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We must stop bullying!! Something has been very heavy on my heart lately and I feel the need to post about it here on my blog, and that is Bullying! Our precious children (and grandchildren) have enough to deal with these days without having to suffer through the struggles of added peer pressure and now Bullying too! It has become so prevalent in recent years and is totally heartbreaking to me to see in the news about children as young as 8 or 10 (ages of my grandchildren) committing suicide because of being bullied at school!!
C’mon people! What is happening to our children?? Why are our children not opening up and talking to their parents and letting them know what is going on? How do such young children get to such a desperate point of wanting to just die rather than face another day without letting someone in their life know??
To Stop Bullying we must be aware
From the very first time that I heard of bullying on the news and that a young child had been injured or committed suicide, it totally appalled me and shocked me, but since then it has reached closer to home. During the last year and a half or so, close friends’ of mine have children that have lost friends to teen suicide and more recently a friend of mine lost a grandchild to suicide directly due to bullying! These were all children that had very close relationships with their parents, they were seemingly very open and talked with their parents about everything, but obviously not about being depressed, desperate, bullied or suicidal.
Help our children stop bullying
So, how do we as the adults get out ahead of this problem? How do we help our children and grandchildren? In my opinion, first and foremost we have to become more informed about Bullying! There are different types, forms and ways for your child to be bullied or to bully other children. Understanding all of it and knowing what to watch for will be your best tool and best way to notice if things change with your child. I could say we need to be more involved, but obviously that isn’t always the case, because sometimes your child will tend to hold back certain things from you no matter how open they are or how close they are with you. So I really feel that information is our power in this situation.
What is Bullying:
As quoted by Stop Bullying official website:
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
And Wikipedia defines Bullying as the following:
Bullying is the use of force, coercion, or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception (by the bully or by others) of an imbalance of physical or social power. This imbalance distinguishes bullying from conflict. Bullying is a subcategory of aggressive behavior characterized by the following three minimum criteria: (1) hostile intent, (2) imbalance of power, and (3) repetition over a period of time. Bullying is the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another individual, physically, mentally, or emotionally.
Bullying ranges from one-on-one, individual bullying through to group bullying, called mobbing, in which the bully may have one or more “lieutenants” who may be willing to assist the primary bully in their bullying activities. Bullying in school and the workplace is also referred to as “peer abuse”
Different Types of Bullying:
- Verbal or written
First, let’s talk about Verbal and written
- inappropriate sexual remarks
- belittling and intimidating remarks
- threatening harm
Then Social Bullying can include:
- Spreading rumors about someone
- Embarrassing someone in public
- Leaving someone out of things on purpose
- Telling other children not to play with someone
Physical Bullying can include the following:
- Spitting on someone
- Pushing or tripping someone
- Rude or mean hand gestures
- Taking or breaking someone’s things
Less Talked About Type of Bullying:
Now there is one other type of Bullying that I came across while doing my research and I have to stay it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had to stop and really think about this for a while before I wrote about it. As I was reading further on Wikipedia about Bullying, after the definition, Wiki had a lot to say about the subject. It went through many types of Bullying, not just the school bullying, which is what I started out researching and talking about in this post. It, of course, listed workplace bullying and all types of bullying that fall under hate crimes, but then right in the middle of all those types of bullying was Parental Bullying. Now, you may wonder why on earth that hit me so hard that it made me stop to think, well it’s because I immediately thought about what my children, especially my youngest daughter went through with my second husband, I won’t even give him the credit of being called her “step-dad”. So I had to read further on parental bullying and Wiki described it as “Parents who may displace their anger, insecurity, or a persistent need to dominate and control upon their children in excessive ways” And Wiki described control in this instance as being “Abusive power and control (also controlling behavior and coercive control) is the way that an abusive person gains and maintains power and control over another person in order to subject that victim to psychological, physical, sexual, or financial abuse. The motivations of the abuser are varied and can include devaluation, envy, personal gain, personal gratification, psychological projection, or just for the sake of the enjoyment of exercising power and control”
My Family’s Personal Experience:
In writing this post about School Bullying and the effect it’s having on today’s children, I discovered something about my own past, and my children’s lives, even though they are grown now, I can see how they went through a form of bullying that I had not realized before now. I can now see how my ex-husband bullied and exerted his control and abused his power as an adult over my children while we were married. I can also see now, how he singled my youngest daughter out more than my other two children, he criticized her more than the other two, insulted her more, fussed about her being overweight and made her feel inadequate in so many ways. I knew during the marriage that he was jealous of my relationship with my children, and he was emotionally abusive to me, but even though at the time I thought I was running interference and protecting my children from him as much as possible, I wasn’t protecting them well enough from the lasting psychological damage. Words hurt, Words last, once said, especially to a child, and from a parental figure in their life it is very difficult to change the image in the child’s mind of what your words have provoked for them.
I hate to think my ex-husband did these things to my children intentionally because he basically is a good person and means well toward others, he just had underlying issues of his own at the time. I think he intended to “help” my daughter improve herself, but he went about it all wrong and I did not see what was happening in time to stop it sooner than I did by divorcing him. I say all this because as parents we need to be more aware of everything we say and do around our children, every decision we make for ourselves, affects our children. The way we discipline, correct, teach and even praise each of our children makes an impact on that child’s self-esteem, self-confidence, pride or lack of all of these. And sorry guys/dads and step-parents, no matter how close you are to your kids, that mother had the closest of all bonds from the beginning of conception, sometimes you gotta trust that motherly instinct over everything else! And moms, don’t ignore that motherly instinct as I did at times!! Parenting is hard and Co-Parenting is even harder!
Have you encountered Bullying in your life? Have your children been affected by Bullies? I’d like to see your comments! And for more information visit StopBullying
Until next time,