Friday, November 7, 2014

Are we perpetuating a bully culture?

My eyes were opened this morning.

I posted a Jimmy Kimmel video on Facebook today. The one in which he has parents send in clips of them telling their kids they ate all their Halloween candy, and then the child's reaction. And I admit, I laughed. I thought it was funny.

Until...

I went to a friend's Facebook profile and he had stated that he disliked the video because he felt it was simply parents bullying their children.

My first reaction was O.o. 

My second reaction was shame and guilt. Why? Because you know what, he was absolutely right. Why was it so funny to watch those parents torment their own children and seeing reactions that ranged from crying to screaming to being disrespectful to throwing things?

Answer: it wasn't. Not when I took a step back and thought about it. Granted, there were a handful (3 I think) out of the slew of kids on the video that were fine with their parents eating their candy. The rest of those children were destroyed.

Halloween is one of probably 2 magic nights a year for children and Jimmy Kimmel and their parents, the people they are supposed to be able to trust more than anyone in the world, ruined it, even if it was only for a moment. 

I thought to myself, I would never do that to my kids. Sure, I'd hide a scary clown in a bed or jump out of a closet, tickle them till they almost peed, but taking candy from a baby? Everyone knows that's not right. Okay technically they didn't really do it, but the damage was done and the joke was for their own entertainment and so they could be on television.

What are we teaching our children?

It's okay to just pretend to eat all your candy because you  were only terrorized for a minute?

Um, wait, that can't be it.



It's okay to do mean things if you're getting attention for it?

No, that can't be right either.

Bullying is okay because I'm your parent and you're just a stupid little kid because I said so?

Damn, that doesn't sound right either.

So why? Jimmy Kimmel's little Halloween prank does nothing but perpetuate a bully culture in the worst way possible - between a parent and child.

Love, affection, trust, honesty. These are things children should always be able to expect from their parents without question. To sacrifice this in the name of entertainment isn't just bullying, it's a betrayal of the parent-child bond. Plus, it's teaching a child that as long as something is funny to you, it doesn't matter how it makes the other person feel.

Good job Jimmy Kimmel. Hope you're pleased with yourself. I know a lot of people who are pretty pissed off, aside from the 20 kids in your stupid video.
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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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