With almost weekly reports of children taking their own lives because they couldn't withstand the bullying at school or on-line I get beyond frustrated. I hear the stories and cry and cry. I feel for the child and for the parents having to deal with the enormous loss. I hear of anti-bullying campaigns that include school assemblies, addressing the need for tolerance and appreciation for the differences that make us who we are. I keep hearing about various programs to stop the taunts and violence toward our children by our children and yet, again, I hear of another who couldn't take the bullying for another moment and commits suicide.
These anti-bullying programs aren't working! It seems to me that no matter how many times particular children can be told that they are wrong for ridiculing, mocking, terrorizing their fellow classmates they could care less and continue their behavior. It seems to me bullying behavior will never stop.
Instead of our energy being focused on anti-bullying campaigns, mutual appreciation, etc. I want more energy put into programs to help our children become stronger about who they are, programs to help increase self-esteem. Programs to help those that feel powerless find their tribe so they can see/feel they are not alone and therefore can withstand the taunts and terrors of the bullies and show their tormentors that they just don't care what is said to them and/or about them. To have our children feel that they are worthy and strong.
I'm not saying to ignore the bullies. I want them to be called out, I want them to have to stand on the stage at an assembly and tell the crowd what they have been doing to a fellow classmate(s). I wonder how they would feel, owning up to their behavior. The bullies parents should be there to hear it as well.
If anti-bullying campaigns are working, I would love to hear success stories. I want to hear about someone who used to be so cruel had attended an assembly and changed their behavior to become a force for good. Are anti-bullying programs working? Or, are they more of a support group for those that are trying to survive a devastating loss.