THIS is why parents need to step up!

Ugh,  this makes my blood boil! I put this on my Facebook page yesterday and there’s discussion going on about it over there but thought I would write about it here as well.

I’m not sure if you heard about this video but it you did, I’ll bet you couldn’t get past the first couple of minutes. Karen Huff Klein is a bus monitor in Greece, New York. She was subjected to the most vicious, verbal beat-downs I’ve seen in a long time, administered by a bunch of teenagers.


Disgusting, right? Group behavior gone horribly wrong with these teens ganging up on the 68-year-old widow, calling her fat and ugly. Klein herself says one of the most hurtful, hateful things was when one of the teens said her family would rather kill themselves than be around her. Her son killed himself 10 years ago.

As a parent I can tell you if one of those were my kid, they’d be on lock-down until they were old enough to leave this house. But there’s a bigger lesson here, more than punishing bad behavior, though that needs to happen too. It’s about how we as parents instill empathy in our kids and teens. How do we empower them to stand up for themselves? To not take part in something like this or to stop it when it is happening?

Lately we’ve seen quite a few times where kids doing stupid things on camera (how could we forget this? Or this?) and the thing I am always amazed by is the bravado with which these are recorded. I wonder, do these kids really believe what they’re saying? Where did they first hear it? Does someone at home talk like that? And will they outgrow it?

Teaching our kids empathy is one of the many challenges of parenting; hey no one said this job was easy. But it has to happen. Our kids need to know the difference between a joke and mean-spiritedness. Or a mean-spirited joke, which really isn’t a joke at all. Where do they learn that? Do I have to tell you?

So just out of curiosity, what’s your reaction to that video? What would you do if one of those kids was yours? What would you say? How would you punish them?

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