As a parent of two young boys, I'm constantly worried about bullying; in school, on the bus, on the playground and now, online bullying. No one deserves to be bullied, ever. No matter what kind, bullying is never fun. It's a cruel and terrible thing to do to someone. If you child or your is being being bullied, you have to remember it’s not your fault.
Today, it seems like most people, kids and adults are so focused on our differences. I think if everyone focused on what we have in common, such as we all want to be happy, safe and most of all everyone needs to feel loved; there would be less bullying.
Every day, kids are bullied into silence and they are afraid to speak up and ask for help. Kids who are bullied have a hard time standing up for themselves. They may feel that the kids who bully them are more powerful than they are. Bullying can make the one being bullied feel sad, lonely, and powerless. These feelings hurt them and often affect how and what they do in school and at home in so many ways. It can cause their self-esteem and confidence to diminish, relationships get damaged, and their grades and academics suffer. Children hide into themselves and often believe they’ve done something wrong.
The solution to putting an end to bullying may be to stop it at the source. A child or adult might talk to the bully to find out what could be causing them to behave that way; Ask what makes them feel the need to bully, maybe find a way to help them, and offer options of channeling their anger and feelings towards something positive.
One way we all can all help is to stand up for others when we see bullying. There are safe things kids can do to help the bullying stop. They can talk to a parent, teacher, or another adult who they trust. Ask your kids if they have other adults who they trust at school that they can talk to. Parents and mentors can encourage kids to tell a trusted adult what has been happening and how the bullying makes them feel and that they should tell the adult that they need help to deal with it. Together they can find a way to make it stop.
It’s important that kids understand that adults need to know when bad things happen, so they can help; otherwise they may have no idea that something bad is happening. Not speaking up and saying something might make it worse for others. The bully may think it is okay and that it doesn’t matter if they keep treating others badly. As a family or group you can decide to always speak up to help others.
Another thing that might be helpful is to find a place where your kids feel mentally, physically, and emotionally safe to be themselves and where they feel cared for. One safe place for my kids and family is karate. Karate has been such an amazing gift for our whole family. It has shown my boys know that they can be powerful and strong and still be able to hold onto our family’s core values. It’s taught my boys discipline and respect while being kind and caring people.
At karate my boys work as a family with the other students and they feel part of a group. All of the families are part of the team who encourages each other and help to build the self-confidence of the students. Overall, karate makes all of us feel good about ourselves inside and outside.