BULLYING – What I’m going to do about it

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?

Help the bully, end the cycle.

Help the bully, end the cycle.

~with love, Chelsey P

About Chelsey Pear

Chelsey Pear Charm Jewelry Co. Founder & Designer www.ChelseyPear.com
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9 Responses to BULLYING – What I’m going to do about it

  1. Marg Hunter says:

    Good article Chelsey, I totally agree with helping the bullies, they are the ones with the issues, stop the bullies you stop the victims. Everyone is responsible to stop the bullies as well, speak up in public when you see this going on, kids picking on kids, parents picking on their kids, make this socially unacceptable, speak up! don’t look away and thinks this is none of my business….

    • chelseyp says:

      Thanks for your comments, Marg. I think you are right – if you see it happen anywhere, speak up!!! Adults can bully too. It can happen anywhere. Everyone can be someone’s superhero and step up, help out and speak up! 🙂

  2. Melanie says:

    Good thoughts. In watching my son’s experiences with bullying at school, I agree with you – the main perpetrators need help. In C’s case, one of his main tormentors was new to French Immersion (missed K, transfered into immersion in grade one) and was having troubles fitting in and getting the hang of it. His response was to start lying and picking on someone … my son. I really wish that the school would respond by helping both kids. Actually, helping either kid would be good right about now. But that’s another story 🙂

    I really wish that the school would get counseling for the bullies. Because there is a reason they behave that way – be it unhappiness at home, not being taught properly, lack of rules and expectations at home, no consequences, whatever.

    I also think that the schools need to be more open in how they deal with bullies. I have no way of knowing – this child may actually be getting counseling. The school cannot tell me, as that would be a breach of privacy. In kindergarten (yep, K!) when three girls were ganging up on C and pushing him down if he wouldn’t play their games (he’d been taught in kickboxing to never use what he learns in class in the playground, so he didn’t think to push back), the girls’ parents were called in for a discussion, the class got a visit from the counselor. But I wasn’t told until a couple of weeks later when Cameron talked of the playground pushing, and I started trying to get to the bottom of what was going on. IF the school were more transparent about this, my son would at least know that they are doing something about it. He doesn’t need to know what is discussed, just that the kid who was picking on him is getting help, that the school recognizes that there is a problem.

    Okay, now that I’ve written a novel 😉 I’ve got a book recommendation for you, when you have kids in preschool/primary grades, or anyone else. Have You Filled a Bucket Today? is a great book for kids, about happiness and how to get it. It also talks about bullies, and how they’re trying ways that won’t work to find happiness, by trying to steal happiness from others.

    • chelseyp says:

      That’s very disappointing about the lack of communication with your son’s school. One of the things that really angered me in the documentary is that the school took no steps whatsoever to remedy any of the situations shown. Absolutely no help for the bullies and very little if any accountability. In one scene, the assistant principal actually reprimands the student being bullied by accusing HIM of not staying away from the bully. I am terrified that when I have children and they attend school, I will be sending lambs to the slaughter. But I have a lot of hope on the other hand, with discussions like this and documentaries like the one I watched. I googled the book and added it to my “kids & kiddos” board on Pinterest so I will have it there when I do have kids. Thank you very much for your comments! 🙂

  3. Pingback: STRONG IS THE NEW BEAUTIFUL. | Dione Marie Becker

  4. ROBERT LEE says:

    Finally, someone who could see two sides of the issue on bullying. Spot on! Liked your post that I am adding a link to mine here:

    http://www.daddylee1969.com/ganging-up-on-one-child-in-school/

    And here’s what I wrote about troubled children:

    http://www.daddylee1969.com/troubled-children/

    Hope you could drop by and share your insight.

  5. Pingback: Ganging Up On One Child in School | Daddy Lee 1969 - A Personal Blog

  6. Jen says:

    I bullied a kid when I was in Grade 2 or 3? because my best friend at the time was doing it and I wanted to belong. Then my best friend moved away and I was left to fend for myself. I only had one other friend till grade 6 and then she moved away too. Leaving me alone for rest of the time. The kid that I bullied had talked to me on several occasions, blaming me for his problems, when I was a mess from losing all my friends.

    I was bullied throughout High School. So badly in fact that my depression from Elementary School turned into Social Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia. Even when I told teachers about my bully issues and had my parents intervene, there was no change. I was too anxious to change schools and I ended up not going to school at all. I had a periods of 3 mths off in grade 9 and in grade 10. At 16 I was forced to drop out because the Attendance Lady for all Schools made me, so I could go to a program downtown where I could get a little help and still get a credit for the semester I lost.

    I have never been normal since elementary school and it all started with be shy, alone and bullied. I had a hard time watching the documentary because I related to it A LOT. I never considered the whole suicide thing though. I want to live, even when sometimes I would rather not.

    I remember Bullying plays and seminar things that everyone had to go too. It had no effect on the bullies and didn’t change anything. There wasn’t enough money for new books half the time, so it doesn’t surprise me that schools had little effect when it came to solving any Bully problems.

    • chelseyp says:

      Jen – I am so sorry for what you went though. 😦 That must have been awful, beyond awful for you. I remember anti-bully plays and skits in school to and don’t think they had much affect at all. I think everyone needs to change – the bullies need to be identified and helped, the bullied need to be empowered and to trust that a change will actually be made and also the passers-by, like I was in high school, need to be a superhero and stand up for those that can’t. Kids spent most of their time at schools so schools and teachers need to be held accountable for their actions (re: inactions). Thank you for your comments. I am sorry for your story but I thank you for sharing it. 🙂

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