Then & Now: Bullying

Bullying seems to have advanced at an alarming rate over the last couple of decades. In fact, I don’t remember any bullying during my school years. I am not saying that bullying did not exist, just that it was different and we often didn’t hear about it unless we were part of the situation. Bullying was more clear-cut, school yard antics that quickly ended when the school bell rang.  I often saw the same kids that were fighting, running around laughing like friends the very next day.

Of course, bullying is different across the world, from school to school and never has the same effect or result to anyone that has been the victim of bullying.  Today, bullying doesn’t just happen in the school yard. It follows you around on social media and it seems that the victim of bullying just can’t escape the torture.

My first experience with bullying was heartbreaking and tore my heart into pieces as I watched my daughter struggle with a group of her peers that decided that she was the perfect target.  They didn’t target her at school, instead they attacked her on social media and blasted her publicly.

I was often the first person to see their attacks on social media, as I am that parent who has access to their teens social media accounts. I monitor very closely what my daughter posts and also what her friends reply back to her. I was horrified at most of the things that they discussed in their circle of friends.  I think if a lot more parents monitored social media, there may be less of it happening right in front of us.

These kids bullied my daughter over a period of several months and pushing her into the dark and farther from herself. She was no longer the sweet loving, talkative and friendly child she once was. She changed, she internalized the words that the bullies used against her and she started to believe it. These words cut deep and fueled her anxiety and pushed her to her limits while she fought against her toughest bully, herself.

Bullying has become increasingly more popular in recent years as a method to gain attention and influence popularity within their own social crowds. The media replays shocking videos depicting extreme violence and/or harassment against individual where bystanders look and too often encourage it. We all see these videos on social media being shared dozens and dozens of times and going viral.  Every time you watch or share one of these videos it enforces the bully’s strength and gratifies their behaviors.

We all need to take a stand against bullying and stop being by-standers. As parents, we need to teach our kids the dangers of bullying and ensure that we raise them to respect one another. As a community we need to band together and help those being bullied, stop being afraid and stop watching the bullying as it happens in front of us.

We need to stand tall and use our voices and talk about bullying,

bully

 

50 thoughts on “Then & Now: Bullying

  1. Thank you for sharing! Cyber bullying is terrifying. My daughter is only 18 months old, I hope by the time she’s using technology (hopefully not for a long time! Lol), things have improved drastically!

    1. Madison: thank you for reading this article. It means a lot to me. I can only pray that in the future we are all much kinder to one another.

  2. Fighting against bullies and bullying is a battle that we have yet to win. We have to keep trying though. It all starts at home after all. It can affect a child in so many ways and if we fail to do something about it, it can change the way they see themselves and life in general.

    1. Amanda: You absolutely hit the nail on the head. Prevention starts with teaching and we have to start teaching our kids that bullying is not acceptable. We need to stand up and talk about this very real problem that we are faced with. Bullying has such long term effects on so many people.

    1. I struggled with the idea of sharing it, but it’s too important not to share it. I want others to hear our stories and to fight back. Bullying is not ok.

  3. It’s so great that you are using your platform as a Blogger to speak up about bullying. It really has changed since we were kids and I think its time this generation knows that it can’t be tolerated.

    1. Thank you for reading this article. It was so close and dear to my heart. I will use any platform available to speak up about the things that I believe in. Bullying is hard, and I want people to know that they are not alone.

    1. It hurts so many and affects are still so unknown and long term. It saddens me so much that some people feel they have no options and either turn to self harm or suicide. This is not okay and I will continue to speak out about this topic.

  4. I wish we could get social media more involved in shutting down the sites of people who are bullying. Surely they could monitor reports of bullying. They are part of the problem, too, in my opinion.

    1. The problem is that people need to use their voice and report bullying as it happens. Too often people stand by and watch it happen instead of standing up to it.

  5. Wish more people were brave enough to be upstanders. And it only takes a few to really shut that down… but it takes a brave one to stand up to bullies.

    1. That happened to my daughter, it was a group of people she called her friends. I hope you were able to make it through the tough times to become a much stronger person.

  6. I’m so very sorry to hear this, I hope everything turn for the better. I don’t get why bullying exists I really don’t. We really need to push against the fold to end the cycle.

