“I prayed that they will stop but god is bisy and needs your help." – Ryan
The many myths about bullying include the notion that bullying is a harmless childhood activity and a normal part of growing up. Confusion about the difference between conflict and bullying can fuel this myth. Although occasional peer conflict is inevitable, bullying is not inevitable. In a conflict, both sides have equal power to resolve the problem. But bullying involves the intentional, one-sided use of power to control another. Its harmful consequences can affect people seriously for the rest of their lives.
I read an article today about a parent, Karen Suffern, who recently asked her 8-year-old twins to write letters to Santa, as she wanted to start budgeting early for the holidays. Her son, Ryan, originally asked for a remote control car and helicopter. But Ryan then changed his mind, instead asking Santa to stop his sister, Amber, from being teased at school. I’ve attached the image of the letter Ryan wrote and it broke my heart – bullying has been an issue for years now, yet many people are still oblivious to the potential damages it can cause. Children and adults sometimes find it difficult to recognize bullying. For example, a fight between friends or rough play between children with equal power is not bullying situations. They become bullying, however, when one person has more power and uses it to hurt, frighten, or exclude the other person.
Children who are bullied are more likely to develop future academic problems and psychological difficulties. Serious problems such as depression and low self-esteem can result, and they can continue into adulthood. Children who bully and continue this behavior as adults have greater difficulty developing and maintaining positive relationships. Research shows that without effective intervention, children who regularly bully others may grow up to become perpetrators of domestic violence, child abuse, hate crimes, sexual abuse, and other illegal behaviors. In fact, children with bullying problems at age 8 are six times more likely to be convicted of a crime by age 24 than children who do not bully.
Creating a loving and stable home environment goes a long way toward inoculating your children against many social problems. Research shows that children are less likely to bully others or become victims if their parents do not hit or yell at them. Do you use intimidation tactics to discipline your child threats, put-downs, taunts, hitting or do you treat your child with respect? How do you treat other adults? Do you use threats, anger or intimidation to get your way? Your child will model your behavior. How do you talk about people with different sexual orientation, race, religion or color? Do you use slurs or show intolerance toward those who are different from you? Do you limit your child’s access to violent video games or movies? Do you monitor their computer usage? Do you ensure that they do not have access to dangerous weapons? Consider all these factors when determining whether any of your conduct is contributing to your child’s behavior.
All of our children need our help, they need our guidance, knowledge, understanding, support and keep in mind whether we like to or want to or not, our children and those around us mimic our behaviors, they learn from our ways and behaviors - it’s up to us to be the positive role models they deserve, it’s up to us to stand against bullying and such behaviors, it’s up to us to raise a generation of well-rounded children who will not be bullied, bully or stand idly by as things of this nature go on in our schools, playgrounds and homes.
“I prayed that they will stop but god is bisy and needs your help." - Ryan