Let’s Stop Bullying Our Children

Bullying is a real concern and increasingly a problem that most schools are addressing albeit, some more effectively than others. Bullying is affecting all levels of education, from public to private schools, from kindergarten to high school. Children or youth who are bullied say it’s because they are overweight, underweight, are short, or are extremely shy, a large percentage claim it’s because they are gay or lesbian or are perceived to be. Suicide rates among teens and even younger children are on the rise, much of the cause can be attributed to bullying related to the fear of homosexuality or simply, homophobia. Children and youth who bully are not secure individuals, to bully they must feel insecure in some way. Some children put themselves down on a regular basis, emulating what they see adults doing. Often it is at home within their families that they feel most insecure. When parents tease their kids, put them down by calling them “stupid”, or by saying “you can’t do anything right”, they are in fact putting that child down, and in a sense bullying their own children. They may take the position that they are the authority and therefore can use their power as they see fit. However, being a parent does not give anyone the right to mistreat a child. No one owns anyone else. Once a child is born, he or she becomes an autonomous individual, with a unique sense of self and self-expression. When children feel judged by their parents, they feel a sense of great injustice. As many children have no healthy outlet to express those feelings of injustice, they become angry and often take that anger to the school yard; either leading them to become bullies or to become the bullied. The teaching of morals and values in the home can also have a serious impact on children and youth. If the family’s values center on not accepting homosexuals, teasing overweight people, or talking negatively about people of different racial and cultural backgrounds, then in effect, that is educating the child, however prejudicially. Children are engrained with family values from a young age; they grow up and integrate these values into their psyche. When others don’t reflect the same values, these children can become angry and resentful. Negative messages, even when normalized in the home resonate injustice in a profound way to the child. The signs can be withdrawal...
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