Dear kid who I just saw being bullied outside Noodles and Company,

Dear kid who I just saw being bullied outside Noodles and Company,

I heard what those a-hole kids said to you and I just wanted to tell you something. Yeah, I know I’m just some random grownup who really doesn’t know WTF you go through every day, so maybe you don’t even want to listen to me. And no, I’m not even some cool celebrity, so if you want to stop reading this, fine. So be it.

Truth be told, I’m so sick of hearing all these celebrities tell people like you to not worry about being bullied because they were bullied too and look at them now. I mean A. Most of us don’t get to grow up to be celebrities. That’s like saying, hey kid, don’t feel bad because there’s a one in a million chance that you’re gonna grow up to be famous. And B. When did it become fashionable to say you were bullied back when you were in school? It’s like they’re all bragging about it.

But I digress. Sorry, I’m really good at digressing. Woohooo, I’m good at something! Anyways, here’s what I wanted to say to you. You are being challenged and you get decide how to handle that challenge. Oh jeez, sorry, that sounded totally annoying like I’m the high school social worker or something. Hmmm, how do I say this in a better way? You can choose to let those a-holes turn you into something sad and pathetic OR you can tell those a-holes to FUCK OFF. I am NOT saying to literally tell them to F off. That might backfire. I’m saying in your head, tell those mother-F’ers to FUCK OFF. Because as soon as you can do that, you become the one with the power.

I’m just a stupid blogger, but I get a lot of mean comments from people on the Internet and when it first started happening I let it affect me. It’s hard not to. Whoever came up with the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was totally wrong. Words can hurt. A lot. I mean, no, maybe not as much as someone pummeling you in the ribs and the face, but words are a different kind of pain. They’re different because you get to decide whether to believe them or not.

Just because someone says the grass is blue over and over and over again doesn’t make it true. The same way just because someone tells you you suck over and over and over again doesn’t make it true.

Alls I know is this. This assholery that happens when you’re in junior high and high school doesn’t mean jack shit later on in life. I mean, yeah, it does if you want to let it change you in bad ways, but eventually school ends and the world gets a whole lot bigger and there’s some awesome shit ahead, even if you don’t get to grow up to be Tom Cruise or Miley Cyrus (bwhahahahaha, sorry, bad examples). Anyways, shit, what was I saying? Oh yeah, even if you don’t get to grow up to be some fancy celeb, you still have decades and decades of a kickass life ahead of you. I know, it’s hard to see past the bullshit you’re dealing with today, but it’s true. I swear. You can come kick my ass if I’m wrong.

Because some of the douchebags you’re dealing with today are going to stay douchebags forever. But most of them are going to figure it out. That the point in life is NOT to get your kicks from kicking someone in the gut over and over again (literally or figuratively). The point in life is to focus on yourself. And be happy. And feel successful. And make a shitload of money so you can take cool vacations. Or work in a badass job that makes you happy every day even if it doesn’t pay well. Or finish work so you can go home and play Minecraft for hours because no one’s gonna limit your screen time anymore. Or go adopt a shitload of cats and dogs because you love animals. Or eat Fruit Loops for dinner because that makes you happy. Or randomly run into another kickass nerd one day and fall in love and have lots of babies together. Or do whatever floats your boat. I’m old so I use lame-ass expressions like that. Sorry.

So I’m not totally stupid and telling you to ignore the words. That’s impossible. But every time they throw some mean words at you, try to remember that they’re stupid idiots and they’re wrong. THEY suck and you do NOT.


The lady in the minivan who you probably didn’t even notice

If you liked this, please don’t forget to “like” it. Thank you!!

And if you’re a parent, check out my New York Times Best Seller I Heart My Little A-Holes. It’s about a different kind of a-hole.


There are 34 comments for this article
  1. Lori Chase at 9:50 am

    I really loved reading this…..I don’t know if my son is bullied, i’m sure he has received and given it a few times in his life. I really wish kids would understand that those people are dicks!!! No need to listen…most of them will end up stuck exactly where they are and never leave….great blog….kudos!!!

  2. palmbeachpr at 9:52 am

    Not bragging, but I got bullied a lot. Geeky kid with teeth/weight problems. And never shut up. That part hasn’t changed but the rest did. Wish someone could’ve told me this back then. Not sure if it would’ve helped at the time, but it is SO TRUE. “Or work in a badass job that makes you happy every day even if it doesn’t pay well.” Check! And I married a hot, geeky scientist. So I wake up every day in the BEST mood, ’cause life is night and day from then. Now, the hard part is explaining why my 6 year old is wrong when she says, “I can’t WAIT to be a grown up. Being a kid is awful!” Because yeah, being a grown up RULES…but I can’t tell her that. Future blog from you maybe? 🙂

  3. gary at 9:53 am

    sweet, funny and spot-on. Thanks Karen

  4. Kara at 9:55 am

    I love your blog!!! I am a mother of 3 and when I read your post I feel like you just get it. Thank you

  5. kim at 10:12 am

    I have a question, did you approach said bullies and step up for this kid?? Just curious

    • Melissa at 10:19 am

      I kept thinking the same thing. Please tell me you got involved. I would have.

