Friday, September 25, 2015

Teens, Bullying, and Girl Meets World

Girl Meets World tonight focused on the topic of bullying. Bullying is talked about so much these days, that any little slight against a student is labeled "bullying." However, bullying is so much more than children picking on each other, as children tend to do (I'm not condoning this, and I'll come back to it).

Bullying is the use of power over another person; repeated actions that cause another person to feel inferior or weak. In the words of Cory Matthews, "A bully isn't someone who says something you don't like. A bully is someone who uses power and intimidation to hurt others."

My 10 year old and I watched "Girl Meets Rileytown" tonight. She kept asking, "Who is Riley's bully?" and when Riley finally confronted her bully, with the whole school behind her, Little Sis was upset we didn't learn who the bully was.

I explained that Riley's bully didn't have a face because bullies all look different. Each one has their own face, and each person who is bullied needed to be able to see their own bully there, being confronted by Riley.

Sadly, a bully is usually the victim of their own bully, someone who doesn't lift them up, who seeks to belittle them, so they feel they have to do the same to someone else to feel good about themselves. I've seen it many times, from little preschoolers to high schoolers. Honestly, a bully doesn't necessarily need someone to stand up TO them - they need someone to stand up FOR them.

So while we're talking about students who are bullied, let's not forget the ones who are hurting so much that they feel the need to hurt someone else. This behavior is learned. Punishing a bully does nothing but continue to perpetuate the situation. Their victim stands up to them? They'll find someone else until their own hurt is addressed.

Again, I'm not saying bullying is acceptable. I totally agree that we need to stop all forms of bullying. Not only do we need to encourage our children to stand up for the victim, but we need to teach them how to be a friend to those who may not be the most likable person on campus. We need to teach our children to be positive toward everyone, set the example on how friends are supposed to act. It will take time, but it can be done. Behavior modification is hard work, but if everyone is involved, it is well worth the time.

As far as children picking on others, this is where adults need to step up their game. I hear so many parents using "endearing" terms toward their kids that, if said to an adult, would get them punched in the face. Why are we teaching our children that it's ok to call people names by using these words toward them? If we hear children calling other kids ANY name that is not positive or uplifting, we need to give them the vocabulary and have them try it again. They may not KNOW how to "play nice." They may not know HOW to be a friend. WE have to teach them, even at 11, 12, and 13 years old. Trust me, I know. There is no "kids being kids" ... we need to change it to "humans being humans" and set the example for them - even if they're not your children.

So come on, adults! Let's be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, gentle, kind, and show self-control. Life is going to throw us curve balls, but let's show the kids the right way to handle it! If we're going to make lemonade from those lemons, we're going to need a little sweetener!
 photo signature.gif

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading! Your comments are appreciated!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Twitter Feed


Google Search

Custom Search