Monday, October 6, 2014

Bullying: A never-ending story

A bully (by my definition) is a cowardice person who thinks that the only way to make him/her feel superior is by dragging others down to their level.

Solution: Don’t get dragged down to their level, then. Be more.

The problem with my solution? Well, duh! It’s not easy.

Bullying happens everywhere, every time, to almost every one. Sadly, bullying happens the most at school. Kids and teenagers could be the meanest being alive.

Everyone who is literate knows the negative—sometimes lethal—effect of bullying on its victims. We’re aware that bullying is bad, no matter what the scale is. We know what we’re expected to do when we see or experience one. But—as usual with real life—knowing and experiencing are two different things.

When our kids fall victim to bullying, every wisdom and every common sense flew out of the window. Instead of being rational and calm, most the time our initial reaction would be to throw Thor’s hammer in the direction of that bully who’s hurt our children. If you say you don’t feel this way, then maybe you’re one of those robotic parents.

When our children were younger, the solutions were simpler. We could talk to the teachers, or the other parents, and most of the times the problem stopped. When kids get older, the act of bullying gets more complicated, and the involvement of an adult often seen as a weakness in the eyes of the kid. Beware of verbal bullying, because the bruises and the scars can’t be seen with our eyes and the effect usually takes a while to show its ugly face. Furthermore, we can’t possibly shelter our children 24/7 forever. On top of those, words like “ignore them” or “laugh it off” would no longer be sufficient to fight off a bully.
Even when you’re lucky to miss one bully now, there’ll be more of them out there, waiting in the shadows to meet you.

It’s complicated I say, and it is.

The only thing that we can—and always—tell our kids is that they need to find a way to stand up for themselves. How, when, what are not set in stone. Every kid will deal with this in their own way, in their own time.
The most important thing we, parents, need to constantly remind them are:
1. The definition of a bully, so they can spot one if they meet one.
2. Don’t let anyone dictate how you feel.
3. Stand up, stand up, stand up for yourself.

It’s not unusual that the kids misinterpret standing up as fighting. Standing up doesn’t mean talking with your fists, or sinking lower to their level by bullying other people or by being bitter. Standing up can be done with a simple “Stop It” or to yell a warning shout or to do a warning shove… anything.

Remember, a bully is a coward. Once he/she senses that their victim could bite, they instantly become their true-self—a coward.

So stand up.
Be firm.
Hold fierce eye-contact.
Make it matter. Make your voice matter.
Don’t ever cower.


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