Well, the weather’s changed mighty quickly in Granny’s neck of the woods. One minute you’re basking in the warmth of the sun, then, the next thing you know, it feels raw as winter. Sure hope we can find Fall!
Yet, even though seasons change, one thing’s for sure—your love for our kids never will. And that’s exactly what it’ll take to help our children grow to be responsible, caring individuals—lot’s of love and interest from, not just you, but many.
I’ve long heard this said, “It takes a community to raise a child.” What a true statement! We all need to take an interest in our kids to counter what’s become a horrible epidemic—bullying!
We’re literally allowing bullies to snatch our children’s prospects for happiness and a good life right from under our eyes. Just imagine the bright potential of these children that’ll never be realized when this happens.
And don’t think for one second you’re not touched by it. Notice what Dr. Duane Alexander, former director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, had to say about bullying and its long-term effects,
“It’s a public health problem that merits attention. People who were bullied as children are more likely to suffer depression and low self-esteem, well into adulthood, and the bullies themselves are more likely to engage in criminal behavior later in life.”
A whole generation of young ones, their families, and even entire communities are affected by bullying. How can someone make a contribution to society if he or she has been so humiliated, demeaned, and shamed by others that they feel like giving up on life?
In fact, bullying’s become so serious, the U.S. Department of Education has become involved. On October 26, 2010, the U.S. DOE sent a 10 page letter to 15,000 school districts and 5,000 colleges and universities. Its purpose was to send a clear message—bullying is no longer a rite of passage for young ones; it’s not to be viewed as a part of the growing up process.
Rehema Ellis of NBC Nightly News reported the letter:
“reminded schools they could violate civil rights statutes if they fail to adequately address racial, religious, sexual, and gender based harassment.”
This ultimately falls back on us as parents, mentors, and teachers. We need to readily communicate to our young ones we believe them when they tell us they’re being bullied, and we’ll be there for them. We need to stand up for our children. Help them be strong! Help them take their power back!
So, in order to do this, we need to reach our children when they’re most impressionable. For those of school age, that would be in grades K-3. We simply can’t afford to wait till a child reaches middle school. If we wait till then, it’d be like trying to slap a band-aid on the situation and perform damage control after the fact. Bullying behaviors manifested early on have now become ingrained.
To really help our children, we need to take a proactive approach. Reach them when they’re young, most impressionable, and receptive to change. Children don’t come out of the womb as bullies, it’s a learned behavior. Some children simply don’t know what are appropriate behaviors and what aren’t—what’s acceptable and what’s not. They need to be taught this as a valuable life skill just like they’d be taught how to add and subtract.
Yes, when we start teaching our children early on the beauty of diversity and the power of acceptance…of accepting others’ differences…being kind…showing respect, and we work together, we can affect real change in our children’s lives. And, yes, then, we can…
Until next time, take care,
P.S. If you’d like to help stop bullying in your community, please check out the Help Stop Bullying Now!™ Tool Kit.