I don’t think parenting is too hard. When my 14 year old nephew told me he was being bullied, I told him: “Tomorrow you hit him first, before he can do anything to you. Teachers cannot watch your back all the time and nobody will protect you except you. You will use the advantage of surprise and if you do this well you will gain the respect of everyone. But with great power comes great responsibility.”

The next week I pondered the question, how did it go? He answered: “First I hit him once, then another time and he [the bully] fell on the floor bleeding and crying. I cried too. But I won. Not only has nobody bullied me since, but everyone now has my respect. Everyone thought I would become the new bully, but I said I don’t want to be one. I want to protect those who are being bullied. As usual the teachers did nothing and agreed not to report anything to the parents unless it happened again. We both had to sign a piece of paper saying we would not get into skirmishes again. He started bullying other children, but when I am around he doesn’t dare”.

Of course when he is with me, I spoil the little brat, let him stay up late, we go to movies and watch Japanese horror movies he shouldn’t really be watching. But then again, he has the entire internet in his pocket – literally. When I grew up we didn’t have Facebook or iPhone. There is nothing I can do to really protect a kid against the world, except give him some advice. When he returns to his house, it’s full of rules and parents who put many limitations.

Perhaps it can be summed up in the young artist from Finland, in his song: Faija Skitsoo which means something like: “Father flips out”.

The translated lyrics are:

If you’re late
He shuts down your computer
And it’s one week without lap top again
When you go out, he calls after you
Where are you, when will you come and what do you do

Father flips again
That’s all you hear, the words pour away
Father flips again
Does he even wanna get it
(No, he doesn’t!)

When you need some money to buy threads
He just says that we gave you some already
But I spend that on Hesburger
On movie tickets and you know, on other important stuff

Father flips again
That’s all you hear, the words pour away
Father flips again
Does he even wanna get it
(No, he doesn’t!)

Even though you are trying to contradict
Somehow he just knows how to irritate

Father flips again
That’s all you hear, the words pour away
Father flips again
Does he even wanna get it
(No, he doesn’t!)

Father flips again
That’s all you hear, the words pour away
Father flips again
Does he even wanna get it
(No, he doesn’t!)