Monday, January 14, 2013

VIDEO: Bullying, Suicide and Parenting

I agree with a heck of lot of what is said in the video. Language warning.

I agree that bullying has been re-defined to mean any kind of teasing.

When I was a kid, I was bullied. I was harassed and teased every single day for the first four years of high school, and I really wanted it to stop. (It levelled off in my last year, as my main tormentor was no longer in my class.)

I was not good at getting it to stop. Some kids are better than others at doing that, and some people won't stop no matter what.

The good news is that if you deal with that stuff, you develop character and backbone. Some of that grief I attracted due to standing up for what I thought and being outspoken.

It prepared me to be an active pro-lifer. So it was all for the best.

I had a good self-esteem and I fundamentally believed in my own self-worth. So nothing people could say would undermine my opinion of myself.

Kids who are ready to take their lives over bullying are often kids who lack a strong sense of self, and a strong perspective.

For much of my adolescence, my faith was vague and undefined, but I knew whose side I was on. And the fact that Jesus was insulted and ultimately crucified notwithstanding what he represented always comforted me a lot.If he could be hated, why would it be any different for me?

When kids don't have that strong moral and psychological base, bullying is hard to counter. Bullies smell weakness. They pick on people they know can't or won't fight back.

That's where parents SHOULD come in.

But of course, if the parents aren't chiming in, the parents are probably unplugged as it is.

These are the cases where bullying needs intervention from the relevant authorities.

Most kids are not going to take their lives over harassment.

Most kids get over the harassment.

It does kids a world of good to confront bullying and harassment themselves and deal with it themselves. Giving them the tools to do so is a good idea.

Kids need to understand that it's all sunshine and rainbows in the world and that life is tough so get used to it and have a sense of self to be able to take criticism, whether it's constructive or not.

Trying to make life easy is doing a disservice to kids. I'm not against anti-bullying policies but I am against trying to shield kids from the way life really works in the world outside high school. 

A lot of our anti-bullying mentality tries to do that. And that's not doing anyone any good.