Anti-Bullying Programs Aren’t Working and This is Why
By: Lisa Cavallaro – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
A Better Plan for Kids
We’ve all been in situations where something’s not working and we can’t understand why. We tell ourselves it should work because the plan makes sense and really smart people created the plan. So, we think maybe we’re not doing enough of the plan and that if we do more of the plan, then it’ll finally start working.
This can be an effective strategy even if results are slowly moving in the right direction. But sometimes putting more effort into a plan that isn’t working can actually make things worse. As much as I wish it weren’t so, the United States’ war on bullying is one of those times.
In the last twenty years, all fifty stated have enacted anti-bullying legislation. Schools have invested time and money in anti-bullying programs. Staff and parents continue to be trained on how to recognize bullying and put a stop to the behavior. Students continue to be instructed on proper behavior, what constitutes bullying, and who to go to when they experience it or see it happening.
Aside from teaching kindness and respect, the protocol of anti-bullying programs strikes me as very similar to the approach used in our justice system. A crime is committed. We catch the criminal. We punish the criminal. We attempt to rehabilitate the criminal. Then if the criminal behavior persists, we take away their freedom.
As a citizen, this is undoubtedly the kind of protection I’m thankful for. Knowing we have a system designed to protect us from physically violent behavior is something I appreciate.
But statistics tell us the majority of bullying is not physically violent. The majority of bullying taking place among children in the U.S. can be classified as relational or emotional bullying. Simply stated, the majority of bullying is done with words.
Words. That’s all. Words.
Words mean what we make them mean. Words mean different things to different people. We get to decide what words mean to us. Someone may attempt to insult us, but WE get to decide whether those words will or will not insult us.
This is true power. This is what kids want to learn. We all seem to be in agreement that kids deserve to feel protected. But they don’t want to feel like they need someone to do the job for them. Kids want to know how to protect themselves.
Imagine the possibilities… not to mention the hurt feelings and drama avoided… when we teach kids how to understand a bully’s words differently.
Less law-enforcement. More life skills. This is how we teach kids to protect themselves.
More by Lisa:
Lisa Cavallaro, The Confidence Coach, is an LOA Coach with a solution-focused spin on bullying. She helps parents leverage Law of Attraction to raise kids who are self-confident and have a positive outlook toward peers, school and life. Lisa is the author of No More Drama and ADHD The Natural Way.
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