I know that invoking Louis CK isn’t going to win hearts and minds in this episode. In today’s PC world, marketers, and tv shows, and podcasts have a taboo on people whom the media has deemed monsters. But before all of that, there was a comedian whose insensitive view of the world was laughed at, and provided an alternate view of the world. If rock stars make music from drug induced creative sessions, comedians create their craft from effed up lives.
So when I heard Louis CK say, “Kids have to insult another kids face to face to see how it feels.” They have to call someone a vulgar name right to their face. Because most of us normal people see that other person's face scrunch up as they feel hurt, and we say to ourselves, "ugh, that doesn't feel good". And we stop being a bully all the time. It’s the human condition, this social situation that teaches us. And stopping it from happening – or pushing it to online interactions – ie: social media bullying – is actually making it worse. You don’t get to see the other person is hurting on the other side of the Cat5 cable.
Bullying is wrong. I’m understanding of that. I’m not condoning that. I’m saying that kids need to be kids. They need to learn social functions; by being social. So school won’t be a perfectly crafted experience for kids – no matter how much parents expect that. School won’t solve every personnel problem – no matter how much parents expect that.
It reminds me of the Montessori philosophy: To “follow the child”. To let them work independently and allow for the joy of self discovery.
Of course Montessorsi schools want you to think of all the utopian bliss that they offer – that’s what their selling. Unfortunately, it’s not all roses. Self discovery can mean calling another kid a nasty name. Just to see what happens. Letting kids work independently means letting them fail. Following the child means they won’t meet state testing guidelines.
And that’s parenting. That’s what you signed up for. Balancing between society’s new rules and letting your child figure it out, fail, and improve. Will you have the courage to do it?