Do you ever wonder if this is worth the effort? In the Northeast, it's the end of the school year. Principals, teachers, counselors...and yes, parents...are exhausted. If you've been working or volunteering your time to help kids learn how to treat each other better...or to help those who have already been the target, rest for a bit. And then, KEEP GOING.
I applaud you for taking this on. The other day, I was thinking "Why do I do this?" I'd be happier renting kayaks or something equally simple and carefree. Bullying prevention is one complicated discouraging difficult task.
But then I came home and saw this article in U.S. News and World Report about the long term effects of bullying. It didn't surprise me because people in their 60's, 70's and even 80's talk to me about their childhood bullying experiences. (Believe it or not, the ones who were the bully feel as bad as the targets.)
I have to agree with Dr. Strayhorn in the U.S. News article:
Being the target of a bully involves real suffering," Dr. Earlene Strayhorn, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Loyola University, said in a university news release. "The constant stress of physical assaults, threats, coercion and intimidation can take a heavy toll on a child's psyche over time. The abuse may end at some point but the psychological, developmental, social and emotional damage can linger for years, if not a lifetime.
So take a dip in the pool, enjoy the sun, eat guacamole and tortilla chips and get your energy back. Kids need you.