No one likes a bully. Even if the bully has friends, they are only on his or her side to keep from being another target. Their attitude is, if you can’t beat him, join him.
There are many types of bullies. Some use physical violence to steal from their victims on a daily basis. Others use their words to slander and hurt their victim’s feelings. Some bullies find joy in destroying other people’s property, which gives them a sense of power. These types of bullies have become an increasing danger in our schools, causing sixteen percent of school children to be bullied by their peers each year.
Why does our society have so many bullies? It starts at a young age and generally is learned from behavior observed in the home. Parents who bully their children, usually raise bullies. These are the children who are extremely unhappy living with their families, and lash out at others to release the rage they feel inside. You can be sure that if a child is name calling or using demeaning words, such as useless, failure, loser, or ugly against his or her victims, these are the same words that are being used against the bully by his parents, guardians, or siblings.
The worse thing about these children is that they grow up to be big bullies. They can be seen in many walks of life. They like to take on jobs that allow them to use their violence or aggression to satisfy their rage, such as policemen, security guards, military personnel, politicians, foremen, supervisors, and even teachers. Any position that will allow them power over others is a prime position for an adult bully. Unfortunately, if these bullies with their volatile tempers, possessiveness, and aggressive tendencies are not discovered in time, they can destroy the good reputation of a company, department, or unit where good people are working hard to help others.
The best way to stop bullies is to start at the youngest age possible. The people in the best position to make this happen are the parents who are not the problem, teachers and school officials, child group leaders from organizations such as the scouts or religious youth groups, and any adult in the position of mentoring a youngster. Tampa Bay has a variety of youth organizations to get your children involved in, so even if you work long days, they will have their minds and hands in constructive projects.
Communication is the key. Bullying shouldn’t be wept under the rug in any place in society. Turning a blind eye is equal to condoning the act. Instead, bullying needs to be talked about on all levels of society. It should be discussed in groups, not secretly spoken about behind closed doors in shame. Everyone gets angry, but some people have a harder time controlling that emotion. Helping our young people learn to control their negative emotions is important, and the only way to succeed in doing that is by talking about other ways to funnel these pent up emotions into worthwhile activities. This type of communication doesn’t mean giving a lecture or laying down the law. This means everyone talks and has the opportunity to express their feelings equally, including the bullies and the victims within the same group.
This clears the air for everyone and lets the children know that avenues of communication are open for discussion and they can get the assistance they feel that they need. These discussions also help the adults discover the root cause of the bullying so they can address it in an effective professional manner to be sure the bully can benefit from the group discussions, while putting the victims at ease. By using positive group conversations children can be molded into better students and motivated to become better citizens.
Bullies should not be shunned or left behind. They need every adult’s help to come to grips with their problems and the intense pain they are suffering, so they can overcome their anger and learn to join, instead of oppose the community they live in. It is simply a matter of directing their energy toward worthy projects, instead of leaving them to their own devices.