Stop Bullying: How NOT To Raise A Mean Girl

Raising a girl is hard, but it's important to teach her to be kind to other girls. We can stop girl bullying--on bettysbattleground.com

My three-year-old girl came home from daycare with a note.

Ever since our littlest has been old enough to walk and play, Anabelle, older by only a handful of months, has been a terror. Grabbing toys from her little sister for no reason, shoving the baby, shouting at her; in essence: being a bully. The professionals have all told us her behavior is normal. As long as she shows signs of affection too—which she does—and doesn’t do anything excessively violent—which she doesn’t— it’s okay. Still, some ideas have begun to form in my mind about Anabelle. Nothing solid, not yet manifested into words or actions, but a feeling, whispering, in the back of my mind.  Like an aftertaste when I think about her.

 My daughter might be a Mean Girl.

Earlier this week, I published a guest post by author Jasminder about her experiences with childhood and adolescent bullying. It was hard to read about kids calling her dirty and mocking her for having brown skin and dark hair. Harder even to read about how she internalized those experiences, and began to believe them. I know that feeling well; part of the reason I have difficulties with apologizing or taking responsibility sometimes is because (I’ve come to understand) my brother tortured me as a child by calling me a mistake who should never have been born. He treated me like an outcast in my own home. Because of that, I carry a feeling of wrongness in my body; a feeling like my very essence is a complete mistake. It’s hard, feeling that way, to admit to more mistakes on top of it.

The students who hurt Jasminder were kids, but their parents were adults–and those adults should have been more aware of the mentality their kids were adopting. Those parents should have actively included people from other cultures in their lives so their kids understood there was nothing wrong with looking different. Just as my father should have told his son that I was his little girl, not some random mistake clumped up behind the couch. That may not have happened, but those of us who are parents now have the opportunity to help stop bullying. How do we keep cruelty from growing in the hearts of our children?

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Healing Words: How I Recovered From Bullying

Learn how to heal from bullying on bettysbattleground.com

A guest writer series about the ways we heal-on bettysbattleground.comAs Winter break comes to a close and those who are in school return to classes and cliques, I think it’s important to discuss the effects of an insidious phenomenon: bullying. We are raised to believe bullying is an unavoidable part of growing up. Bullies have always existed and always will exist; problem is, that is a self-created reality. We create bullies, and we choose to be bullies. It’s possible to choose otherwise.

In kids’ movies it’s easy to identify the bully as a villain. Afterall, that’s how kids view bullies. As adults, however, we recognize that a bully is a kid in pain; a kid who is probably emulating behavior he sees at home. It’s on us to stop acting racist, xenophobic, homophobic, sexist, petty, and just plain mean. Until we do, the children and teens in our lives will pick up those behaviors and bring them to school with them. This essay by a young woman named Jasminder outlines in painful clarity the lifelong effects bullying can have on a person–but it also demonstrates the resilience and power that survivors can use to heal.

If you know a bully, are a bully, or have ever been bullied, this story is for you.

Learn how to heal from bullying on bettysbattleground.comJasminder is a self-declared philosopher, crafter, college student, and full-time dream-chaser. When not tripping down the rabbit hole, she can be found sipping herbal tea, dancing around her bedroom, and finding new ways to love her life.

 

 

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