Bullying is a major problem in schools today. It’s huge. And now cyber-bullying is on the increase. This past week I listened to the tragic story on the evening news about a teen who committed suicide because of how cyber-bullying devastated them. How awful.
As parents we want to protect our children from every kind of pain. We’ll do anything in our power to shield them from the hurts of life. We’d rather be the one to suffer instead of them. If we could, we’d take their place.
If only we could.
According to a 2009 survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), “almost half of tweens and teens report suffering from stress symptoms related to being bullied — headaches, problems sleeping and eating disorders are a few. Bullying may be the most prevalent form of violence in the schools and likely to affect the greatest number of students.”
It’s not surprising to hear that bullying also leads to abusive behavior for the victim, high levels of frustration, anger, sadness and personal suffering, addictions of all kinds and physical disease. I had no idea it could do so much damage to a person. I’m not alone. Only ten percent of parents are aware their child is being bullied or that this is the cause of their symptoms. That breaks my heart.
If they never get any professional help, reports show individuals can suffer in the following ways into their adult years:
- effective communication
My daughter was a victim of bullying in elementary school. I never knew it. She suffered in silence. Common to most victims of bullies, she believed it wouldn’t do any good to ask for help. She was sure it would only make things worse. Eventually, she suffered many of these symptoms and long-lasting affects.
But don’t despair. There’s hope for anyone who wants it.
If you suspect your child is being bullied or was in the past, seek out the help of a counselor. They may not open up right away, but encourage them to give it a try. It can’t hurt anything. The sooner they get help, the better.
Not sure what else you can do? Here’s an excellent source of information to help stop bullying for both parents and schools.
The BULLY Project is the social action campaign inspired by the award-winning film BULLY. We’ve sparked a national movement to stop bullying that is transforming kids’ lives and changing a culture of bullying into one of empathy and action. The power of our work lies in the participation of individuals like you and the remarkable list of partners we’ve gathered who collectively work to create safe, caring, and respectful schools and communities. Our goal is to reach 10 million kids or more, causing a tipping point that ends bullying in America.
Dear God, please protect those who are being bullied today. Convince them they need to let someone know, that others really do care and that they shouldn’t stay silent. Then give the person they go to courage and determination to get involved. Give them wisdom to know how to help. Equip parents, school personnel and fellow students to defend and come to the aid of those who are being hurt in this way. Amen.