Bullying Blog Drawing Heated Criticism

Posted at: 11/15/2013 5:48 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- A blog intended for just a few friends goes viral. The topic is bullying, but the take on it is what's so controversial.

It is a blog that was created by a mom in South Dakota and is called "Why My Kids are NOT the Center of my World." From her perspective, kids are too "babied" and she takes on the issue of bullying. However, we talked to a Kasson-Mantorville family who has seen the darkest side of bullying and say the mom and her blog have it all wrong.

"Coddling your kids doesn't teach your kids to deal with adversity," said Stephanie Metz, the author. That was the big message in her blog that she sent out to her friends, but now everyone's buzzing about what she wrote. In it, she said kids now are "pampered" and if a kid gets bullied now a days, "the whole world crumbles, they contemplate suicide and society encourages a worldwide pity party."

However, it's comments like that one, that strike a nerve with the Ehmke's. "We would always tell her just ignore it, you know, just walk away, and she tried, but it didn't work," said Mary Ehmke. Less than two years ago, their daughter Rachel took her own life. She had been bullied.

"You never imagine losing a child, I could never imagine, and it's been a journey that I wouldn't wish on anybody else," said Mary.

Mary says she replays in her head almost every day, what could they have done differently? "We've had letters and calls and things from all over the world and not one of those people have come up and said, ‘you need to toughen up your kids’ and this and that," said Rachel's dad Rick.

Though they told Rachel to stay strong, they never once wanted her to be like the other bullies. Instead, they tried to understand what was hurting her. "It's totally not about toughness, it's about working together, it's about being a buddy, it's about being a friends," said Mary.

Rachel’s parents think mothers like Stephanie, are part of the problem. "Their kid is probably the biggest bully in the block, for that matter," said Rick.

"I do know that bullying is a real issue, but I do think we need to teach our kids how to be a little bit stronger I guess," said Stephanie. That mother says she accepts the criticism and acknowledges her sons are still young at ages 4 and 2.