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  • Imani White

Dear Parents...Bullying

Dear Parents,

Friends, Family, siblings, leaders, and anyone close to our sweet girls. We know how precious they are, we know how unique they are, we know how important they are. Yet somehow-

*160,000 children miss school out of FEAR of bullying at school...

....every day.

*83% of girls and 79% of boys report experiencing harassment

*Meanwhile, 64% of children who are bullied-never report it.

*All the while, it has been recorded that bullying stops 57% of the time when someone intervenes. And it only takes 10 seconds for it to stop.

It's hard to put a name to it, because when you're actually in it, you deny that that's what it really is. When you grow up or are looking at it from the outside, bullying sounds like such-a word. And that's it. It's just a word that people keep talking about.

Contrary to what some people have said, I do believe that adults should watch some recently added movies, videos, and tv shows that discuss characters who have been bullied-and watch them to the end. Including the interviews with the directors and cast members. (shows such as cyber bully, pretty little liars(early seasons), and yes-13 Reasons Why. Just. the adults, no one under 21, especially without parental supervision.)The reason why, is because they demonstrate how bullying does not start out strong, it starts out small and builds over time.

Within the interviews, the cast members and directors explain how time and time again "bullying" is glossed over, forcing people to think about "what should happen," instead of "what usually happens." The sad reality is that bullying has evolved, when it can be so easily resolved. Disagreements can be had as long as they are in a respectful way, unfortunately that is not what has been happening.

Bullying has gone from "rudeness" to "harassment".

It's inescapable, traumatizing, and in some cases deadly. The truth is, they may be too afraid to tell us. Afraid of what you'll say, afraid they'll be judged for not defending themselves sooner, or even afraid that we may not be able to help them get out of it.

We need to keep two things in mind-

1) We can not let them speak in this way to each other

2)We can not let them speak this way to themselves

Bullying begins to grow in the soil of "self-doubt" rather than "self-confidence". We need to teach them how to love themselves, so hurtful things to not stick. We need to teach them how to mentally defend themselves.

This week I spoke to a girl full of life. Excited, she added me to a group chat. I went back to check and in a matter of minutes she had been ripped apart verbally. As it ended, I immediately texted her to check in on her. All she said was,

"It's okay. I'm fine."

And just like that, the bright girl was dimmed with walls already up.(yes I had her parents involved and the girl is now truly alright.)

But some others are not okay. So let's give them a real chance. They want to talk to us, the signs are all there if we look for them. And I hope you are not mad at me, but we all needed to come together. Someone had to speak for them, and I figured we could all be apart of the conversation.