  7. Dealing with bullying is so hard because there really is only so much you can do as the parent. I hope everything turns out OK and your daughter is strong enough to realize that hurtful comments do not define who she is!! Social media has truly enabled a whole other type of insensitive bullying.

    1. Alyssa, thank you for reading this article and for your kind words. I agree that social media has brought on a new type of bullying that we as society haven’t completely figured out yet.

  8. Parental involvement would solve MOST of the issues we have these days with kids. As a former educator, I can tell which parents are involved fully and which are not at all or not enough. There is so much more to worry about and monitor now days as parents, but it HAS to be done!

    1. I agree with you 100%. As parents, there are so many things going on in society that children are being exposed to from much earlier ages. I do place a big part on social media. It’s a parents responsibility to educate our children and to be involved in their lives. IF we are not aware of the dangers, we can’t protect our children and teach them how to cope and protect themselves.

    1. It’s unfortunate that bullying can happen anywhere at any time and to anyone. All we can do is raise awareness and do our part in preventing it and educating our children.

    1. Thank you so much for reading. The more we talk about the devastating effects of bullying I am hopeful we can help change the way people think about it.

  9. I am so sorry your daughter had to go through this! All parents should be monitoring social media. That is one of the things I am most afraid of with my baby growing up!

    1. The best advice that I can give you is to talk to your child and encourage communication, even the hard topics have to be talked about.

  10. I totally fear this for my daughter when she gets older. It just sucks! I’m so sorry to read about your daughter, and I hope she is OK. Sending love to your family! Brighter days to come!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind wishes. Bullying hurts everyone, but with awareness we can hopefully help others to see that they can make it through it.

  11. Good read. My mom said that when she was growing up, there was bullying, but it wasn’t as such a cruel form as social media. I agree that parents need to be aware of what their children are doing. Teaching and modeling respect for others and kindness would do a lot. I’m sorry your daughter is going through this. Just keep talking. The words need to be heard.

    1. Thank you so much. I think social media has been a platform for bullying and it just continues to get worse over time.

  12. It is so crazy how far bullying can go these days. And it’s sad that a lot of children don’t understand the repercussions of their actions. I used to work as a counsellor at a high school and grade school and some of the bullying stories were so heart breaking. The school ended up hiring a team of people to come and do a school wide presentation. It seemed to stop things temporarily. I’m so sorry your daughter has had to go through this. Most states have extremely strict laws in regards to bullying via social media. I read that some of the comments they’re saying is encouraging suicide. That’s enough to go to the police over. They could face potential jail time. Teens have committed suicide due to bullying and the people who bullied them were sent to prison. So sad people need to be mean to make themselves feel better.

    1. Your right, these kids take things to new extremes, they can be so cruel without thinking of the long term effects. It’s so sad to think that these bullies often grow up and change into decent humans but the effects of their bullying last for a lifetime on the victims.

  13. Bullying has taken on a more dangerous theme. These kids are out to hurt and humiliate sometimes driving a kid to commit sucide

    1. Kids are so much crueler. My daughters bullies would text her and make comments that she should kill herself.

  14. I am so sorry about your daughter being bullied. I think you are right, if more parents truly watched over what their kids were doing there would be less bullying on social media. I hope your daughter is able to overcome the unkindness of others.

  15. thank you for putting these words down on a blog and sharing them. I hope this message spreads because this, “She changed, she internalized the words that the bullies used against her and she started to believe it.” is NEVER ok.

    1. Thank you so much for reading my blog. It’s been a tough situation for us but we are trying to make a positive outcome by spreading awareness.

  16. You are right we need to keep talking and creating awareness. We need to be the voice for those who feel like they can’t use their own and if we see it we need to speak up otherwise we are no better than the bully. No one should have to suffer in silence alone. I’m so sorry for your daughter and sadder this group of peers have not been raised to treat all people with respect.

    1. Thank you for your comment, and for reading my post. I’m a firm believer that spreading the word and being aware can help tremendously at times.

  17. Wow that is so sad! I hope your daughter is doing okay! Social Media has desensitized our youth in my opinion as well. At least your daughter has you, I know lots of kids struggle with bullying all by themselves and that makes it so much more dangerous as well! Great read, bullying should not be tolerated!

    1. Thank you Brianna. Bullying is heartbreaking and so detrimental to our youth and to our communities. The effects that is has can destroy lives and entire families.

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