      • Stephanie at 1:30 pm

        That was my thought too! Dear kid I saw getting bullied, sorry I didn’t stop the little a*holes from bullying you. The rest of this message is great, but being a bystander is allowing it to happen

    • Tracy at 10:44 am

      I thought the same thing, too, as soon as I read the title of the post. My kids are being taught that allowing bullying to happen is just as bad as the bullying itself.

    • Kate at 1:07 pm

      I thought the same. It scares me that it’s people nature to not step in, then post about it online. No shaming to baby sideburns! I love what she’s about and all her writing. I’m just afraid for my kid to live in a society where it’s the norm to be passive. We can call the police on the parent who lets their kid play independently at the park, yet we idly stand by and watch other kids bully that same kid? I don’t get it.

    • Bridget at 10:23 pm

      She said she was the mom in a minivan. Maybe she was at a red light or something and wasn’t able to directly intervene. Plus it sounds like these were highschoolers. It might make it worse were she to step in, in that case. It’s always tricky unless you’re dealing with little kids.

    • karecoyne at 9:32 am

      I would like to know too. HELLO?! Babysideburns? Are you there? Do we have to propose marriage like carrielouwho (who you call Brandy) to get an answer?
      I hope that wasn’t my child getting bullied, wishing it will stop and hoping the lady in the minivan would help me instead of write a blog about it.

  6. Dona at 10:25 am

    “…(The bullies) are stupid idiots and they are wrong. THEY suck and you do NOT.” Best statements, EVER!! A bully has either had this behavior modeled by good ol’ mom & dad, or has a self-esteem in the basement.

  7. Nat at 10:27 am

    As an adult – why don’t we say something to the kids doing the bullying? Adults are scared of kids these days…and to me…that’s why they bully…because THEY CAN. There is little to no repercussions for the little buggers…Think back to if you were were a kid taunting another kid in the street, and an adult walked by…1) you would shut your mouth pretty quick 2) would you even have CONSIDERED doing something like that in public??? probably NOT!! BE an adult…yup encourage kids to ignore the bullies for sure ’cause there isn’t always an adult around- but be an adult. INTERFERE. Stop the brats in their tracks. What if you walked past, didn’t do anything and they beat they p!ss out of the kid hours later, kid goes home and commits suicide? It’s time society as a whole, acted like they have a conscience. Know the kid doing the bullying? Go knock on their parents door and tell them what an A-hole their little sunshine is. Maybe they have no clue. It’s time WE toughen up as adults in this bullying BS and step in.

  8. Jessica at 10:27 am

    Loved it! I’m actually printing this out for my 11 year old son to read because just last week I told my son that when kids are being a j**k to you, just say “F**K IT!” (in his head – not out loud). You made some great points and said what I’ve been trying to say for a while. THANK YOU!!

  9. nhhopkins2014 at 10:32 am

    I’ve always told my kids that the best response to bullies is “I’m sorry you feel so bad about yourself that you have to make everyone around you feel that way too”. And then to walk away. This worked for my son in 3rd grade. The kid was so stunned that he left him alone the rest of the year. I hate to see this still happening, and am at least TRYING to raise my kids to have compassion for everyone, even little assholes.

    • BabySideburns at 11:00 am

      I’m taken Brandy, but so happy to have you on board! Although I’m not totally against having a sister wife 🙂

  10. Holly Lafferty at 11:11 am

    Since the boy who was bullied outside Noodles will probably never read this, maybe next time you see it happening, you can say something to the assholes.
    We can teach our children how to stand up for others by modeling this behavior as parents. It’s not comfortable. And it’s not easy, but it feels a lot better to ask a little a$$hole what is making him feel so shitty about himself that he has to treat others that way.

  11. Thefiremommy at 11:45 am

    From my experience raising 9 children, is that every child experiences some form of bullying, sad but true. From degrees of mild to extreme. From an unkind comment to being kicked in the gut. At some point, it happens. As parents, we have to go after the extreme and for the most part, build our children up so high that they will laugh at unkind remarks. Knowing they are better. Also teaching them how to respond to them. Being a blended family of adopted/bio I have some dark skinned Hispanic and the rest of us could use a tanning bed. So my youngest 12 takes heat in a 98% Caucasian school. Bottom line, we can’t go to school and fight their battles we can only empower them and make them a better person than that Ahole or Aholes they must deal with everyday. Like baby side burns said, school and childhood are a very tiny part of life we just need to toughen up our kids, as sad as that may be because even in adulthood there are many Aholes! (Just read some of the comments on Facebook.) Oh and by all means, if you happen to see a child get bullied by all means don’t be afraid to step in and set the record straight! You just may teach an offender what their parents fail to do!

