Last week, a friend at work shared a tragic event in his family's life. His cousin from Nebraska, a star high school football player, on a full-ride scholarship, I'm told, committed suicide. He had it all. But even guys being recruited to big-time schools can be bullied, apparently. It's been two weeks since he shot himself, leaving behind grieving family, friends, and a confused hometown. A college will be offering a scholarship to someone else, not their first choice. But #8 will never be forgotten. How very sad. It goes to show that bullying knows no boundaries--no amount of talent, or lack of it, no demographic, religion, gender, race, social status or zip code can claim safety. Below is an actual picture of the boy who was somehow targeted and bullied to the point that he felt he had to take his own life.
If bullying knows no boundaries, how can you prepare your child to be a survivor of the inevitable? I personally remember being bullied in all grades. In grade school, there were other groups of girls who would specifically target someone by looks and then try to bully them. It was easy back then. I would just run home. I didn't ride the bus, so I didn't have to put up with craziness there. In Jr. high school, it was just a matter of being accepted by a bigger group of peers than were in elementary school. It was hard to find people at lunchtime who I wanted to be with or, conversely, wanted to be with me. I'm not gonna lie, I spent some lonely times during that period of my life. And in high school, if you let yourself get too far out of your element, you could definitely be prey to an outside group. I found myself alone in the locker room one day, when two girls of different race and background came in. They saw a chance to get even for every wrong ever committed to them in this lifetime, it seemed, and their revenge was heaped upon me. They got me cornered and started throwing shampoo bottles, bars of soap and brushes at me. One hit me in the face. As they approached even closer, I didn't wait to find out what would happen next. I exited through the closest doors I saw and headed out toward the pool with the swimming class. I hung out there for an indefinite period of time. I didn't tell anyone though. I didn't want the attention, I didn't want the hassle and I didn't want to appear weak. But that's where I was wrong. If someone is bullied, they need to tell someone. Preferably someone in authority, but if not, just someone they trust. You may need that person to provide witness or just having some support is invaluable!
One of the most important things is to teach your child anti-bullying behavior. Many bullies have been victims themselves. If children are bullied in the home, they will probably act out of the home. If you suspect you are the parent of a bully, you can start helping them to help others through volunteering and sharing. Teaching them to be tolerant of others who are different is really important. After all, in America, you're always going to get different. But that is what we are supposed to exemplify--tolerance to everyone. In other words:
like to take a break from the regular routine on Sundays. It gives me a
chance to clear my head, re-set priorities and appreciate the many
blessings I've been given. I rest, reflect, and I try to find
ways to inspire me to be a better mom, wife, Christian, and person.
Sundays are my day to take a short sabbatical! If you have a post that
like to share that is a little different from the ordinary weekday post,
feel free to link up here! We'd love to have you! Although I don't
ask anyone to follow anyone else or promote, I'd love it if you'd leave a
comment! I will promote you on at least one of my Social Media
sites. And I'll try and link back to you so you'll know (I usually do
that with Twitter)! That's just
'cause I love you! Of course anyone is more than welcome to check out
the other links and sites! That's what you do on a Sabbatical!