Bullying – it pretty much sucks, doesn’t it? Every tease, every taunt, every eye roll and hair flip, every act of exclusion, every nasty text message – they all add up to feel like a thousand paper cuts to the heart.
As parents, as Guiders, as human beings, it’s easy to feel helpless and not really know how to help the kids in our lives figure out why someone could be so utterly and devastatingly mean to them. After all, we all grew up with the motto of ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.’ Which, after all, is a total lie.
Sure, sure there are tons of books out there about bullying. (Might I recommend Barbara Coloroso’s The bully, the bullied and the bystander?). But sometimes, when you’re lying in bed at night, and it’s just gnawing away at you the effect that bullying is having on your child, your family, you just need to find some resources, stat.
That’s when it’s great to turn to something like bullying.org. It’s a great catch-all of bullying resources. And the If I had a little sister website really gets at things from the perspective of girls.
Of course during Bullying Awareness Week (and every week, really), we also need to think about those kids that, for one reason or another, are bullying their peers. Too often, bullies are vilified and simply written off as ‘bad kids’. This, too, is a total lie. Generally, when a child turns to bullying behavior, there’s something else going on, something they’re struggling with that leads them to lash out with bullying behavior. Obviously, the bullying is not okay. But this child needs help, too, and needs our support to ‘do good’, to nurture empathy and find opportunities to be caring and helpful towards others. The Canadian Safe Schools Network has some useful tips for parents whose kids are exhibiting bullying behavior. And for tweens, they can check out this PBS Kids resource to better understand why some kids can act like a bully.
What anti-bullying resources do you know about?
By Mary, GGC staff
Guiders! Be sure to check out our Girls United Anti-Bullying Challenge, developed in partnership with PREVnet, full of great resources for helping learn to build strong connections with each other, to be a support for each other and how to build strong, rewarding friendships with other girls.
Parents! We have tips to help you talk to your daughter about bullying.
Girls! Read our tips for dealing with bullying.
I talked last night to my 2nd year guides about self esteem and bullying themselves, having covered bullying others earlier this year. I think when we phrase positive self esteem as not saying things to ourselves that we wouldn’t say to others that is becomes something they can relate to. Too often self-bullying is ignored, so I hope that people can also incorporate that into their bullying presentations this week.