Good day happy followers
Recently I have been part of an experience which has made my head spin.
I live in close proximity to two young girls, on a walk I bumped into their father who was meeting them from a school bus stop. He quickly and quietly informed me that the girls had been transferred to new highschools due to some bullying issues.
These issues were so extreme he, the father, had to get the police involved and the parents of the offending girls.
The issues facing these young girls is ongoing. I share a bedroom wall with the eldest daughter. One evening I could hear heart breaking sobbing through the wall it was reminiscent of my youth, not wanting to get up the next day and go to school to face my bullies. This spurred me on to reach out to her father and offer support.
Being a fairly young single father, he already has struggles to face, raising two headstrong teenage girls, he now has to find the strength to help his little girl through such a tormenting time. I felt my words of support were going to have little effect but offered them anyway.
It has come to my attention, and this is the mind spinning part, having been a victim of some bullying when younger, I was able to escape at 4pm-ish and block all the negativity at the end of the school day. Having fun with friends and family at home, where I felt free and safe and the bullies were what seemed like miles away (in another village down the road). I was untouchable for atleast a short while.Now however these bullies are reaching their victims via Social Media, and are able to have access to victims 24/7. There is no let up for these kids!!! This didn’t hit home until I shared in my neighbours plight, the issue is also touched on in the new comedy film Unfinished Business, and was addressed well in Cyberbully a TV drama episode. Both film and TV episode did the issues justice.
How different would my bullying experiences have been if Social Media was around in my youth?? Would I have been able to have the same safe feeling at home with my true friends or would they too have joined in being silent witness to the bullying??
I have been toiling with this thought for a few weeks now and as a new mother, I am worried for my own daughter and she’s not even 1 year old.
How will she fit into this social media culture? will she be a victim? will she follow suit with the majority and stay silent whilst others taunt? Or will she be somebodies champion and aim to support and stop bullying when she encounters it?
Fingers crossed the latter is where I am aiming with her upbringing, whilst not always successful, we as parents are the crusaders. We do not want to get involved with the battle, parent to child bully, but can offer guidance on how to act when bullying and taunting is encountered and avoid the devastating effects this can have on a child’s life.
A few things I hope will give my daughter the tools to be able to tackle this issue are below, I hope they help and can be added to by other parents who have had success’ in this area.
- Although we are now almost encouraged to judge people by celebrity culture, this same culture lately has leaned towards promoting diversity as a positive, body image, disabilities and race etc. are all at the forefront of current pop culture. Use these programmes,blogs etc. as lessons
- This may be seen as controversial but mostly the reason these bullies get away with what they do is that the victims are to embarrassed to share their torment. I say turn social media bullying back on the bullies. If your child receives any form of unacceptable taunting or bullying, name and shame the bully by sharing it #Unbully and tweet it to their favourite Celeb or role model. Enough of this, with the support of Celebs and other friends would make the bully the victim of shame
- Empower your child, giving them the confidence early on in life to believe they are wonderful no matter what anybody says, teach them to love themselves and be kind and supportive to those around them. This starts young and at home . Self confidence play a huge part in my own success and it came from my mum
- Finally encourage hobbies and interests that engage your child throughout their adolescence, this will provide them the opportunities to make themselves interesting in adult life. The more they are involved in, the more the chance something will stick. It helps if they see you as a parent, having a keen interest in extra curricular activity.
There is no way that bullying will be eradicated from life entirely. We can only hope that, with helping the growing recognition of the signs of bullying before they become extreme and encouraging everyone to get involved in doing the same thing , we can together help the victims speak about their problems and get #Unbully being a widely used system by celebs and kids alike. Speaking out against a bully takes enormous amounts of courage, we can help it be an easier decision to make.
Until next time big hugs xx