Breaking the bullying cycle: It begins at home.

Breaking the bullying cycle can only begin at home. It is our responsibility to examine ourselves, our home environment, our own behavior and that of others our children are exposed to.

Most parents of bullies are probably not even aware of how their child behaves amongst other children. That is because it is not safe for them to vent at home in a healthy way.

This article by Rebecca F Pittman comes from the knowledge and common sense of a regular Mom, and I can’t help but agree with her conclusions.


Breaking the bullying cycle.

Breaking the bullying cycle: It begins at home.

There is an old saying that says “We can’t give away what we don’t have inside.” If all a person gives away is anger, hate, and frustration, it is a pretty good indicator that is all he or she is feeling inside.

Where are these feelings coming from in children so young as elementary school age?

What of our teenagers that are resorting to violence in order to be “heard”?

I am not a psychologist. I have raised four sons and one of them is a certified psychologist who works with people with addictions. We have often talked about the bullying epidemic and agree it comes from one place: a feeling of low self-worth and fear.

If a child is surrounded at home by parents, authority figures or siblings who are constantly pointing out where he/she has failed, or that he/she are not in some way measuring up, that child will build up feelings of pain that will finally find an outlet.

Very often it is not “safe” for the child to vent his/her frustration at home for fear of punishment, so they go out into the world with a heart filled with resentment and explosive emotions coming from feelings of inadequacy and pain. That ticking time bomb often detonates with tragic consequences.

Some environments in which these children are raised may be sending out signals the parents don’t even realize are undermining the child’s sense of security and safety. Alcohol and drug abuse, unstable living conditions where money is often a source of contention, or the family moves frequently, absent parents who are always at work or away, fighting among the parents or siblings… it all adds up to a sense that the world is not a friendly place to be in. When children from these environments see their peers enjoying abundance, popularity and happiness, it can trigger all the underlying feelings of pain and fear. “Life is not fair. I am hurting. I need to hurt someone else to feel better.”

During the years I raised four sons, my home was filled with their friends. I saw first-hand, young people who were struggling. There were young teens who went home to parents with mental instabilities, no food in the refrigerator, an empty house, and worse. I know of one young woman who was being physically abused.

Another of my son’s friends was a fantastic young man who was dealing secretly with drug abuse issues at home. His mother would lock him out of the house after school if she had male company over. He actually showed up at our home barefoot in two feet of snow asking if he could have a sandwich because he was locked out.

We are giving our young people too much credit for dealing with situations that would bury most adults. This is a time in their lives when they need to feel the world is not against them, but for them. That home is a sanctuary from the peer pressure and uncertainty of a changing environment.

They have left the safety of the four walls that once offered familiar (albeit often challenging surroundings) and are now out in the world where teachers, other children, and high expectations are now their new reality. If they are going into those uncharted areas with battered souls from a home life that is anything but supportive and safe, is it any wonder they will take out their fear and pain on the nearest target?

It is my belief that we, as parents or caregivers, are these young people’s only hope for feelings of high self-esteem and self-worth. Let’s fill them up with appreciation, support and love so that the only thing they have to “give away” is confidence, encouragement, support and friendship.

Expert Author Rebecca F PittmanRebecca F. Pittman is a published author, motivational speaker, TV Talk Show Host and proud Mom. She is an advocate for encouraging creativity and confidence in children. Her latest book is a children's novel called T.J. Finnel and the Well of Ghosts where the lead character, T.J., has to deal with bullying and issues with his father, not to mention ghosts and portals. Her website contains her published works that examine the paranormal. Her website is designed to help women find happiness and abundance.
Article Source. Photo credit: Lisa monster via photopin cc.

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