These past few weeks we’ve been hearing more about bullying coming up in the news. Bullying hasn’t gone away, in fact, its gotten worse! It’s not just kids bullying kids, but adults, and public figures bullying. How are we supposed to help kids who are bullying when the adults can’t behave themselves and share a good example?
Pastor Elijah Hollis who is working to make his city, Philadelphia a better place. He’s not just working with the kids, but everyone to truley make Philly “The City oF Brotherly Love” I love that he took on bullying and wants to help. Here is what he had to say, and my take on it.
If you are bullied, than you are not alone! There are millions of individuals being bullied everyday! We can’t stop bullying from happening but we can learn how to handle it when it happens.
- It’s not me, it’s you. One thing to keep in mind is that bullying almost never has anything to do with you but actually has everything to do with the pain that the person bullying is feeling on the inside. Remember that hurt people hurt people, so when someone is hurting someone, it usually means that that person has been hurt by someone or something in their life and they feel like the solution is taking it out on someone else. We know this doesn’t help take away the pain, but understanding this truth can help us realize that its almost never about us but actually the person doing to bullying. This is oh, so true, but a youngster isn’t always able to see things this way. It certainly FEEL personal when someone is bullying you! They see the pain of the moment. We, as adults, have to help them see past the meanness to what is causing it, all while helping to stop the bullying.
- Boldness speaks the loudest. Now you have to know that boldness doesn’t mean that you have no fear, but it does mean that you do the hard thing in the middle of having fear. Sometimes a simple statement like “Stop, NOW!” can make the difference. Other times letting the bully know that you are not afraid of getting an adult involved can be helpful as well. Remember that bullying usually keeps up when it is not addressed, and ignoring bullying is the worst thing you could do. Violence is never the answer but standing up IS! So stand up and be heard! I have to say that we need to work on the ADULTS to DO SOMETHING ABOUT BULLYING. So many times kids DO tell adults and nothing is done, or lip service is paid. Yes, every school has a “comprehensive anti-bullying policy” , but they mean NOTHING if they are not enforced. If a child comes to you telling you that they need help, you must take action until it stops. If you tell the teacher and it doesn’t stop, tell the Principal If that doesn’t work, go to the Superintendent then the School Board and the Police. We cannot tell kids that we want to stop bullying if we don’t help them when they reach out to us.
- Teamwork makes the dream work. Getting a team around you that knows whats going on can be one of the most powerful ways to stop bullying! We were meant to do life together so get a few trusted friends and adults who can help you stand up against bullying! Getting adults involved is a quick way to bring resolution to the situation. Having a game plan for when the bullying takes place can help you take care of the situation quickly. Also staying with your crew can help protect against bullying all together. I watched as bullying took away every shard of confidence that my daughter had. It took years to help her regain confidence and sometimes, even today, I see her falter. I also watched as she but together her own “dream team” , even online, to have her back when she felt like she needed a boost. If your kids don’t have a “Dream Team” YOU be it. Be there for your kids when they need you to be.
- Forgiveness stops YOU from becoming a bully. Don’t let what the bully did to you become a hurt that makes you into the person you dislike. If we don’t learn how to forgive one another when we get hurt, we ourselves will be in the same emotional prison that our bully is in. Believe it or not, that hurt will grow into bitterness and that bitterness into action. So take care of your heart as top priority and learn how to forgive those that hurt you! TI’ll be honest, this is what I struggle with the most. I have forgiven the people who have bullied me, but I cannot seem to forgive the people who have bullied my daughter to the point that she wanted to die. She has, and I’m on awe of her for it, but I simple am not there yet. This is something I can continue to work on. I know that forgiveness releases the power that people hold over you.
Bullying is something that is real and happens every day, and even though you can’t stop it from happening, you can learn how to deal with it so that it doesn’t affect you. You are only affected by the things you allow to affect you.