Kids will be kids, Kids can be mean, ruthless, horrifying, [insert any word that associates with anything less than pleasant] to one another. How many times have we heard variations of these statements, or have stated them ourselves?
Phrases such as these are instinctively said when one hears of a bullying episode on the news, on the radio, or through a conversation with another. It has become easy to nonchalantly accept these words as the truth, and move on to the next part of our day.
This is fine, except it isn’t.
There are hurt individuals everywhere, the bullied and the bully
The effects of childhood bullying are far more pervasive than one may imagine. Many times, individuals carry the demoralizing words and actions with them for many years to come. The bully also has pains and aches that are gone unnoticed because there is usually less empathy given to the “mean one”.
Ultimately, there are hurt individuals everywhere, moving along one day at a time, while some hear “Kids are mean; don’t worry, just ignore them” or “toughen up, you’re too sensitive”. By communicating with a kid that the reason they are hurt is because of their own inability to withstand bullies, is saying that bullies are what they are: YOU are the one that needs to adjust. It’s just not as simple as this, and this type of thinking will certainly not help.
Let’s walk the walk …
Ironically, society also accepts another common understanding: the extent to which children mimic those around them, and learn as a consequence of their observations. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
At some point, rather than just repeating tired words pertaining to how wretched children can be, perhaps, we can reflect on our own behaviour when being in the vicinity of an impressionable young being. Maybe, if we do our part and can be conscious of our potential impact, we can create a world that is a tad more peaceful for the young ones, who they interact with, and of course, ourselves.
Let’s talk the talk …
Every so often, conversations with children should take place regarding the merit of caring for others, inhibiting the outward display of negativity, and looking for sources of happiness that do not result from hurting anyone else — regardless if a child is labeled a bully or the bullied. Point is, this is how all people should strive to be, and a little reminder can go far.
“To This Day”… for the bullied and beautiful
Below is a TED Talk, given by Shane Koyczan in the form of a spoken-word poem,
“Sticks and Stones …. as if broken bones hurt more than the names we got called”
Post by Isha Sharma