A Note From The Santa Monica Family Therapist
If there are 13 million kids who are hurt by bullying every year… who’s doing it? – Sandra
What happened to make kids who purposely hurt others so cruel? How do we address the root causes? Did you know that kids with a diagnosis of depression were three times more likely to bully?
In our society, shame – making someone feel bad about themselves – is also a very acceptable parenting tool to control kids. Comparisons with siblings or other kids, mocking age and ability, making kids feel stupid or inferior… many children hear shaming and humiliating messages all day long. Doesn’t that sound similar to what some students endure at the hands of bullies?
Facial expressions, body language, tone and volume of voice, threatening violence, withholding affection, rejecting behavior, demeaning words, and physical punishment can impact a child’s self-esteem and teach them how to behave in an aggressive manner.
To really address bullying, we need to fundamentally change the way we see children, and begin to truly treat them with the respect that all people deserve. Good character traits, like empathy and respect, are skills that need to be learned at home. We have to teach our kids how we expect them to treat others – as well as show them how we expect them to treat others.
Bullying others is a choice. Compassion, kindness, respect, and any other moral characteristic are learned behaviors. There are many people who have chosen to practice nonviolent behavior. Help your teen learn to make kinder choices.
If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.
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