Over the next few weeks, I’ll be delivering a series of public service announcements to raise awareness about the dangers of bullying. We have seen what bullying can do to our children — the hate, violence and even death. As I’ve often said, this is a real issue that is not going away, and the Dr. Phil team is determined to do everything we can to ensure that kids are protected from those who mercilessly taunt, intimidate and abuse them.
That’s why we’re doing this anti-bullying campaign. Despite all the news media attention surrounding Phoebe Prince’s tragic suicide last month, so many adults still may not realize just how widespread bullying has become. They don’t understand that cyberbullying can be just as painful as getting beaten up behind the gym after school. Many parents, and even teachers, still dismiss bullying with the old line about “kids being kids” — which, in my book, just shows that so many adults can be a quart or two low on empathy.
I can’t stress enough that someone who stands by passively and watches a kid being terrorized is just as bad as the actual bully. If your child is being picked on, don’t tell them to quit whining and go work it out. Don’t tell them to quit tattling and go work it out. Instead, moms and dads, sit down with your child and talk about what’s happening. And if you’re not sure where to start, the following coping strategies can help. Let your child know: Don’t get into a fistfight or retaliate against a bully. Speak confidently when telling a bully not to physically touch you. Don’t believe the insults about you. Write down your feelings.
And, if you have a friend who is being bullied, remember that you are not a snitch if you report it. Talk to a parent, a teacher or an adult whom you trust. Please don’t let your friend suffer in silence. For more coping techniques, you can click on any of the hyperlinks throughout this blog.
There are steps you can take as well to keep your child safe: Get involved at his or her school, and demand tough anti-bullying laws and no-nonsense educators who will go the extra mile to “bully-proof” their schools.
Bullies are nothing more than cowards. We have to answer the call to action. Let’s continue to sound the alarm that bullying is not OK. In the public service announcements, you’ll hear me say, “Our kids are counting on us.” I pray that we all take the message to heart.
This entry was posted on Friday, April 16th, 2010 at 5:57 pm and is filed under Bullying, Featured, In The News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.