If I had know then what I know now, maybe my daughter would not have tried to kill herself.
Maybe, if I had spoken to her more about bullying and known how different it really is these days, she wouldn’t have lost basically 2 years of her life. Really, the whole family lost two years as we all learned about bullying, depression and how to recover from a self-esteem pushed so low that the only way up was to die. She’s fine now, and stand up for bullied kids and teaches them to #BeBrave and fight back against bullying, but it was a LONG road. I was an involved parent who knew well the schools, the teachers, the kids that were my kids friends. And yet, I didn’t really know how much bullying had changed since I was a kid. I didn’t realize that cyber-bullying never went away, and even if you turned off the computers, the words were still there, waiting for when you booted up. I didn’t realize the pack mentality and how kids hide behind the perceived anonymity of the Internet. I didn’t know she had been bullied for years and what that cost her. I didn’t know.
I wasn’t prepared for talking to my kids about bullying, and it almost cost me a child. I’ll never forgive myself for that.
I know now what to do and how to help me kids navigate bullying. But it took something unimaginable to get to this knowledge. That’s why I started a petition on Change.org to help the AdCouncil and Tilt.com gain awareness of a fabulous program that helps parents learn how to help talk to their kids about bullying. Be More Than a Bystander includes PSAs and digital tools that encourage parents to “teach your kids how to be more than a bystander” through safe actions that help stop bulling, including: tell a trusted adult such as a family member, teacher or coach; help the person being bullied get away from the situation; be a friend to the person being bullied; set a good example – do not bully others; and don’t give bullying an audience. Statistics show that more than 1 in 4 children a year (13 million) experience some form of bullying at school, on the bus, and elsewhere, making it the most common form of violence young people face in this country. Research shows that bullying is a concern for parents, but not something they proactively discuss with their children until it directly impacts their child. Bystanders can play a pivotal role—in fact, when a third party intervenes, bullying is significantly more likely to end. I know first hand this is true. When Aedan stood up for a kid being bullied, the bullying stopped. Ally told me that if ONE person had stood up for her, than things might have been different. Maybe if I knew more about bullying and how to help my kids, things wouldn’t have gotten so bad. Will you please sign?This program works. Parents can play a pivotal role in helping to end bullying. Research shows that when parents talk to their kids about bullying, their children are more likely to take action to stop bullying. And when bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds, 57% of the time. It also needs funding to help it continue to grow and reach more people. Will you consider making a donation of just $7? That’s for the 7 our of 10 kids that are affected by bullying.
Imagine if this was your son or daughter. Wouldn’t you want to be able to help them? This program can help.
Simply TALKING to you kids works. It does. If we all teach our kids how to deal with bullying, we can help end it.