In order to stop public shaming, we should all be held accountable and be role models to our children, our peers and others. Lead by example and show words of kindness can and do make a world of difference.
Every day, I learn so much about the world through the eyes of my children. My boys are 15 and nine and, like so many kids their age; they are significantly more fluent with technology and social media than I ever will be.
These negative words are words often used by a bully. Many of us are familiar with the character that just constantly tormented us. I realized that this bully character, which I thought I said farewell to after my teen years, never disappeared in my life. And that person was me.
I spoke to the cast at rehearsals last month and marveled as the production evolved before my eyes into a singing, dancing powerhouse punctuated by dialogue that rings true and real.
It is not about simply ignoring it and rising above it. It is about being proactive as well as taking care of yourself.
It's pretty simple. Yet, somehow, we forget. We eat too much, sleep too little, wake up on the wrong side of life, are running late, annoyed by fate ...
Politicians are supposed to be representative of the people they serve. Imagine, for one minute, if someone from every state in America were to stand up and say, enough, it is time for us all to #BeBrave and stand up to bullying.
When Lindin was 11, she was branded a "slut" by her classmates and was bullied at school, after school and online. During all this, she kept a regular diary. Now a Harvard graduate pursuing her Ph.D. in California, Emily started The UnSlut Project by blogging her own middle school diaries.
In a small way, we are co-creators of the Internet every time we log on, send a text or upload a photo. In what might seem to be in an insignificant way, we add to the tone, tenor and nature of the web by our actions, by what we contribute and by what we choose not to respond to.
Instead of succumbing to the fear of not being enough, let them know that they are loved just as they are. The sheer acceptance and support from a parent is more reassuring and motivating than any accomplishment could ever be.
We all know how this script is supposed to go: Gay kid gets teased and bullied. Gay kid feels demeaned and ashamed. Gay kid maybe gets beaten up. Gay kid runs off to lick his wounds and feel horrible about himself. Gay kid feels alone. But not this time. This time the gay kid, my gay kid, fought back. And the bully ran away.
I think about my childhood bullies sometimes. And because I (like most of you) am naturally curious, I accepted all of their Facebook friend requests. Becoming reacquainted with them forces me to wonder about what happens when bullies become teachers.
Every day parents across the country send their children to school to receive the best education possible yet never imagine their children being taunt...
This is about understanding your child. Be compassionately curious about his friendships and he's likely to open up.
It is important to distinguish between rude, mean and bullying so that teachers, school administrators, police, youth workers, parents and kids all know what to pay attention to and when to intervene. As we have heard too often in the news, a child's life may depend on a non-jaded adult's ability to discern between rudeness at the bus stop and life-altering bullying.
In reviewing both of these studies, I found it interesting that more grown-ups (parents) are now using social media and yet some are not heeding the advice about online safety that they should be teaching their children, such as oversharing information online.