Faith Filled Family Magazine November 2016 - Page 84

Addressing Childhood Bullying BY L. CARTER M any are afraid. In fact, every year over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying, according to This is the case despite the so-called “anti-bullying” and “zero tolerance” policies that are supposed to be in place in our schools. It is time to see the bullying problem for what it is. It is not just a rite of passage, or “just part of growing up”. regular influence of drugs/ alcohol. Older siblings can also be the cause of the problem. If they’ve been bullied, they are more apt to bully a younger sibling to feel more secure or empower themselves. Very often parents are bullies, are angry, or don’t handle conflict well. Kids usually bully because they learn this behavior at home. It is learned behavior which can be unlearned.” The good news is, “it is learned behavior that can be unlearned.” That is where the problem lies. But what are we doing to help The policies will not be enforced kids unlearn this behavior? Are when adults fail to see the prob- we just walking around saying lem as a problem. It is a seri- there’s nothing wrong with it, ous matter that needs to be “it’s just part of being a kid”? Bedealt with accordingly. In order cause it is true that it has been to see change, school policies a part of being a kid for far too are in need of a makeover. Per- long. Probably everyone you haps our mentalities could use a know has experienced a bully at makeover when it comes to this some point in their lives. subject as well. They were either a victim themWhat Makes Someone a Bully? selves, or witnessed someone else being one. It is all too Stomp Out Bullying explains it common in schools and very little is done about it because no this way: one wants to tell, or “snitch” on “A common reason that a someone else. Thus, the behavkid is a bully is because he/she ior continues, and the bully conlacks attention from a p a r - tinues to hurt other people. the chance to be with him often. Maybe their mom has her hands full with other siblings. Maybe they don’t even know their father, and therefore will not get the love and approval so desperately needed. This child may see another child getting that love and attention from a parent, a father or a grandfather, brother or uncle, mother or sister, and become so envious and jealous that they choose them as a target. Now, this is just a scenario. It may or may not happen in this way. But we know it does happen. It is easy to see how they may see someone receiving what they so desperately want for themselves and without even thinking about it, they strike out. The bully may not even be aware of how h e or she is feeling, they just know they want to get this person. They most likely have not connected the dots. They may or may not know why ent at home and lashes out at As stated before, the bully child they chose this person for their others for attention. This can include neglected c h i l d r e n , may feel neglected at home. Per- target, they just know they want children of divorced parents, or haps their father does not live in to make them miserable. children with parents under the the home and they do not get