There is a word as prevalent as it is nightmarish. It haunts the hallways of schools, hides in the dark places and lays in wait for its next victim. Many children face the light of day pregnant with fear that this day will repeat the horrors they felt yesterday and the days before that. So many children are facing the morning school run with a fear that could level a heavyweight boxer by the second round.
Bullies have the ability to rip away the innocence, the joy and the wonder that should form the basis of our children’s reality. From the subtle look over his shoulder to see if his captor will allow him to make the choice he is faced with to the blatant assault he endures at the hands of the “ones in power”.
South African media has launched a tirade of articles in recent weeks exposing the hell that many children find themselves never escaping. From social media rants, emotional barrages, group punishment to full-blown physical warfare.
I don’t profess to be an expert on the material, but this is what I have experienced:
I recently read an article written by someone who understands that parenting is a team sport. It was entitled “Dads are Men, not idiots“. It was a fascinating read and presented something our family has naturally adopted. Yet while I am fully capable of putting on a full load of washing, administering medicine, washing behind my kid’s ears, changing a nappy in the dark and yes, oh yes, making dinner, many Dad’s still seem to hold the position that these abilities are super-naturally endowed and typically require the holder of such cosmic gifts to have breasts. In short, you must be a woman, or at least on your way to becoming one.
The article reminded me of a time where I was at apparent risk of increasing my estrogen levels. When my son was around 6 months old, I was handed the challenge of unemployment. Whatever the reasons, I found myself a kept man for around half a year. It was a difficult time, not so much because I was without work, but because my wife had to lay down her dream of staying at home with our first little man. She had to sacrifice her dream for a period so that I could experience the challenging gift of being a stay at home dad. Continue reading →