Every year, 3.2 million children below the age of 18 become victims of bullying and one out of four children is likely to become a bully. These statistics portray the disturbing reality of bullying as a part of our society. Children who are bullied go through emotional and physical abuse, which sometimes leads to life-long trauma; loneliness, unhappiness and a regular feeling of being unsafe.
What is bullying?
Any form of aggressive use of superior strength or influence to intimidate someone, typically to force them to do something.
Bullying is a social vice and a prevalent problem, globally. It usually involves three parties: the victim, the perpetrator, and the bystander, and as parents, it is important that you find out which party your child belongs to.
As a parent, for you to join in the fight against bullying, you need to be aware if your child is a bully, is being bullied or just a bystander. After which you can educate the child about the dangers of bullying. Your child needs to know that bullying is unacceptable and punishable by law, irrespective of the age, sex, race or persons involved.
Most importantly, encourage your child to take the pledge against bullying. This is your way of joining other parents in the fight against bullying as well as instilling a sense of responsibility in your child.
Get your child to recite the Anti-bully Pledge:
- I believe everyone deserves to feel safe at school, or anywhere they find themselves.
- To be who they are, to be treated with respect, and to have the chance to shine!
- I make a COMMITMENT to take a stand against bullying.
- I will treat others with RESPECT and KINDNESS.
- I will have the COMPASSION to not be a bully and the COURAGE to not be a bystander.
- It is my RESPONSIBILITY to help others being bullied and to report bullying.
Making your child take this pledge does not just go a long way in ending bullying, it also teaches the child moral duties and responsibilities as well as helps them protect other children around them. You might ask, “how is this my duty if my kids are not getting bullied or are not bullies?”
As mentioned earlier, it is a collective responsibility of parents, teachers and the general public to end bullying. A clearer picture of this responsibility is understanding that if your child is a witness to bullying and does not speak up, he/she is complicit in the crime – in simpler words, he/she is part of the more significant problem as silence can also be translated as validation.
In recent times, bullying has gone beyond physical intimidation to cyber-bullying, where people talk-down to others on the internet via hateful and hurtful comments. If your child is a social media user and you notice that he/she is either a victim, a perpetrator or just a bystander of any form of bullying, you also need to act fast – get them to take the anti-bullying pledge.
Your child can take the anti-bullying pledge HERE and get a certificate for it.
NOTE: Bullying is not a part of growing up or a means to learn important life experiences. Take a pledge to end it, today!