As we begin preparing for our homeschool year, I started thinking about how, as parents, we strive to help our children. Whether we are working on lesson plans that will give them the best opportunity to learn, all the way to coping with everyday stressors that arise. As parent’s we want nothing but the best for our children. As a former public school family, I knew right away that my younger boys were struggling. Not just in school, but with bullying. I fought their fight. I pulled them from public school because I didn’t want them to be afraid. I wanted them to have the ability to learn in a stress-free environment. I wanted them to know that they are loved and appreciated. That their opinions are just as important as the next persons and to be equally responsible for their actions.
As I sat down this month to meditate on things, a notion popped into my mind. I couldn’t help but wonder… was my help actually hurting them?
Every parent, at one point in time, will ask that question – am I helping them, or hurting them? From my perspective, I didn’t think I was hurting them, because I was removing a threat, i.e., bullying. But in hindsight, I now realize that I may have hurt them. Not because they are home-schooled, but because I have eliminated a chance for them to become more self-assured – more self-motivated. Perhaps even more self-aware. Bullying. One word that can break a spirit. Because I chose to pull my children from public school after numerous issues with a bully, I find this to be the spine of my post. How do we, as parents, deal with this issue and when does helping truly become a negative factor in our children’s lives? I struggled with this topic for many days. I prayed about it. I asked God to guide me. This is what I’ve come to believe.
In all, it is up to us to see to it that our children are armed with the best tools for success – from education to personal protection – and every facet in between. With this comes the notion of emotional intelligence. A fascinating article written by Brackett and Rivers shows some interesting data on bullying and the emotional toll bullying plays on the victim, the perpetrator and the bystander. In fact, according to the authors, “The targets are at a higher risk for depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. The perpetrators experience depression, anxiety, and hostility, and are prone to substance abuse and antisocial behavior. The bystanders often feel hopeless, insecure, and show symptoms of trauma.”
In a 2008 article written by Mishna, the author suggests the role of anti-bullying programs and how it is effectually important to recognize the roles educators play in preventing bullying. Additionally, “…Targeted levels include some combination of peers, the classroom, teachers and administrators, parents, and the whole school.”
One way doctors and educators are working together is by elaborating on the positive reinforcement of friendship promotion. The American Occupational Therapy Association developed an info-graphic which includes various statistics, as well as identifying areas in which victims and their perpetrators may be suffering, including: “…rejection from peers, isolation, family stress, educational issues, work, and lack of interest in leisure activities…”
Now that you’ve read some facts and you’ve heard some opinions, put yourself to work. Go out there, validate your child, arm them with the tools they need to succeed and show them they are more than a victim – they are an emotionally intelligent person capable of handling whatever comes their way – and that is all the help they need!
You can find more information at www.stopbullying.gov.
Until next time,
Welcome! My name is LaVonda. I am the wife of Rodney, the mom of 5 remarkable kids (well, 2 are adults now), an avid homeschooler, blogger, and graduate student. I am blessed with the ability to spend my time sharing our homeschool and life experiences with you. It is my hope to provide you with motivation, ideas, and some candid stress-relief through my blog - Mom's Scribe! Grab a cup of coffee, sit on down, and make yourself at home!