All about the mind

Bullying. No Way.

Bullying is an epidemic during childhood and adolescence. And as an epidemic, it has only grown and changed. Once upon a time bullying mainly involved verbal bullying {name-calling and the like}, physical bullying {bashing someone}, humiliating people and relational bullying {the type where you are friends one day but not the next and you don’t know why!}. However, despite how horrible it was, you could still head home to a safe and secure place.

With the advent of social media though, that safe haven has disappeared. Because now we also have kids and teens subject to cyber bullying. It’s a whole different kettle of fish when you have kids being harassed even at home either on Facebook, Twitter or other webpages.

I still remember the very first time I was bullied. It was in kindergarten. And I was 3 years old. I had to rip up another student’s alphabet book in order to be accepted by this group of girls I liked. So I did. Only to get into trouble from the teacher which was a whack on my palms with a wooden ruler {This was India in the 1980s} and had to apologise to the girl in front of the entire class. I have also been guilty of being a bit of a bully later on at a different school. More the teasing kind but something I look back at with regret.

None of it though is remotely close to what kids experience today.

When I worked as a school psychologist, bullying was the worst issue to deal with. Especially among girls. I worked in a co-ed school and while the odd boys had pretty bad experiences, the manipulation and aggression among the girls was something out of a movie. They would be friends one day and then enemies the next. A girl had her phone number posted on a website with her photo and an invitation for sex. Other girls had stuff written about them on Facebook and Bebo. No amount of group work and education seemed to fix the problem.

Because to me, the parents were the problem.

The parents of the bullies thought the sun shone out of their kids’ backsides. And would therefore rarely attend any of the events or education. They would get their children out of detention leaving the school powerless. And well, suspension in my opinion does not work as the kids get free reign to everything at home. I would tell the school time and again that the only way to stop bullying was a systemic intervention. But one that would also require the parents to assist. The school did its best. But like I said, without the support of the kids’ parents, we were fighting a losing battle.

I had to leave the school system.

Sure, mental health is no picnic. Because here I get to see the kids after they have been bullied and are currently highly anxious or depressed or suicidal or all of the above.

Today is a National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence. 1400 school across Australia are taking a stand against bullying. I hope though, that the parents of the children at these schools and more also take responsibility:

To teach their kids not to bully.

To teach their kids to be kind.

To teach their kids to tolerate those who may be different to them.

To teach their kids to stand up for those being bullied.

Hopefully, this epidemic can get wiped out in my lifetime.

Hopefully.

***Linking up over at With Some Grace for FYBF***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • Reply
    Jane @ The Hesitant Housewife
    March 15, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you for the perspective from the ‘school’ side of things. You are right, social media has opened up a whole new world for bullies. It frightens me what will be happening by the time my daughter is at school. I really hope that awareness and education will wipe out this epidemic. Found you via With Some Grace FYBF xx
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  • Reply
    Jane @ The Hesitant Housewife
    March 15, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you for the perspective from the ‘school’ side of things. You are right, social media has opened up a whole new world for bullies. It frightens me what will be happening by the time my daughter is at school. I really hope that awareness and education will wipe out this epidemic. Found you via With Some Grace FYBF xx
    Jane @ The Hesitant Housewife recently posted…About Me Q&AMy Profile

  • Reply
    Smita
    March 15, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    You know I keep getting scared of the fact that how Arnav will handle bullying. I know when he goes to school he will learn but still my son is a softie and every time I think about this my heart gets a thud waali feeling 🙁
    Smita recently posted…A lot to say again….My Profile

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    Smita
    March 15, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    You know I keep getting scared of the fact that how Arnav will handle bullying. I know when he goes to school he will learn but still my son is a softie and every time I think about this my heart gets a thud waali feeling 🙁
    Smita recently posted…A lot to say again….My Profile

  • Reply
    Annie
    March 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Why are girls so bad when it comes to bullying? Why do they turn on each other for no reason? And have the divide and conquer mentality? I experienced it as a young teen, and now I see it in my children’s classes, where there is often this Queen Bee who is like a magnet for the girls, but is a right little Miss when she wants to be. I worry for my daughter in the years to come. If its bad in primary, I dread what high school will be like. I just hope I give her the tools now to deal with what the future may hold.

    (via FYBF)
    Annie recently posted…Get real and get outdoorsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Annie
    March 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Why are girls so bad when it comes to bullying? Why do they turn on each other for no reason? And have the divide and conquer mentality? I experienced it as a young teen, and now I see it in my children’s classes, where there is often this Queen Bee who is like a magnet for the girls, but is a right little Miss when she wants to be. I worry for my daughter in the years to come. If its bad in primary, I dread what high school will be like. I just hope I give her the tools now to deal with what the future may hold.

    (via FYBF)
    Annie recently posted…Get real and get outdoorsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Lazy Pineapple
    March 16, 2013 at 2:56 am

    I have cousins who live in Canada and I remember my Aunt telling my Mom about the bullying kids faced in school. I studied in a all girls school but never faced this issue. I have fond memories of my school days.
    Lazy Pineapple recently posted…Google Reader is dying, how does it affect bloggers like us?My Profile

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    Lazy Pineapple
    March 16, 2013 at 2:56 am

    I have cousins who live in Canada and I remember my Aunt telling my Mom about the bullying kids faced in school. I studied in a all girls school but never faced this issue. I have fond memories of my school days.
    Lazy Pineapple recently posted…Google Reader is dying, how does it affect bloggers like us?My Profile

  • Reply
    Comfy
    March 16, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I was talking to a few friends of mine and this topic came up. Now we all have young kids and we between us could not agree on what falls under ‘kids being kids’ and what is ‘bullying’. Still not sure.

    What I currently work on with Buzz are kind of on the lines of what you mentioned. Mostly for now focusing on being nice to everyone and it is ok to be different.

    Hope I teach her the right things.
    Comfy recently posted…SharingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Comfy
    March 16, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I was talking to a few friends of mine and this topic came up. Now we all have young kids and we between us could not agree on what falls under ‘kids being kids’ and what is ‘bullying’. Still not sure.

    What I currently work on with Buzz are kind of on the lines of what you mentioned. Mostly for now focusing on being nice to everyone and it is ok to be different.

    Hope I teach her the right things.
    Comfy recently posted…SharingMy Profile

  • Reply
    R's Mom
    March 16, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Yep, its a pretty sad thing in school..the bullying! Sometimes, it gets out of hand as well…I loved those pointers you gave at the end of the post…
    R’s Mom recently posted…My Life Right Now in 10 PointsMy Profile

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    R's Mom
    March 16, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Yep, its a pretty sad thing in school..the bullying! Sometimes, it gets out of hand as well…I loved those pointers you gave at the end of the post…
    R’s Mom recently posted…My Life Right Now in 10 PointsMy Profile

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