Today is a very important day, National Stop Bullying Day. I was pretty lucky as a kid. I was strong willed and I never worried about what other people said about me (still don't) and that was a great thing for many reasons. I have always been overweight, I grew really fast when I was young and was almost as tall as my teacher in kindergarten, and we moved around a lot so I was a perpetual new kid, or at least if felt like it. Not to mention, I have always been a huge nerd. I carried around a leather bound edition of the complete works of Shakespeare in junior high and not only read it but understood it and quoted it a lot. I was, and am, a proud dork. All of these things regularly put me in the sights of school bullies.
I was always able to laugh off their attempts to bully me, and being twice as big as most of them helped too, but so many children are not that lucky. Every year we lose more and more children to suicide because of bullying. The numbers are not only increasing but it is effecting a wider range of ages. Younger children are dealing with these issues on a daily basis. Access to social media has made is easier for bullies to anonymously harass others in front of a global audience. The strain on the children today is not only detrimental to their self-image but is also life-threatening.
Bullying doesn't just happen to children, even adults can be targets. The internet makes it very easy for bullies to find victims and relentlessly badger them on a global stage. It should be the focus of every social media user to call out bullies wherever you see them.
Here are some suggestions for children (and even adults) who are dealing with online bullies.
Disclaimer: By continuing to read this blog, y agree that you understand I am not a doctor, psychologist, or a licensed therapist. This in not medical advice. These are suggestions gathered from numerous sites throughout the internet. Should you or a family decide to follow any of these suggestions, by doing so you agree to take full personal responsibility for that decision including whatever outcome may result from your decision. By doing so, you agree to exempt me from any responsibility now or in the future, in perpetuity.
1. Block Them!
The quickest way to deal with an online bully is to block their access to you.
2. Send Them A Private Message
Ask them to tell you what their issue really is with you. Stay calm. Try to reason with them. This will not work with everyone, but surprisingly it has turned out a few times that the hostility was coming from a misunderstanding.
3. Tell Your Parents Or Close Friends
Even if there is nothing they can do to stop the bullying, it always helps to talk to others about what is going on and how it is making you feel. Don't deal with this alone.
4. Talk To The School Guidance Councillor
If the person or persons doing the bullying are from your school, talk to the guidance councillor. They can advise you on school policy and what the school maybe able to do to help you.
5. Always Remember: You Are Worthy!
It might seem like it matters what other people think of you, but it really doesn't. The most important thing will always be what you think of yourself. Know in your heart and soul that you are a great person who is worthy of being treated with love and respect and refuse to accept anything less. You Are Worthy!
6. Ask For Help!
If bullying is causing you to have low self-esteem or to have suicidal thoughts, please tell an adult right away and consider asking to speak with a therapist. If you do not feel comfortable doing that, call an anonymous helpline. Stop Bullying Now Hotline (USA) 1-800-273-8255.
I hope everyone is safe and loved and has a wonderful week. If you know someone who is being bullied, please reach out to them. Let them know you support them and are always there to listen. You just might make a new friend and save a life in the process.
Peace be with you all!
Check out this great year-long ,Anti-Bullying project from the Agnes Stewart Middle School, designed and made by their 8th grade media team. Then go to Agnes Stewart's Wolf Pack Media's YouTube Channel and support the kids by subscribing!