I remember growing up we would say “sticks and stones can break my bones but worlds will never hurt me”; well we all know that is not true – words do hurt and in some cases they can kill. Given the recent cases of bullying, I feel that we as parents need to educate our kids as best we can about the dangers of bullying.
When I talk to my son I always ask him how he would feel if he were being made fun of and called names, then again he’s seven so it’s easy. It’s when they are older that things get trickier, violence and cyber space come into play then. I think monitoring your teenager’s online activity is a good idea, also just being an involved parent helps. Asking questions, being able to spot behavioral changes in your child and addressing them; having an open line of communication is crucial now-a-days.
People really do need to think long and hard before they speak and act. The reality is that words do hurt and can leave lasting scars far worse than any bruise, those words can lead to death. Which is why I can’t understand why anyone would start or participate in bullying; I don’t know if I would tell my child to step in if he were to see something for fear that he would be the next target or that they may retaliate. I do tell him to go to a teacher, school official that he trusts, even one of us (his parents) and tell them what he saw; hopefully this person could get involved. It’s so tricky though, you hear of all these cases as of late where bullied kids did tell adults, school officials and sadly not enough was done to help them. It's so disturbing to think that any one would think that death is their ONLY way out.
So please, please teach your kids to have compassion for others and respect our differences; it’s really the only way for us to prevent this from happening over and over.