Having been a victim of some serious bullying growing up — I am ultra sensitive to it and work very hard to instill in both my kids how important it is to reach out to kids that are new or different. When I was younger –the schools did close to nothing about it. It was ‘a part of growing up’. I truly believe that it does stop with the Parents. It should never be something Parents are ok with if they find out their kid is not treating others well —
Here are some horrifying statistics. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24, and fourth for children ages 10 to 14. A 2008 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that one-third of high-school students had seriously considered suicide, created a plan or actually tried to take their own life in the 12 months preceding the survey. Furthermore, boys have a higher rate of suicides, yet girls are also more prone to report their own attempts. And gay kids, according to other surveys, are at least twice as likely to make suicide attempts.
These are our sons and daughters — tweens and teens grappling with who they are in the romantic world, so many of whom are bullied at school for being different, so many of whom remain silent about their struggles and pain.
This needs to stop. Both the bullying and the silent shame. Every one of us has the capacity to be the catalyst to end this misery. Take personal responsibility by reaching out to the children around you and making sure they are all safe, no matter who they are.
Start with your own dinner table and ask your child, “Who’s being bullied at school?” Statistics dictate that teenage suicide will touch us all at some point, but those numbers don’t have to stay that way.Talk to your kids and figure out where the bullying is going on, then use the resources below to empower yourself to make a difference.
Teach your child to believe in himself as well as standing up for those around him. And if your child is the bully, end that behavior immediately. Parents, check your own bullying tendencies as well. Answer this question honestly: What am I doing that’s contributing to this situation? Chances are, there’s something you can change in your own behavior and attitudes that will have a major impact on your kids and the world around them.
Don’t wait until another child suicide story hits the front page before making this a priority in your family … because that could be one day too late.