November 7, 2016
Bullying. Why do some people condone it while others actively fight against it?
Statistically, it is a growing problem especially with the advent of cyber bullying. 1 in 5 school children admit to being bullied. That is 6 kids in a class of 30. I do not want that to be my son or your daughter. The process of heading these issues off at the pass requires education and insight for our children.
A few years ago, my family and I attended a school based bullying class to understand the issues and the cures. At a meeting in Davidson, NC, a group called the Foundation for Respect Ability taught us about the feelings and life of a bullying victim. They led a sing a long and education seminar for children and parents. By teaching with audience participation, the children really felt the part of the aggressor and the victim. The music got them in the mood to learn and feel.
Be aware of changes in your child's behavior or physical complaints. If you fear abuse is happening, communicate with your child in a caring and listening fashion. What they need is unconditional love and support. The school should be notified of any issues and action taken. It is not reasonable to let it slide under the rug.
The damaged psyche of the abused child will likely manifest in physical symptoms: headache, stomachache or other nebulous complaints. They will be very interested in missing school to run away from the stress. These children do not need ibuprofen or other medicines. They need love, support and education.
The Foundation for Respect Ability's mission is "To bring awareness and offer strategies to address the growing problem of bullying." Using music to unite and to inspire, along with sound educational approaches, the foundation offers realistic options to parents, children and educators in this area.
The foundation is modeled after Operation Respect, a nonprofit organization founded by Peter Yarrow of the legendary folk group, Peter, Paul and Mary. Operation Respect works to transform schools and organizations focused on youth into more compassionate, safe and respectful environments.