Together we all can make a difference in the fight against bullying. Kindness is the ultimate way to overcome cruel behavior!!
Many adults are aware that bullying is a problem in our schools today. However, most do not realize the devastating effect it has on the well-being and healthy development of our youth. It is not as simple as boys-will-be-boys conduct (girls also bully). Bullies prey on those who have low self-esteem and are most vulnerable. Research shows that up to 30% of 6th – 12th graders experience bullying. The use of force or threat to abuse and aggressively dominate or intimidate is a serious problem that commands our attention.
As part of the JrHEAT program we visit schools to discuss bullying with the kids. These lively discussions include the many ways bullying manifests itself to individuals and/or groups. We share ideas on how to eliminate relentless, abusive physical and mental attacks by these individuals. This also includes cyber-bullying.
If you are a victim of bullying, here’s some advice:
- Don’t keep it to yourself. Speak up.
- Tell your mom and dad
- Inform a teacher, a counselor or school security
- Smile, act bored or unimpressed if you can. It may diffuse the abuse
- Socialize with friends
- Realize how special you are and that no one can make you feel inferior
- Magic Johnson, one of the greatest basketball players ever, said it best:“You don’t have to be Magic to be special. You already are. You’re YOU.”
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”- Eleanor Roosevelt
If you observe someone being bullied:
- Do not ignore what is happening and hope it goes away
- Contact someone of authority who can help:
- Teacher, Counselor, Principal
- School security
- Show support to the one being bullied
- Compliment him or her
- Participate in social activities as friends
- Your kindness will go a long way to raising a victim’s self-esteem.
Parents, monitor your child’s behavior:
- Are there unusual mood swings?
- Have grades fluctuated?
- Does your child have friends?
- Is he or she happy?
Candid discussions with your child and their school counselor is very helpful in combating bullying.