Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bullying and Cyberbullying

I have been debating over what to write regarding this topic but knew that I needed to write something.  This is a tough and touchy subject for many including myself and my family as two of my very own children have been through this.

This is a post that has been making it's way around Facebook for quite some time now and I couldn't say it more perfectly! 

The boy you punched in the hall today. Committed suicide a few minutes ago. That girl you called a slut in class today. She's a virgin. The boy you called lame. He has to work every night to support his family. That girl you pushed down the other day. She's already being abused at home. That girl you called fat. She's starving herself. The old man you made fun of cause of the ugly scars. He fought for our country. The boy you made fun of for crying. His mother is dying. You think you know them. Guess what? You don't! Re-post if you are against bullying.♥ I bet 99% of you won't, but repost this if you're that 1% with a heart.

It is up to us parents to educate our children so they are aware of the effects of the decision to bully someone whether in person or over the wonderful world of the web. It is up to us to set good examples and be role models. We need to teach our children that it is not okay to hurt someone physically, emotionally, or mentally. This means no poking fun, no name calling, no teasing or taunting and no posting anything over the net that might be harmful to another child regardless if you find it amusing. What one person might find amusing another one might find it humiliating.

Bullying of any sort can cause damage to a child that can not be undone. A perfect way to enforce this was recently shown over the internet. A teacher in New York had her children perform an exercise that gave the children an idea of how a victim of bullying was scarred for life. Take a new piece of paper and crumble it up real tight. Now have the children try to get all the wrinkles doesn't work! Each one of those wrinkles can represent a time where a child has been called a name, hit, teased, taunted, etc... and that stays with them. There is no way to erase all those mean and hateful things no matter how hard we try.

Bullying can cause the victim to become withdrawn, depressed, and/or angry.   Everyone has a breaking point where they can no longer take it and some take drastic matters such as suicide or attacking their bully and sometimes even committing murder. Then there are some that become so stressed that they get headaches, upset stomachs, don't want to set foot back into the environment where the bullying takes place, can't sleep etc...

It doesn't stop there...sometimes the bully can turn around, retaliate and become the bully to get back at the other child. Now you have two children, both of whom have been the bully and the bullied and the cycle continues.

Parents talk to your children and monitor their internet and phone usage. An informed parent is a child's greatest asset.

Let's put a stop to this before it gets any worse!

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