Professionals and parents have generally thought of peer aggression as being significantly worse than sibling aggression. Kids will be kids and brothers and sisters will fight has been the way that we have tended to think. Well, it's time to re-think things.
I would venture to say middle school is the most awkward few years in most of our lives. Now throw cancer into the mix. Cancer is difficult enough without the added pain of being ridiculed by our peers.
Cyberspace is the 2013 version of the playground, and with it comes potential for great danger, as its reach is massively unlimited. Here's what parents can do to safeguard their children.
As punishments get harsher, so too do the debates about what constitutes bullying. The punishment must fit the crime, but what happens when bullying does not seem serious enough to warrant the punishment?
The city council passed an ordinance which could ticket parents and fine them more than $100 if their children are repeatedly bullying others.
It's hard as hell -- for him wanting to fit in, for his parents (and me) wanting to protect him -- but conforming to the ignorant expectations of others sets a scary precedent at such an early age.
During my first year in middle school, I experienced severe bullying. I was called terrible names that were quite hurtful. At that time, I had just realized that I'm gay, and the bullies used the word "gay" as an insult. This made me feel like being gay was horrible.
It only takes one. Just one friend, that is, to reduce a child's chances of being bullied, and, if he is bullied, of developing depression as a result.
We all know how hard it is to refrain from gossip, particularly in moments of anger, pain, frustration or exhaustion. But our Torah reading reminds us that we need to be vigilant in monitoring our own speech and helping others do the same.
The power of one person can affect the many. And if you're doubting it, just turn your attention to Cali Linstrom, the 17-year-old high school student who, this week, addressed Abercrombie & Fitch executives in person in the aftermath of last week's significant protest.
Cali Linstrom, NEDA and I went to A&F HQ to discuss ways that we may be able to work together to speak out about "anti-bullying and discrimination." The executives said they liked some of the suggestions and even though they couldn't revamp their company overnight, they'd let us know which steps they were willing to take.
Kindness and empathy are known antidotes to bullying, but they need to be taught and modeled on a daily basis. Manipulating a negative situation to make certain that your own child experiences the same level of humiliation is bullying. End of story.
This coming Monday May 20th, a HUGE protest was planned outside of the Abercrombie & Fitch headquarters in New Albany, Ohio.
Bullying takes many forms and this is just one of them. By promoting body peace and acceptance, we are promoting an end to one of the worst and sly forms of bullying among us today.
There is no way you can undo the damage that you have done, but you can at least say you're sorry. And send us some free product for which we are happy to give a glowing review if you choose to send it to us.
How can we understand the confluence of factors behind rising crime rates involving our youth, changing sensibilities toward bullying, and violence in our society?