Bullying and the implications attached terrify me. It terrifies me for my children, my nieces, my nephews and all the kids I love. As a kid, I was bullied and was a bully. In grade 5, my best friend and I had grade 8 girls waiting for us every night on our walk home. They would torment us with their words and would threaten to hurt us regularly. It lasted about two weeks.....it was horrific....Thankfully it ended because my babysitter went to the close by high school and one of her friends witnessed it and got the entire football team to our defense and my mom took us to the junior high school the girls went to. The principal didn't do a thing....NADA.......One of my biggest regrets in life is being mean to a certain kid when I was in grade 6. I was lucky enough to bump into him as a young adult and was able to apologize. He accepted my apology and shared that he didn't remember the bullying. Whether he remembers or not, I felt horrible.
I fear for Adrien, he is such a sweet, laid back kid who won't even take a toy from his brother.....and I'm perplexed as how to best equip him to protect himself as I'm not there in his life every second.
The suicide rate that is connected to bullying is staggering.....I know bullying will happen....I know it will, in some form, both of my children will be bullied.....whether it's because of the things they like, how they dress, how they speak, because they were adopted.....for any reason really.....It breaks my heart to think meanness will enter my boys' lives, I guess my job as their mom is protect them.....and the only way I can think of protecting them is teaching them that they can come to hubby and me with ANYTHING, and to trust grown ups around them enough to ask for help in the immediate situation. I also want to teach my kids the courage to stand up and step in when they see bullying happening....not to be afraid and to speak out. (Any ideas around how I can lay the foundation would be appreciated)
As a professional who goes into schools, I see bullying a lot....and the lack of support to the victim by peers and staff.....It makes me want to cry.
A group of Canadian artists have done a cover on Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors".....when purchased on iTunes, all the proceeds go to the KidsHelp Line. I think it's a good start but we as a society have so much work to do about teaching our children the effects their words and actions have on others. And how lonely people in our world really are......
I hope I can support and protect the kids in my life from bullies.....but I think I'll need a lot of help!