Bullying is an issue near and dear to my heart. Charming was bullied mercilessly when he was younger, making his middle school years nearly unbearable. Valiant and Buttercup have run into their share of bullies as they live a life that many see as non-conforming. As parents, we're supposed to tell our children to turn the other cheek, but when that one gets hit, too, the advice seems pretty darned stupid. We send our children back to school to face their tormentors day in and day out, giving them very little recourse. (Yes, I homeschool, but most children aren't homeschooled and the effects of this problem are faced by all of us, not just the immediate victims.)
Think about it. If your place of employment made you feel unworthy, unwelcome, and unwanted, you wouldn't go back there day after day. You'd find another job and the knowledge that you were looking for a job would help you deal with the situation at hand. If the abuse really got out of hand, you'd call in law enforcement because your rights as a citizen would be being violated. Our children don't have those options and we're not holding bullies and their parents accountable for their actions. This leaves the children who do report bullying in even more precarious situations when they return to school to meet up with their tormentors. Bullying has to become socially unacceptable. Bullies are being "mean"...there is no pretty way to describe it. They are being cruel to those they perceive as somehow weaker than they are.
As bullying seems to get more and more creative and cruel, with heartbreaking consequences, I was pleased to see that a young music artist addressed it directly in her most recent release. Sometimes hearing someone "famous" talk about it helps the kids far more than hearing Mom and Dad saying the exact same thing. If the media can possibly be a positive influence, we need to use that. To that end, I'm sharing this with you.
If you're dealing with this issue at all, you might like this little song by Taylor Swift. My kids said they liked it because it wasn't too preachy and it felt honest. For more on this subject, you can also share "Love is Louder" with your kids. Isn't it interesting how the most creative, the most unique, are the ones that are bullied the most...gee, I wonder why?