A visual for morals
I have some passionate thoughts about bullying. I, like so many creative and different kids, was bullied in high school: We were too smart, too different, too foreign, too alternative, etc. But bullying in my time was so different than it is these days with the advent of social media: Horrible kids, teens, and adults can now anonymously go online to stalk and harass every aspect of a person’s life, all day long. While some parents are ignorant or turn a blind eye to their kids awful treatment of others, this one caring mother put the concept of bullying into a visual analogy that all parents should share with their kids.
Just an Estimate
According to StopBullying.gov 15% of high school students were bullied online in the past year. In one study, about 49% of children in grades 4–12 reported being bullied by other students at school at least once during the past month, whereas 30.8% reported bullying others during that time.
And BullyingStatistics.com says that suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people. And that bully victims are between two to nine times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims. These are frightening stats.
A Role Model Mom
Amy Beth Gardner wanted to teach her daughter a lesson about the importance of people’s words. She knows that words can do permanent damage to sometimes emotions: Something that can destroy their self-confidence, outlook, and even hope.
We’ve all been insulted at one point, whether it’s from family, coworkers, classmates, or even angry strangers on the street. So we you know what an awful feeling it is. It’s a good idea to teach children from a young age that teasing and harrassing has nothing but negative consequences.
A Public Letter
On social media this past August, Amy Beth posted publically a note to her daughter that started out:
“My daughter starts middle school tomorrow. We’ve decorated her locker, bought new uniforms, even surprised her with a new backpack. But tonight just before bed, we did another pre-middle school task that is far more important than the others. I gave her a tube of toothpaste and asked her to squirt it out onto a plate. When she finished, I calmly asked her to put all the toothpaste back in the tube. She began exclaiming things like ‘”But I can’t!’ and ‘It won’t be like it was before!’ I quietly waited for her to finish and then said the following…”