I totally get it–if your child does not have a food allergy you never have to think about food allergies. Why would you? You don’t have to think about what is on the menu for lunch at school, who is bringing in a surprise snack, are there crumbs on the bus on the way to the field trip, will he remember his epi-pen when he goes to gym, recess or the park, did I remember to check the ingredients on the new root beer slurpie at 7-11, will the bully at school text him again today “the wheat monster is coming to get you!”?
Most of us know what our kids are capable of. We also all know that sometimes kids can be really, really mean–they call each other names, exclude at recess and on the weekends. For a food allergic kid being bullied takes on a whole new form of fear. in middle school it is probably common for one kid to say to another, “your haircut is ugly, you are a fat Buddha, you don’t know how to dress or you can’t be part of our recess club.” It crosses the line when one kids says to another, “tonight I’m gonna shove a loaf of wheat bread down your throat.” or “the wheat monster is gonna get you tonight.” taunting with a peanut butter sandwich–waving it incessantly in front of a peanut allergic child’s face is another common and disturbing form of lunchroom bullying. Some parents view this as just more typical kid stuff–kids will be kids. I think it crosses the line.
I assume we can all agree that bullying and name calling is hurtful and can leave lifelong impressions on a person. As parents we have the obligation to guide our children, to teach them to be kind–whether a child uses mainstream bullying techniques or crosses the line with serious threats–parents have to stop making excuses and empower their children to be up standers.
If we don’t accept the ignorant mentality of “all kids do stupid shit.”or “it could have been my kid who threw the piece of pizza in Matthew’s face.” maybe then we could pave the way towards teaching children to show kindness towards one another. Kids have to be trained and taught not only”do not to cross the line” but to stay far from it.
Clickon the link below to read more about bullying and food allergies–