I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes over 10 years ago, because of my disease; I have many appointments with my family doctor. I have to say that I truly have the best family doctor around; maybe I’m a little biased.
One day when visiting, my doctor opened the door to my room and said “Can you believe all the kids who have been bullied”? (You see my doctor knew that I spoke on bullying at schools.) First I was shocked because I live in a great city and I feel very safe wherever I go. I asked him how he knew about so many bullying cases. He replied back that every week he gets many children coming into his office with physical or emotional issues. You see the children who become victims/targets of bullying were too scared to speak up to their parents. The reason their parents made an appointment to come to the doctors in the first place was because, either the child was not sleeping well, or they were telling their mom that they weren’t feeling well so they didn’t have to go to school, or had actually become depressed.
After a short talk with the doctor, the child would open up and tell him why they are feeling the way they were. Of course, my doctor did not divulge any private information but just shared the fact that bullying is a serious problem, it is real and it is all around us.
That is why as parents, we need to really pay attention to our children and demonstrate our integrity so that our children trust us that we will protect them and follow through.
Take note of the many YouTube videos that victims are creating are asking us to stop, to listen and to help.
You may wonder why we need to focus on the behavior of bystanders. That is because we may not all be bullies or victims but one thing we all know for sure is that we’re all bystanders at one time or another.
We must understand that since we’re all bystanders, all of us have a role to play; because as bystanders we also are affected by this bullying behavior. When we do not respond as a bystander to bad behavior, it affects other people. However, we must remember that we can also choose to respond correctly and affect other people in a positive way.
Bullying situations usually involve more than the bully and the victim. They also involve bystanders—those who watch bullying happen or hear about it but don’t report it.
The strategy at Reportbullying.com focuses on the powerful role of the bystander. Depending on how bystanders respond, they can either contribute to the problem or be the solution. Bystanders rarely play a completely neutral role, although they may think they do.