Today I was the guest speaker at a conference about cyberbulllying. Whether it’s cyberbullying or “traditional” bullying, it’s a problem that’s growing. Within the past 24 hours I’ve read two stories about bullying and I’m sure there are hundreds more that didn’t make the news. The first involved a boy who had his arms broken by thugs because he is a cheerleader. Then today I just read about a freshman at Rutgers who killed himself after being taunted online by his roomate who secretly videotaped him.
How do we protect our kids?! I worry every day about my special needs son and how kids in town my taunt him. Even my younger daughter is worried about this. The bottom line? Kids can be cruel beyond belief. They think it’s funny. They make fun of kids that are “different” in some way. For me, it goes back to the parents. What have they learned and heard growing up? Have they learned tolerance for all people?
I recently came in contact with someone who espoused to be “Christian” and was preaching about how people of different religions, ethnicities and sexual orientations were evil. I’m sure his kids are some of the ones who are committing these acts of bullying. So, once these bullies do their dirty work and their victims are pushed to the point of killing themselves, do they feel righteous? Do they understand that they, in fact, are the evil ones.
If we want our kids to behave in a kind and tolerant manner then we’d better start teaching it at home.
Alison Rhodes is the founder of Safety Mom Enterprises and Safety Mom Solutions, the premier baby proofing and child safety company in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. Alison is a family safety expert, TV personality and consultant.