  12. MISHIGA95 at 12:37 pm

    If you see a kid being bullied, it’s time to get out of the minivan and tell those little asshats to f*ck off. If we, as a society, make this behavior unacceptable and advocate for the underdog, it might eventually stop. Or at least the kids doing the bullying might think twice before brazenly doing it in a public place. The days of “kids will be kids” are over. If we make bullying as intolerable as racism or gay bashing, we might stand a chance at eliminating it. Sure, there will always be those assholes who don’t care about who judges them for proudly brandishing their hatred, but if there are more of us than there are of them, the good will win out.

    I know it’s hard to know what our place is in a bullying situation. And sometimes adult intervention only makes the situation worse. But if we don’t stick up for these kids, who will?

    • bitterexnukewife at 1:10 pm

      Right on! I was bullied and not one adult ever stepped up to help me. Not one teacher, not one parent, not one adult ever stepped in or stepped up. If even one time an adult would have helped me out it would have made all the difference in my life. Just saying…

      • greenapples at 10:53 am

        I hear you. I had teachers literally look the other way. That’s why I don’t care how much they go on about anti-bullying these days, because the schools need to make it where it’s not tolerated and even 6 year olds know to report it when they see it or when it happens to them. 🙂

  13. Nikki at 1:20 pm

    I love this but the one thing I don’t agree with is that being physically hit (“sticks and stones”) hurts more than words – I know for a fact that getting hit may hurt alot at the time, but that pain fades fairly quickly – Having awful things said about you or to you hurts alot more and keeps hurting everytime you hear them or everytime you are reminded that someone said them. Unfortunately, our minds like to replay nasty things alot more than nice things.

  14. sewwritecreations at 1:28 pm

    I wish I had been able to read this when I was growing up. Might have prevented years of anguish and lots of really bad boyfriend choices. Luckily, I got my act together and got me a good one, finally. Sad when all parents have to offer is “sticks and stones” and other crap like that…’cuz you’re right….doesn’t make the hurt stop. At all. Ever.

    LOVE you!!

  15. tessamartinuk at 1:37 pm

    This is so true, mental abuse is worse than physical abuse in a way. Bruises fade but words….they can last a lifetime if you let it.

  16. Madyson at 2:10 pm

    A little strange, but I actually do like when celebrities say stuff like this. I remember when I was a kid (yea, yea, yea – I was weird and so was totally bullied) and I read an interview with then very famous Cheers star Kirstie Alley. In it she described how she was bullied and how life does get much better and to hold-on. That little nugget really helped and not because I thought I was going to be famous (well, not usually). It helped to hold-on until the next chapter.
    Interestingly enough, people who have met me are pretty surprised to know I was quite miserable in middle/high school. MAJORLY miserable because I had very few friends and no one I really felt I fit in with. That made me a prime target and encouraged more kids to bully. It was awful. So when I tell ppl that I was bullied – and how it really adversely affected me for many years – I’m always sharing it in a way to help others. Both to watch out to see if their kids are bullied or even to watch out to see if their kids are bullies. Often parents don’t know either.
    And like others have expressed – I wish there was a way we could all learn to proactively get involved. Even if it’s just walking up to diffuse the situation and talking to the kid like you know him to give him an easy exit. (Yes, I’m aware that if you have some young children with you, this might be harder to do than practical, but maybe get someone else involved.) Lots of kids don’t have the skill set yet to learn how to deal with abuse and we need to figure out how to help.

  17. Angela Schneider Peck at 3:33 pm

    Someone once told me that same thing–to take back the power from the jerks teasing me. It worked! Yes I was still short and had a baby face, but I did not allow other people’s opinions of me guide my daily existence. And I still don’t. Great post!!!

  18. S.E.A. at 7:39 pm

    Thank you for this! Just had some really mean comments made about me today on the Internet and I was letting it get to me. A good friend told me they are just miserable, mean people and to let it go. Hard to do and I was moping again until I read this. I can once again tell them to F$%# off and realize that their comments do not reflect who I am. Loved this!

  19. Cornelia Brown at 11:31 pm

    Hey lady in the minivan, you should have rolled your window down and said hey you douche bags leave that kid alone before I light your asses up…

  20. greenapples at 10:51 am

    As someone who was bullied all the f’ing time, you aren’t kidding…..junior high and high school bullshit means zero by the time you get into your 30’s, like you literally can’t remember anything but the very worst highlights and then it’s like, that happened freaking 20 years ago. Who cares?? Yeah, it sucks AT THE TIME, but I have to remember when I want to worry about what my daughter might encounter, that these things that seem like mountains right now will look like nothing to her either in the rearview. It’s good to keep that in mind.

  21. Andrea blumenthal at 4:21 pm

    I’m not a celebrity but I was bullied my whole life. And I went through high school feeling kind of crappy but I turned it around opened my own business when I was 20 which was a very successful business ( pet food store ) , married a great guy okay my second husband was great got rid of the first asshole, and I’m in my 50s yes that’s old. Happy great daughter, Family, friends I now work with high-risk youth and developmentally disabled adults and loving it and life is great! Hang in there and show the world that you can do it .

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