My kids are super-vigilant about bullies and pretty quick to apply that label to anyone displaying ANY behavior that may be hurtful in any way. Bullies are the enemy and must be stopped at all costs. I have to say I like this. When I was younger, mostly in junior high, I was teased quite a bit but at the time there wasn't a definitive name for it. I just knew that some kids were mean and I wondered if I were really as much of a loser as they said I was.
With all of the focus on stopping bullying today, my kids tend to wonder what’s wrong with the bully to make him act that way, rather than internalizing his words the way I did. Luckily I had loving and supportive parents and siblings who helped me get through it.
I’m certainly not the only one who was bullied as a child. This week President Obama talked about his experiences being bullied and I’m sure you could share your own stories as well. The President praised NEA for the work they're doing to prevent bullying and make schools safe for all children.
NEA launched a campaign last week called Bully Free: It Starts With Me. It focuses on being the One adult in a child’s life who loves her and listens to her and works to make things better for her. Lily Eskelsen has written quite a moving post about it on her blog.
Research shows that having just One adult who cares is often enough to keep a child from taking his own life. If you’re ready to be that One, sign the pledge and get to work.