Stop Bullying Now Day

Bullying caused the Columbine shooting.  Lately it has been the cause of suicides.  We have studied it, talked about it and unfortunately it is still a major issue for our youth today.   In fact it seems worse because of social media, smart phones and other digital ways to communicate so now we have cyber bullying.  If there was a quick fix I would jump for joy.   There are so many things for us to consider as we raise our children.  We need youth who are strong to stand up to bullies.  Strong here stands for both physically and emotionally fit.  We need kids with strong egos who are not afraid of standing up to someone.

Trying to raise kids who have empathy for others would go a long way.   Our local high school put on the play Rent this past year.  Before the students could be in the play, their teacher had them spend a few months volunteering for community service.  Many worked at soup kitchens.  The students said they enjoyed the experience so much they will continue to volunteer.  I’m all for getting youth involved in community service projects.  It’s easy to make sweeping phrases about “those people” but when you get to know them, they are not much different from us.

So many parents rescue their kids so they “won’t suffer.”  It’s a great way to raise kids that feel entitled, are self-centered, and often do not have a strong self-esteem.  I know a man who is very insecure, assumes his wife will pick up the clothes he leaves everywhere and looses his temper frequently when things don’t go his way.   His mother did everything for him and now he is an emotional cripple.   Think about how you felt when you worked through a problem on your own.  Didn’t you feel a sense of pride in accomplishing it?  I did.  Each time we work through the situations confronting us, we feel pride and have more resilience for situations like bullying.

Every time I heard my kids or other kids make fun of someone, I stopped them and wouldn’t let them continue.  We all have to be aware of the “put-downs” that youth often sling at each other.  It is one thing to kid around with your best friend but often what is said in a joking way is a put-down in disguise.  Sarcasm can be very hurtful.

It’s important for us to be good role models for our children.  They are very observant and often model our behavior.  Do you speak disrespectfully of people?  Do you group people and make fun of them as though everyone in the group is the same?  My son went to parties at homes of people in a suburb by us.  Some of the kids were afraid of our Denver youth assuming teens from Denver were gang members.   The kids learned that behavior from their parents.

I could go on and on about what to do to help our youth so that they are not as affected by bullies.  One of the best blogs I have read is from Lori Lite about how to Bully Proof Your Child.  Go to:  http://www.stressfreekids.com/articles/bully-proof-child/

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