Bullying: A Big Complicated Problem with Many Simple Solutions

If each one of us untangled one string at a time...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It Takes an Online Village to Raise Today's Kids

Sue Scheff, founder of P.U.R.E. (Parent Universal Resource Experts, Inc.) gets a Tangled Ball Award for sharing great parenting information, including a wide range of information on bullying, cyberbullying and teen suicide on her help your teens site and through social media outlets, including her blog. As an author, advocate and particularly, a parent, she is inclusive and works tirelessly to share good information and tools from a variety of sources to as many people as she can reach.

When asked the following questions, she answered:

Why do you think bullying (or peer abuse) is worthy of our time and attention?

The is only one answer for this - children today are our future for tomorrow, we need to raise them to be tolerant of others, considerate to those they may not agree with, kind to people they may not care for and respect people that have a difference of opinions. Life is full of differences and uniqueness, that is what makes our world so wonderful. If children are taught to be bullies or are being bullied, they are being broken down. Whether your child is the bully or the victim, it is imperative that children learn that being mean is not productive and leaves lasting emotional scars that can damage their future. Both the bully and the victim will end up being scarred. It is not healthy and not beneficial to anyone. Teaching our children tolerance is the greatest gift we can give them as well as a necessary one. In answering your question, it is absolutely worthy of both our time and attention.

Are schools solely responsible for bullying prevention?

Absolutely not! As a Parent Advocate, I firmly believe that education is the key to prevention and education can and should start at home. From the time the child is a toddler, positive reinforcement should be part of their parenting skills. Teaching your children while they are young that sharing, being nice and kind, caring about others, teaching empathy and being an example to your children should be your first priority. As a parent, you should take the time to learn as much as you can about bullying and cyberbullying prevention. Visit resourceful websites that offer tips for parents, print out literature and learn as much as you can about bullying prevention - both online and off. Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier children. Schools and educators also play a role in enforcing bullying prevention, but I believe it starts with the parents and ends with the parents. I do believe some schools should be more proactive by encouraging Anti-Bullying Clubs/Groups and employing (volunteers) experts to help them facilitate these programs. Getting the parents involved has a stronger impact on both the students and the teachers. Preventing bullying is everyone's responsibility. There are strength in numbers, and when everyone is on the same page, we have a better chance of having safer schools, neighborhoods and communities.

Thanks, Sue, for taking an active part in the "online village."

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