They Are Overcoming Bullying and You Don’t Know How to Respond

A Mom’s Advice During Bullying Awareness Month

First, do not avoid anyone just because you do not know what to say. Of course, you do not want to say the wrong thing and inflict more pain, but an e-mail, a card, or a voice mail saying just that can mean so much. Just knowing someone cares can provide comfort. Complete silence says no one really cares.

Second, while I appreciate that you have concern for the parent and believe me I am grateful for your support; it means more when you express your love and support for the child. Those who imply they feel sorry for the parent seem to be implying that they do not understand the severity of the pain the child is experiencing. In effect, they are implying that the child is inflicting pain on others by being wounded. This doubles the pain of the parent who knows this is not the case.

Third, if you know the child, please acknowledge her by sending a short note saying that you are thinking of her. Please realize your support matters even if the child cannot respond during this time. However, if you do not know the child, it is okay to let the parent know that you are thinking of them. All support matters to the entire family.

Lastly, please do not assume that all is magically okay when the child is no longer in the environment where the bullying took place or if she has returned to school. Deep wounds might not heal quickly despite appearances. But, if you continue to show your love and support, you will help them to heal more quickly.

I believe in the healing power of God’s love, so I like Gary Zukav’s quote.

Today I am grateful for all who are helping to educate others about ways to create a bully-free world and for those who continue to give my family love and support.

Bringing a Village of Support Together 6

What village you wonder? I am hoping it will be a very large village. Calling all parents, all teachers, all principals, all school counselors, all employers, and everyone else! Your support matters! It really does. I dream of a day when everyone gets it.

Bullying is an emotional cancer. Please don’t say it doesn’t kill like cancer. Obviously it does. Unfortunately, we hear the stories all too often. That is why Amalia Starr and I are co-hosting a Twitter Chat. What’s a Twitter Chat you ask?

It is a Twitter party of sorts and you’re invited. Come to this address: http://tweetchat.com/room/bfvllgesupprt, on October 16, 2012 from 9:00 AM HST/3:00 PM EDT until 10:00 AM HST/ 4:00 PM EDT. I hope you’ll come and bring questions related to how we can all come together to change our world to a place where kindness is the norm. I also welcome your ideas for solutions and I look forward to meeting all of you. Just remember we will have to keep communication within the 140 characters or less including the hashtag, #bfvllgesupprt, it stands for bully free village of support.

You can go to http://tweeparties.com/beginners_guide.html to read more about how to participate in a Twitter party. I will also be glad to bring your questions and/ or suggestions to the group if you are unable to attend. You can leave them in the comments on this post or you make contact me @dswalkerauthor on Twitter.

Please remember that a quick e-mail or text saying I miss you or a card saying I’m thinking about you can make a big difference in the life of those who experience bullying. Better yet, how about acknowledging that you saw what happened, and you are willing to go with the person to talk to a teacher or school counselor with them, or to your employer or higher in command for adult bullying or even to the police.

I dream of a day when this is the norm. Two examples of adults being bullied have been in the news this past year and people have rallied around them. Please realize other victims experience even worse bullying, and it is not just one episode like in these two cases. They too deserve this level of support. I want groups to rally around those who experience bullying the same way we rally around those with physical illnesses. Instead of telling kids it gets better, when we know adults are bullied too, let’s really make it better.

Parents teach your children the value of kindness not just by your words, but by your deeds. Schools, you have to stop saying it is not your job to teach values. That might have been true once upon a time, but I doubt it was ever true. Employers you owe your employees a safe environment. I hope all of you will join the party on Tuesday.