Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quote of the Day on Anti-bullying

Today’s quote of the day is to help parents think about what steps can be taken to prevent bullying as a whole. 

“…teach your children what to do -- kindness, empathy, fair play, and turn-taking are critical skills for good peer relations.” Education.com

Reading this quote helped me to realize that the prevention of bullying starts in the home. If we as parents belittle our children or others they will adapt that same behavior.  If we are selfish and uncaring to others you better believe that your child is watching and learning.  On the other hand if they see that we treat others the same way we would like to be treated they will likewise do the same to others.

I noticed this when my three year old"s favorite thing to say became, “Daddy does it” or “Mommy does it” to justify unacceptable behavior. This gave my husband and I a wake-up call.  We now realize that we have to constantly watch what we say and do in front of him because he is always watching and observing.

What About the Victims of Bullying?

Now, what about the child who is the victim of bullying?  How can we teach them to avoid or put a stop to this cruel act?  One way is through, once again, our actions as parents. 

For example, a young teen who we will call Ann was the constant target of bullying at school.  She was often harassed and alienated by her classmates because she had very low self esteem and was painfully shy.  This problem continued as she matured into adulthood and she began to take a hard look at herself as an individual.  Ann finally realized that others treated her the way she allowed them to which quickly helped her to make another connection.  She had subconsciously adopted the traits of her mother who was also bullied and abused by her husband.  Looking back she realized that her mother never valued herself as an individual.  Ann’s father treated her mother the way she allowed him to and so the abusive cycle continued.

This example shows how a parent’s actions can also cause a child to become the target of bullying.  How we treat ourselves and what we allow others to do and say to us can affect the way a child views himself now and through adulthood.

Monitor Your Child’s Recreation    

Also what a child fills their head with from day to day can have an effect on their actions.  For example, many video games and television programs promote inappropriate content such as violence and sexual harassment.  If a child is exposed to this sort of entertainment on a daily basis these behaviors will become second nature to them and will emulate through their actions towards their peers. It is our responsibility, as parents, to monitor what types of entertainment our children engage themselves in.

These are just some of the ideas this quote of the day helped me to reflect on. 

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