In this blog I want to talk about so of the issues, I raise in my books, such as the orphans in My Name Is Jessica, homelessness and alcoholism in Grey Wings and Illness in Courage in Silence. But the main one that got to me was when I wrote about bullying.
In the early chapters of Grey, Wings Jason returns to his school to collect his belongings, and we get a glimpse of what he has been living with for the last year. As if his home life wasn’t hard enough with an alcoholic father who disappears for days on end and a mother who’s suffering from a severe depressive illness we learn that Jason’s friends not only abandoned him but actively sought to make his life worse.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behaviour it can happen between people of any age, but for the purpose of this blog, I’m looking at bullying in a school environment.
Usually, among school-aged children bullying involves a real or perceived power imbalance. It can be physical strength, access to embarrassing information or popularity and that power can exist, or the victim can be convinced it does. The behaviour is then repeated over time.
Bullying can include actions such as making threats, spreading rumours, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
- Verbal bullying is saying, or writing means things and can include teasing, name-calling, inappropriate sexual comments and threatening to cause harm.
- Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions.
- Social bullying involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships and can include leaving someone out on purpose, telling other children not to be friends with someone, spreading rumours about someone and embarrassing someone in public
Both kids who are bullied and those who bully others can have serious, lasting problems.
It is important that we take steps to prevent bullying.
As I said above both the people, who are subjected to bullying and those who bully can have long-lasting severe problems throughout their lives. Parents, school staff, and other adults have a role to play in preventing bullying.
In my opinion, the most important step is communication, make kids understand bullying. Make it clear that bullying is unacceptable and make sure kids know how to get help.
- Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Then when they come to you listen to them, when I was younger, we were always told in school that bullying is wrong but on more than one occasion when it was reported it was dismissed. X is calling Y an unkind name might not sound too bad to an adult who has problems with a mortgage and bills, but to a child, it can be devastating. Besides, how would you like it if every day when you came into work, your co-worker called you something cruel?
- Give kids confidence! Kiddies with a lot of confidence and a good feeling of self-worth are going to be less vulnerable to bullying in the long run. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behaviour.
- Lead by example, show kids that treating people a certain way is wrong, treat the people around you well and when you see bullying don’t just ignore it, intervene. If your kid sees you intervening it will teach them that it is not something to be ignored. I’m not saying be a superhero, but don’t just walk away or pretend you didn’t see it. Again when I was younger, I remember running afoul of a group of kids from a different school, I was alone, and on foot, they were many and on bikes. Suffice to say I went home that night with bruises. But what gets me when I remember it was that adults just walked past, it was completely ignored. You’d think seeing a group of older kids beating up a much younger child would be cause for concern, apparently not. I avoided that street for the rest of my time in school
Bullying is something we need to put a stop to.
Katie Marie wrote a Book. A big one and a couple of little ones. Check them out!