I watched the documentary “Bully” yesterday on TV. I was shocked.
This lead me to the conclusion that its the bullies that need the help, not so much the bullied. Here’s why –
The documentary follows a couple kids who are victims of bullying through 1 school year. It shows what happens to them and also what the adults around them do about it. Usually nothing. And it shows what the results can be – children who would rather end their own lives than face one. more. day. This cycle needs to end. They only way to stop the cycle, is to stop the bullies. To stop the bullies, they need serious intervention.
Quickly, here is some background on me. I don’t have kids (yet). I was never what I would call bullied. I was teased but I don’t think it was any more than the average person. I can’t recall any really awful incidents so I don’t think I can say I was ever really bullied. I do, however recall in grade 2 or 3 where I bullied a few boys. I wouldn’t call myself a bully though, because it was only a few times and I didn’t single anyone out or systematically “pick on” any one person or type of person. I would say I was pretty average in that side of it too. My sister however, was bullied to the point where she had to change schools. We weren’t really close at that time in our lives so I don’t know the details of it. She is my best friend now. We have never really talked about it. I never asked her about it because I don’t want her to re-live it but I will ask her if she wants to talk about it one day.
This documentary moved me. It moved me to tears quite frequently because it shocked me. My heart fell to pieces for the children in this film. Both for the bullied and for the bullies. Especially the bullies. Hear me out on this –
The children who are being bullied in this film are innocent victims. They did not ask to be bullied nor do they deserve it. They are normal kids who are forced into a terrible situation by the actions of other (bullies).
How I see it is, its the bullies who cause these incidents. By focusing only on helping the victims deal with their bullies, it puts the pressure to resolve the situation squarely on their shoulders. They didn’t ask for that. It is not fair to them to give them the responsibility to control the actions of others around them.
The focus shouldn’t be on how to deal with bullies. The focus should be on teaching children not to BE bullies.
I have visited many of the associated websites for anti-bulling organizations. While I commend their efforts, I feel there is a serious lack of attention on the real issue. Why is this child acting like a bully? Why do they think it is OK to physically abuse another peer? Why do they think they can threaten the life of another with physical harm or sexual harm? Why do they think it OK to mentally torture another peer? What inside them hurts so much inside them that they have to feel better about themselves by destroying and torturing another?
So, what am I going to do about bullying?
- I resolve to myself I will raise my child whole. I will listen to them and teach them to be a good person through actions.
- I will set an example for them. I will be the good person I want them to be.
- I will hold them accountable for their actions. I will show them to take responsibility for their actions by example.
- I will be consistent with consequences. I will be their parent, not a buddy.
- I will teach my child to be someone’s superhero. To stand up for themselves and for others who can’t.
- I will teach my child to recruit and encourage others to be superheros too.
The resolution to bullying is not just with working with the kids, it needs to be with the parents too. Children are a product of their environment. If the parents are unwilling to do what is right for their child and do the above steps, then I think schools should introduce a program for bullies. They could identify the know bullies and have a program where they can talk to someone, alone or in a group, about whats going on with them. Why are they so unhappy? Why are they so angry? Help them resolve these issues and give them a new direction and outlet to redirect their frustrations, That, in my opinion, is how you solve bullying. Help the bullies and there will be no more victims. Help only the victims, well, then that’s kind of like treating your symptoms after your become sick. Wouldn’t you rather try to prevent getting sick in the first place? I am sure if you ask someone who has been the victim of serious bullying, they would much rather have not been bullied altogether.
This is what I feel. Parents need to wake up and be parents. Schools need to get involved. Support and focus needs to be put on bullies to get them the help they need. That is how you eliminate bullying.
What do you think about my point of view?
Have you seen the “Bully” documentary?
Do you think help should be given to bullies to prevent them from bullying, or should it be given to victims after the fact?
~with love, Chelsey P