Bullying is a learned behavior. We learn it from other children, our siblings, even our parents. And if we don’t experience consequences, it continues on into adulthood.
Children who bully others usually are victims themselves, often masking their pain by projecting it to others.
Unfortunately, many don’t see the toll bullying takes on someone until it’s too late.
I was bullied by the kids at school when I was little. I was an easy target because I quiet and intimidated by nearly everyone. I grew up with a fear of confrontation that followed me into adulthood. It has taken me years to build up my self-esteem and confidence back up.
When I told my teacher about what happened, they tried to get us to “talk it out.” I quit telling anyone because it often just made it worse.
My daughter went through the same thing with a boy on the school bus when she was little. She didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but the boy wouldn’t leave her alone. I called the bully’s mother to tell them about the incident. What started as a gesture to clear the air ended up with the mother accusing my daughter of being the bully. I could see that I wasn’t getting anywhere and started taking my daughter to school. As I see it, she wasn’t running away, just coming up with a solution.
It’s sad to think that children are ending their lives because they don’t want to face the torment of a bully any longer. The young man who ended his life two weeks ago must have thought the same thing. Trying to “fit in” is bad enough without people making fun or you or chastising you for being yourself.
Those who did the bullying should be held accountable.
One of the solutions to the problem is staring us in the face. It lies within the parents, teachers, and others who influence children’s behaviors. Maybe if we correct the problem as it arises, we can stop the cycle of bullying.