Recently we have all heard about stories where a young person, both male and female, have literally been bullied to death. Sadly, enough people do not have the wisdom and expertise to offer the Bully-proofing help that so many kids desperately need. Losing even one life to bullying has to be absolutely heartbreaking.
Finally, some answers.
Unfortunately, the bullying that I had to endure each and every day seemed like it would never stop. I endured serious bullying throughout my teen years and even in my early forties all the way up until my 60’s. Even though my doctor discovered I had the Tourettes Trifecta, ( Tourettes Syndrome OCD & ADHD ) after I had turned 43, the bullying did not stop because I did not know how to put a stop to it.
A Bully Magnet
The bullies seemed to hone in on me constantly. It made me feel like a target for anyone who wanted to make himself or even herself feel like a bigger person. As a 4th grader a female classmate beat me up because I refused to hit her back. She must have lived an awfully difficult life if she willingly picked a fight with a boy. She really needed some bully-proofing help.
Some help at last.
At the time, I did not realize that I had the power within myself to put a stop to it. But my self-confidence was so poor that I did not follow it up with explosions of temper. If someone tried to tear me down verbally, I would just turn around and walk away from them without even responding to their insults.
Not easy at first, it did get easier over time. I must have gotten my message across because most of them started leaving me alone. When someone just looks right through you, it normally sends a strong message. I would not respond to anything they said or did. I just kept reminding myself of the old saying, “You burn me once, shame on you. You burn me twice, shame on me.”
Some would get the message quicker than others and leave me alone. Eventually they all learned that I would NOT allow them to get under my skin. This method works in a face to face confrontation, but I see no reason why it won’t work over the internet too.
As hard as it might be to do, you have to teach yourself to ignore any email or post that you see from someone who tries to bully you or who has tried to bully you in the past. They cannot bully you if you don’t know what they say. In this day and age of social media, it is so much easier for anyone to be a bully. Cyberbulling can be almost as deadly as using a gun. You do not have to be some overgrown muscle-bound brute; you can be a 90 pound eighth grade girl who has taken it upon herself to ostracize the new girl in school. She may not even know her, but she willingly takes on the role of enforcer because she thinks it will make her more popular.
Not a new idea.
Bullying is not a new idea in the animal world. But it seems like humans derive a perverse sense of enjoyment from it. Maybe I just don’t understand, but I fail to see the enjoyment in pushing someone to the point where they are ready and willing to take their own life just to make the pain stop. Unfortunately I understand this type of pain very well. Maybe that’s why it absolutely angers me to see a child bullying another child.
Sharing the Blame
One last point. You parents who take this “Boys will be boys” attitude share just as much guilt in promoting this type of behavior as the children themselves. If you turn a blind eye to it or take the attitude that as long as it is not my child, then I cannot do anything about it. WRONG!!!!! You can do something about it. Just remember, the next child that gets bullied just might be your own. Like the old adage says, “There is always someone bigger and tougher just around the next corner.” Far too many so-called parents do not take an active role in their child’s upbringing. They just sit back and let the kids raise themselves.
Why do Children Bully?
Even Older siblings
If they have an older brother or sister it might be because they feel insecure. This could be a way for them to feel powerful. They might be looking for a way for them to feel like they have some control over their own lives.
An adult or a coach or a teacher or even a parent might be the perpetrator.
My father particularly showed violence towards me when he would drink which happened almost every day. Sometimes he would have rage attacks which can be a characteristic of Tourettes. About 20% of people with Tourettes syndrome suffer from them. We realized that he had Tourettes after my own diagnosis with it.
A Learned Behavior
Pick his own friends
True, you would not want your child to admire this type of child. But here you teach them to pick their own friends. Letting a friend pick you just asks for trouble. A true friend will not act like a bully to your child or anyone else.
Bullies can have a multitude of reasons for why they pick on other students. They may perceive someone to be as gay or lesbian.
Very rarely did a day go by that someone did not make fun of me because of my tics. They may just see the person as weak physically. The bully might have just been born more aggressive than most other kids. When a child does not have a proclivity for sports and they attend a school with a high tradition for sports excellence, they might get picked on for being a nerd.
I found out much later in life that bullies targeted me because they perceived me as different. Being born with Tourrettes made me really standout.