Wednesday, May 09, 2012

What to do to stop bullying! If a child’s has been told that he is valuable, beautiful and so wonderful by their parents, bullies will have a more difficult time getting the results they want out of name calling and pushing other kids around. My mother told me that I was the best; she praised me, and told me that I could do anything I want to be successful. She made sure I valued me. We talked a lot about appearances, clothes, life and she worked hard to teach all her children to have a positive self-esteem. In high school there was a lot of bullying going on. One young girl was teased relentlessly about her appearance, her hair, and her clothes. She was kicked and pushed around. I saw it. I stood up for her. I asked the kids who were doing this- why would you do this? What is it about yourself you hate so much you’re willing to hurt others? Then I would help pick the girl off the floor and invite her into my group of friends. One girl is a very successful lawyer but I will never forget the tears she shed being bullied. Mom told us to not pick on kids, and to befriend kids who were left out. Building a kid’s self-esteem is a way to help him or her deal with bullies. I’ve held rap sessions in schools and at church and we allowed kids from the community to attend. We discussed various issues like appearances, why kids bullied, how to stand up for others without becoming a victim. We brought in others to co-sign with us and they too gave strategies. My daughter is the same way I was. I taught her that she was beautiful and wonderful and told her never to let others tell her different. She never had fights in school; if she saw someone sad she engaged them. Bullying has increased because so many kids are unhappy at home. So they bully others to feel better. Schools need to have peer group sessions, to give kids a chance to talk in a safe place. They need to bring social workers back into the schools. You have to address why these kids are so depressed and troubled before you can really enact change. They also need to train staff to intervene, and to encourage kids not to participate in that kind of negative stuff. Counselors in schools should have some training sessions to increase children self-esteem, build their communication skills, and increase their feelings of self-worth. This should be for the child who is bullying and for those who are bullied. The school should have policies that specifically address the bullying problem - and if there is no effective institutional response – there is little incentive for stopping bullying behavior. They need to allow kids to role-play situations……let me get off my soap box.

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