As I write this, a terrible tragedy is going viral on YouTube and Facebook. A 15-year-old girl committed suicide yesterday due to bullying. Her story haunts me. Unfortunately there are probably countless other stories out there just like hers. The sad reality is children of all ages are bullied each day. It has become rampant in schools, especially in the higher grades, and seems to be getting worse with each passing year.
I strongly believe it is not only the children being bullied who desperately need help, but the bullies themselves. There is a reason they have become the person they are. They are missing something important in their lives – most likely love. To rectify this they seek attention, look for ways to feel important, and for some reason get a thrill from gaining control and power over someone else.
In a way I feel sorry for the kids who become bullies. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying there shouldn’t be consequences for their actions. I strongly feel there should be. My sympathy comes from the fact that these kids are obviously in desperate need of parents who care about them.
Obviously I do not have all the answers to the problem. However, I strongly feel it all comes back to parenting.
Because of this belief, the following is a vow to my children:
I will do my best to:
- teach you to always be kind and respectful; to have tolerance towards all walks of life; and, to feel compassion for yourself and others
- teach you to stand up for yourself and what you believe in, but make sure you do so in a caring and loving way
- teach you how to help those who don’t have the tools to help themselves
- stay involved in everything you do, whether you like it or not
- monitor your internet use, and befriend you on social media outlets, even if you hate me for it
- keep you active in the community, sports, and/or extra-curricular activities
- be a good role model and teach by example
- be the kind of mother who is always there for you
- be someone whom you can always trust
- always make sure there is time to listen
- teach you to love yourself and others
- most importantly always love you!
Only time will tell if my efforts will have any benefits in ensuring my children grow up to be the kind of human beings I wish them to be, but I have to believe it will give them a good start anyway.
If there is even an ounce of hope that has come out of this terrible tragedy it is that people have become aware, once again, the devastating effects of bullying. Just today a school friend of mine has taken a stand and created a Stop Bullying cause. If this is something you also believe in, please join.
Let’s protect our children from being bullied and especially from becoming bullies! Let’s be the kind of parents I know we all can be!