October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. And as a mother of sons, I see and hear a lot of bullying. When we were growing up and depending on what part of the country you are from you call it (“joaning”, “janking”, “playing the dozens”) a harmful name. But by in large when done in a vindictive way, it is bullying.
According to http://www.stopbullying.gov, here’s the definition of bullying
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
It was interesting that this site pointed out that bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Which brings me to the title of my post. I was scanning my son’s online account and saw a very interesting conversation from one of his classmates. And while others told this person to stop, the comments escalated.
I read through the comments and the initial exchange. I asked my son what was going on and he shared that this person had some personal issues. He also shared that he reaches out to him at school and is tries to be understanding.
Being a middle schooler is a challenge already. Now with smartphones, the joaning no longer has a face. And instead of two or three folks being around to hear, the audience grows exponentially online
And while I can’t be with my sons all of the time. I try to instill in them theses ideas to protect them being bullied or from being a bully.
Don’t forget that everyone is unique and special. Just because someone is different from you does not make you better than them. Likewise, you should not give anyone the power to make you feel beneath them no matter what. Many times that occurs when folks want what you have (or think that you have).
Be kind. Yes those two words I say all of the time. We are Christians and I tell my boys that Jesus was kind. He showed compassion to those who were not in the in crowd. He told us to love one another. Be kind all of the time.
Treat others the way that you want to be treated even when it hurts. My son had a bullying situation on the bus with someone. He came home one day trying to think of zingers to shoot back at him the next day. I asked him would that make the situation better. He said no, but he would feel better. I mentioned to him that while a flip response may make you feel better in that moment, overall it will make you feel like crap. He agreed. We talked it through. I don’t know if he snapped back at the boy or not, but I do know that now they are on better terms.
What are some other ways we can shield our sons from being bullied? Also what are some ways we can help them to not be a part of the problem? Leave a comment.
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