Stop The Bullying
Today, February 27th, is International Bullying Day. Bullying is a worldwide problem. I have a 9 year old and 5-year-old twins, and I cannot help but fear about their future. Kids are mean, and life can get really tough. But, we want to make it less tough…so lets stop the bullying together!
When I was pregnant with my children, one of the criteria for choosing a name for them was to make sure it was a name that could not cause teasing. The name could not be shortened to something that would give kids an “in”, nor could the initials be a point of teasing. That seems like small potatoes compared to what kids have to deal with today.
When I was growing up kids would say really mean things. Some things probably left some lasting scars. As tough as I thought that was, it is much worse today.
What is Bullying?
“Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.” StopBullying.gov
Bullying has lead to the unthinkable among so many of our children. According to the CDC, suicide is the third leading cause of death among our children, resulting in 4,400 deaths per year. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it. Girls 10 – 14 years of age are at higher risk for suicide according to the CDC as well.
ABC News reported some statistics stating that nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying.
Two of my friends have daughters who, because of intense bullying have had to change where their daughter goes to school. The parents of both these girls went through proper channels by contacting the school and talking to the parents of the other child involved, unfortunately there was not enough action put forth to stop the bullying from occurring.
Why is this happening? I am not sure. I am sure it is a combination of several things. Parents who want to be friends with their children, are in denial, or believe kids are just being kids? Here is my thought though too. What happens to the child that is a bully and actually drives someone to suicide? There is at least one case of seven gay teenage boys taking their lives. Then one of the three bullies committed suicide.
We can all do our part to stop this madness by being aware of what is going on in our child’s life. Making ourselves more available to listen…good or bad. By having full access to all their electronics and social media sites. By not being in denial if our child is one of the mean one’s. By teaching our children to have more respect, for themselves and others. By being more accepting of people who are “different” and not being so judgmental. By being more proactive if you see another child struggling to cope or being mean…talk to the parent. As difficult as that may be, that is sometimes what it takes.
I have one friend, a fellow blogger that is the owner of Slap Dash Mom whose daughter Jenelle was bullied so badly they ended up moving her into a different school. It had a major impact her self-esteem. She went from a little girl that loved school and life to a little girl that was terrified to even attend school, because the teachers and administrators were not protecting her.
Thankfully though Jenelle is taking this horrible incident and using it to help others. She has decided to take action, and is raising awareness and funds for anti bullying programs. Jenelle has her own business designing earrings! From each pair of earrings sold, $1.00 or $2.00 a pair (depending on earring style) goes to anti-bullying organizations. A pair of earrings about $6.00 on average, with a $2.00 flat rate shipping no matter how many you order. Earrings are made out of old gift cards from department and retail stores. They also have DIY kits available for those that would like to put their own earrings together.
If you would like to purchase a pair to help support a worthy cause, head over to Slap Dash Things and have a look around the shop. In addition to earrings she also makes necklaces and key chains as well. You can also find them on Facebook!