Saturday, November 3, 2012

bullying....what to do?

As many are aware, a Canadian girl recently committed suicide because of bullying.  While social media is in many ways a positive thing, it also has the potential to perpetuate bullying.  Online/digital bullying has become a huge issue.  But it makes us complacent about the old-fashioned kind of bullying that's always been around.

Physical intimidation.  Exclusion.  Name calling.  Bigotry.  Rumour starting.  Rumour repeating.  Groups of people using their power to hurt others--emotionally or physically.  One person having power over a social group.  "boys will be boys" altercations.  Teasing.  The list goes on.

Bullying is a social issue, and we as a society need to work to end it.  People need to take responsibility for their own behaviour and actions.  Period.  Whether child or adult, everyone bears responsibility for the way in which they treat others.

Ant-bullying Week in Ontario is this month.  In many ways, I understand that by giving bullying its own week, it brings attention to a systemic societal problem.  I also think that it minimizes the severity of the problem--it deserves our attention, not just one week a month.

I question what kind of adult intervention will truly make a difference.  It's clear to me, that what we are doing isn't working.  Obviously.  And what is the definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing and expecting different results.  Aren't we engaging in insanity with the way we deal with bullying?

What is the answer?  I don't know.  I do know that the adults need to help the kids to take responsibility.  Pull our heads out of the sand.  It's happening.  Our children are sometimes guilty of it.  WE are sometimes guilty of it.  I can think of a number of adults who in some way or another abuse their power or social position.  Are our kids just mimicking what they've seen?

If you know of any really good articles/books/websites that would be helpful, let me know.  I want to be a part of the solution.

1 comment:

cargillwitch said...

I think you are on to something Nicole! I see adults using passive agession, exclusion,gossiping and intimitdation daily in both social media and workplace settings.I think this issue is a larger societal problem across the lifespan and not just merely an excelleration in childhood bullying.I don't know the answer either, but my daughter( youngest) has struggled terribly since starting highschool with it. She spends way more time with her family now as a result- I was thankful to her two older sisters who have defended her on line but frightened when she is at school and is alone this year.