There is so much being written about bullying in the media the past couple of weeks because of a few events that have caught the attention of the national media, and I would just like to weigh in on the commentary. So much of the advice being offered seems to me to be waiting until it is a little late.
PREVENTION is the only rational solution!
Granted, there may be some rare and isolated times when children might be bullied and at those times, the parents and family must take action! However... most of the potential damage of bullying can be PREVENTED!
I firmly believe that the solution to the "bullying epidemic" we seem to be witnessing nationwide is PREVENTION. We must take action before any bulling takes place.
This is a pretty simple concept to understand. It is very undeniable that it is much easier to teach a concept as simple as using "please" and "thank you" at the dinner table, to our own children, if every home that they visit and every child that they spend time with, teaches the same concept. It is kind of like learning language. Our children will speak the language that they are exposed to! If almost every other child that they come in contact with says "please" and "thank you," at the meal table, it is not even a little surprising that it would be pretty easy to teach that same behavior to our own children.
So, if we wish to teach our own children to respect others and to treat others in a dignified and respectful manner (the antithesis of bullying) then we need to create a network of families who teach that same attitude and that same behavior. It is simple to create an attitude of respect and dignity if we parents all, collectively, teach those concepts.
How do we get there?
Pretty simple... we parents must get together and talk with other parents. We must commit to teaching the concepts of respect and dignity in each of our homes. Once we do this it, becomes pretty simple to see that those will be the dominant attitudes and behaviors in our schools.
Not the school's responsibility.
It seems to me to be a real folly to put the responsibility for creating these attitudes and behaviors on the schools... simply because that just is too late! Those attitudes and behaviors should be taught in the homes long before the kids ever get to school. Waiting until the kids are at school to attempt to teach the attitude of respect for others is failure-based. We seem to be waiting for the negative behavior to manifest itself and then we are reacting to the negative behavior rather than taking the initiative and creating an atmosphere of respect and dignity BEFORE there is a problem!
Parenting with Dignity is a course that allows parents to get together for the discussions about what kinds of ideas will be taught in your community. to read how to set up your class please read this: http://parentingwithdignity.com/PWD/video_series/tape10f.htm