Bullying. Stop it. Stop yourselves from doing it. Stop your children from doing it.
We are our children’s first teachers. They are watching everything that we do, hearing everything that we say, and aping our behavior.
If you are not bullying, and you are aware that your child is engaging in bullying behavior, find out where he or she is learning this from. They are probably bullying in reaction to being bullied themselves. Make sure that they know that it is wrong, that it’s not cool, that it doesn’t make them better than anyone else. Put consequences in place for their actions. Being bullied changes a child. It makes their life fearful. It is traumatic. Don’t let your child grow up to be an adult who is a bully.
Don’t kid yourself.
Bullying is abuse. Causing someone distress on a daily basis, pushing, punching, shoving, kicking, throwing things, calling names, making constant fun, are all forms of abuse. It changes the child who is bullied forever. It can turn them into adults who are fearful and untrusting. It can be a catalyst in making them more susceptible to being in abusive relationships. If they survive.
Social media is a great tool to motivate and inspire others. It is a great way to stay connected to old friends, make new friends and find out what is going on in the world. Unfortunately, it is also a way to bully someone with the great divider of the screen placed between bully and victim.
Sometimes we forget that the unfortunate individual who wore something inappropriate to Walmart and had a snapshot taken of them and posted on Facebook is a real human being, a human being with real feelings who is now being ridiculed by masses of people and knows it. If you do this and your children see you or watch you do this, or hear you talk about it, you are sending a message that it is okay to make fun of people who dress differently, who perhaps are poor, who may be on drugs or are homeless. It is a thoughtless thing, meaning because we have that screen in front of us, we forget that they are human too.
Teach your children well. Remember this is our world. We make it like we want it to be. If you see someone being bullied, step in and stop it. If you know someone who is bullying, find out what is going on with them. Help your children to know the truth about themselves. Help your children to believe in themselves and their abilities. Teach them that what people look like does not matter.
Tall, short, thin, fat, straight teeth or crooked, glasses or none, any type of difference in us does not make us less than anyone else. We are all so much more than those things. Pay attention. Treat each other kindly. Love yourself and it becomes easy to love others. Kindness matters!
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