all so brave for coming forward. I applaud them all and hope they will stay strong and lead happy, prosperous lives.

  • Amy Kunkle May 18, 2015
    user avatar

    Bravo Amanda! Bullying is not just on the playground and school buses. It's alive and well not only with parents, but in corporate America too. The scary part is that some of these bullies feel so justified in their words and actions, that they don't even realize they are bullies.

  • Jeff Abbott May 18, 2015
    user avatar

    Oh Mandy, there are plenty of shallow people right here in the Triangle. Those comments don't surprise me one bit. I'm sure those same people are church going Christians as well.