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Breaking the Bullying Habit

As their children grow so too does the weight of world for parents and kids alike. I for one dreaded the notion that my children would be exposed to bullying. The emotional pain of being victimized often lasts longer than any physical impact. In response to this pervasive problem, studies and guides on how to root out all forms of bullying from our schools have been produced. Yet you see daily examples of bullying with certain adults in numerous venues such as public office holders, supervisors at work, law enforcement officers, houses of worship and more. The allure of power compels even the most humble human being to act in one’s self interest. So what’s missing? It comes down to respect.

Finding a balance between power and respect requires combating human nature itself. Left to our own devices I’d imagine a world on a trajectory for implosion. We create laws in society to protect ourselves from this fate. Still, stamping out bullying remains elusive. Raising kids can differ enormously from home to home. The disparity comes full circle once children are pooled into the school environment. Tensions flare, meetings are held, money gets thrown at the problem.

I don’t have a quick fix solution nor can I imagine a long term one either. I believe bullying can never be fully eliminated (that whole human nature thing), yet proactively embracing the concept of respect offers an avenue worth exploring. Consider how one interacts with one’s children. Demonstrating strength and authority respectfully instead of through anger and force. Modeling behavior by practicing what one preaches. Being able to say no to one’s child as a loving parent.

I know what you’re thinking, easier said than done. Fair enough. To say it’s challenging would be an understatement. At the very least, love and respect offer an option to help find a better way.

What ideas do you have on how parents should approach bullying?

Below is an anti-bullying ad created by Champions Against Bullying focused on teens. Please share.

  • Larry

    I hate bullying! As a teacher, I saw some of it and didn’t always do enough to stop it.
    I like what you had to say about bullying – some good points. Respect is key.
    I shared the ad. It was moving.

    • cutemonster

      Being a teacher is a tough job. Thanks for doing what you do.

  • tara pittman

    I teach my children how to walk away from a bully.