This is a huge topic and one that causes angst for students and parents alike. We don’t want our children to be bullied and would be horrified to find out they are bullying others. We remember our school days and may cringe at our own immature antics, mean things we said or mean things said to us.
The negatives stick out in our minds when we are teenagers because these things are easy to believe when we are already so self-critical, unsure of ourselves and going through immense change. We compare ourselves to others and mostly come out lacking but target others when we come out on top – as it makes us feel good, better, superior.
To effect a change, to stamp out this kind of behaviour in our children and adolescence, we need to change our thinking, our behaviour, ourselves.
With cyber bullying prevalent – not just with teenagers but amongst mum groups, food groups and god knows what else – we are not just talking about immature teenagers with a half-developed pre-frontal cortex.
We are talking about society and a developing cultural trend towards this kind of behaviour as a lifestyle.
I don’t know about you but I find amongst groups, people still gossip about people. On the roads people are still calling people names at home we are still talking in unkind terms about others we may be annoyed at/by.
Where do you think kids learn? Yes from their peer groups but if we are going to instigate change, real change then it needs to start at home.
So what to do?
Stop gossiping about others. Yes it may make you feel good at the time, part of something, righteous but ultimately its not your best self talking. If you find yourself part of the conversation about another – don’t say anything or change the subject or if your really brave say, “That’s unkind and we shouldn’t be talking about so and so.”
Things you can talk about instead: Great things that have happened, how much you love your exercise class, how gorgeous your friend looks, nice things people have done for you etc
Stop the name calling. That idiot at work. The dumb driver on the road. The wanker of a boss. Kids learn not by what we tell them but by what we do. They hear everything and you are their hero, their role model, the guy/girl they look up to the most right now.
Just bite your lip. Practice that old adage if you don’t have something kind ot say don’t say anything at all.
Stop complaining. You’re bitter, you’re hard done by, life sucks, that person has it better than you, got your job, your car, your lifestyle. Make it a practice to catch yourself every time you complain and try to be grateful instead for something you do have.
If your world looks rosier – don’t you think your kids world will be painted a better colour? If you are happy then they know what a happy, content, loving world looks like. You don’t have to be perfect, you just need to be aware and make it a habit.
Make it a point of making someone’s day by paying a compliment or doing a kind thing.
Let’s change the world.