Hey You! Yeah, You! You may be unaware of this, but October is National Bullying Awareness Month. And we’re going to talk about it while I spend your lunch money.
The idea of bullying is nothing new. But the level of awareness and consciousness surrounding it has grown exponentially in the past decade.
We’ve seen stories of kids that have committed suicide over online bullying, seeking revenge on classmates that have bullied them, or worse, stepped up their own bullying to include extreme violence.
Here’s what I find most interesting about this type of behavior, and I learned it by watching our four-year-old.
She can spot bullying, realize that its wrong and even stick up for other kids that are being taken advantage of. In her Daddy’s eyes, this makes her a little superhero.
From a more objective view, it tells me something else. She knows better.
It’s not anything that we sat down and went over with her. So, it’s not something she learned in pre-school, Sunday School or from the shows that she watches.
It’s something deeper, but still very simple. She knows what’s right and what’s wrong. More importantly, she recognizes suffering and is compelled to help stop the suffering of others.
Bullying is Complicated
Nobody in her classroom is shaking down kids for lunch money. But they do get carried away sometimes when it comes time to share, lead a line, play games or just take turns.
She’s not the only one to spot these things and react either. For the most part, young children tend to be more in tune with things that don’t seem right.
I’m not suggesting that there’s something wrong with kids that get carried away when playing or even those that purposely bully.
I’m suggesting that for the most part, before the action is taken they are aware that it is right and it is wrong.
And even if they do make a move that others see as bullying, chances are that they knew it was wrong before anyone else noticed them doing it.
Cultivating Response and Teaching Positive Reinforcement
We have cultivated her responses upon noticing them. We’ve used positive reinforcement and also had family discussions after witnessing her stand up for her friends.
Netflix has provided some curated content to get conversations started.
I previewed Justice League and Avengers, (as mice for me as for Charlie) and while a lot of it might go over the head of a four-year-old, the message is clear. There’s right and there’s wrong, and it’s better to do good than bad.
Also Read: This Article
Here are some other suggestions to spark conversations in your own house.
In the interest of full disclosure, Netflix has provided our family with products and services in exchange for participation in their #StreamTeam program. The content, while suggested by Netflix, is honest and transparent, just as everything you read here.
Have you had a bullying experience with your kids yet?