Last week I was invited to attend a school assembly. Busting the Bullies was the focus of the event. In a humorous way the presenters explained the problem and drove home the point that there are ways to respond to the bullies in school ( fighting is not an option).
First they defined what bullying is; When one student (or a group) puts down another person consistently in order to get a laugh from friends, make him/herself feel better at the expense of another, or to somehow feel better about their own lives by making another feel bad. Bullies often choose a child who is more of a loner or somehow different. According to Steven Covey, one can only be at the effect of another if they hand over their power to the bully. We can only feel bad if we choose to feel bad. But most kids don’t know about Steven Covey.Covey explains there is a fraction of a second of time between the thought leading to action in which we can pause and choose our response. They didn’t talk about this during the assembly, but you can certainly explain this and reexplain this as needed at home.
The presenters urged students to:
- Stand together and stick up for anyone who is being singled out and made fun of.
- Say “Stop, I don’t like this!”
- Build up their own circles of friends
- Build their own self esteem
Bullying is not only an in person event. Social media,texting and cell phones all lend the bullies an opportunity to hurt. Protect your child. Have conversations about this and be aware of what is going on in their lives. Watch for changed attitudes and behaviors that might be a sign that something is going on. Teens tend to think that they can take care of things on their own. They also think that by letting their parents in on it, things might get worse for them. Bullying is serious stuff, but if your child is either the bully or being bullied it is an opportunity for some good life lessons. The kind that will make us better and more human, human beings.