What are we teaching our kids when we don’t practice what we preach about bullying?
As we sit in frustration and horror about the bullying epidemic, we continue to look around for someone to blame. We point fingers at everyone and refuse to acknowledge that we all play a part in the bullying situation.
Our generation has started a bullying trend that is now out of control. Let me make this clear, EVERY child is involved in the bullying the situation, including my child. Our children are either the bully, the victim or the spectator. Even if you are sighing with relief that at least your child is not the bully or the victim, the tides turn quickly. Today’s bully can be tomorrow’s victim. While we search for solutions, it’s important that we take a look at how we present ourselves in person and online. It’s unfortunate that people who are hurting have to anonymously attack others because they do not have the tools or resources to deal with their pain. However, as adults, when we take a stand against bullying, are we being sincere when we unjustly criticize a celebrity for their appearance?
It seems that yesterday’s “mean girl” has become today’s “mean mom”. Instead of teaching our sons and daughters how to resolve conflicts, we’re getting involved in these conflicts and sometimes even instigating more drama. Some moms need to stop trying to be cool and just take responsibility for their snarky and mean behavior. Unless you plan on raising your child to be a reality tv star, then it’s time for an intervention.
Speaking of reality tv, it seems that almost every fake housewife on these shows engage in some form of bullying. Yet, it seems the bigger the bully, the better the reward (More exposure, endorsements, etc).
When adults post mean and hurtful pictures and comments, they send mixed messages to children. This is why the cycle continues. If we want teens and kids to stop bullying each other, we all have to be mindful of what we say and share online. If we don’t practice what we preach, our kids see us as hypocrites. We just publicly do “what is right” but forget that our kids also see the wrong we do in private.
Despite all the campaigns and prevention methods, we still have a growing bullying issue in our country. It takes more than sharing tweets and posts about bullying. It takes being a model of upstanders instead of bystanders. It takes speaking up about injustice. It takes you teaching your child to not just be a spectator. It takes you being accountable for your behavior and your speech. It takes you raising a critical thinker. It takes you having enough self-esteem to not make other people feel bad, so that you can feel good. It takes you teaching your child to be inclusive, not exclusive. It takes you reminding yourself and your child, that you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.
I’m not perfect nor am I raising perfect kids. I just know that my sons are paying attention to what I say to people in person and online. If I want them to be take a stand against bullying, I have to be willing to set the example for them.
Also check out: How to Stop Your Son From Being a Bystander to Bullying
Originally appeared at Raising Great Men.com