Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 103 - Anti-Bullying

Yesterday, I was watching Ellen and Khloe Kardashian was a guest.  Other than talking about her sisters, she also mentioned an Anti-Bullying campaign that she is involved in.

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Anti-Bullying lessons and programs are huge right now.  As they should be.  As a parent of two young boys, I think that it is important that we teach children about bullying, encourage kids to be nice to each other and foster a environment in which it is OK to report circumstances of bullying. 

I am against bullying.  And, I am guessing you are too.  I mean, seriously, is anyone one anti Anti-Bullying?

I truly applaud the efforts of those who create, lead, and teach our children about bullying.

There is just one piece of these efforts that I, as a parent, think might be missing.  And honestly, I am not sure, exactly how to teach it.

I wonder if we (our society) are teaching our children how not to be bullied?  In other words, how to not be a victim?

When my son had a couple of incidents on the school bus in which he was bullied, I began to wonder about this.  I knew that how he was being treated by the other student, was not OK.  And, it was important to me that the bullying was brought to the attention of the bus and school staff members.  And, so I reported the situation and, as far as I could tell, the other student was dealt with appropriately.

But, it was more important to me that my son, not see himself as a victim of "bullying." 

I want my sons to know how to, appropriately, stand up for themselves.  I want my sons to know it is OK to break a rule (like stand up on the bus to change seats) when the situation warrants it.  I want my sons to have the self-confident to know that they do not deserve to be treated poorly. 

Surely, as a parent, I am a HUGE part of teaching this.  But, there is not a step-by step guide about how to do this.  I believe that I have to lead by example.  And, I must talk to my children about situations of bullying.  I know, I should not label the other child a "bully".  I should try to explain that the other child, who was being mean, was making bad choices, and maybe he or she was having a bad day.  I need to suggesting alternative behavior - not only to how the other kid could have acted, but also what my child could have done differently in response.

I sincerely try to do all of this.  But I still don't know if "all of this" teaches my sons how not to be a victim of bullying.

Dr. Phil, has been know to often say, "We teach people how to treat us."  I believe that to be true.

And, I want our children to learn to teach other children not to bully them.

But, I wonder, if we as a society are we teaching that?

And, perhaps more importantly, I wonder if we, as a society, are even talking about teaching that?

I would love to hear your thoughts about this.

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