Will Being Mindful Stop The Bullying?

children-thinkingID-100157134

As I’m doing some reading this morning I came across this tragic story about another teen committing suicide over being cyberbullied.

The government is putting money towards anti-bullying campaigns. It makes me question how much this will really help?  We have had speakers come to our schools, kids have worn pink shirts and chanted stop bullying.  Kids then go out on the playground are mean to one another.  They can talk the talk but can they walk the walk?  Then there are those who overuse the term bully.  Someone doesn’t want to play with them and that makes the other child a bully.   In elementary schools, we are constantly talking to kids about bullying and treating people how you want to be treated.  We sing the song and read the book “Don’t Laugh At Me”.  Older students come in and talk with the younger students about bullying.  So what is the problem?  These kids are being told how not to be a bully (what to think) but are they learning how to think?  Bullying seems to still be an issue and has been for years,  it is now taking on a new form through social media called cyberbullying.  Yes, it may be worse since people often say things on a computer that they wouldn’t necessarily say to someones face.  The question is what needs to happen to help our children/students?

Do we need to start teaching kids about mindfulness?  Should we be focusing  on children’s mental health (wellness strategies) and how to deal with stressful situations.  We may not have control over what someone else says or does but we do have control over how we react.  Perhaps we need to have more supports in place in our schools to support children’s mental wellness.  Workshops to help parents and children communicate?  Mindfulness is a fascinating topic and one that I think should be explored further by parents, educators, and our government.  Does teaching children how to be mindful also teach them empathy?

I have found an interesting article and website about the topic of being mindful if you would like to explore this topic further!

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Will Being Mindful Stop The Bullying?

  1. Shannon,
    I too have spent a lot of time wondering how we, as educators, as society, can make a change. We spend a great deal of money on this issue only to have more heart-breaking stories of suicide appear on the news.
    I like the idea of focusing on mindfulness – it seems like a great strategy to start practicing and is similar to the idea of writing in a gratitude journal.

    Our school division had a workshop around “Filling your Bucket” that provided so many wonderful, practical ways to bring mindfulness and gratitude into the classroom.
    http://bucketfillers101.com/

  2. Great thoughts Shannon! I wonder if bullying is worse and leading to more suicides or if our society is now more mindful about tragic events such as these. I also wonder if social media now exposes children to more bullying than ever before. 10 years ago students could get bullied at school then that might be it. Now there are text messages, facebook comments, twitter posts, etc that can reverberate through a child’s life. There are many more ways to be a bully than in the past.

  3. Thanks for your comments Jade and Joe. I also use “Fill You Bucket” books and activities in the classroom. Teaching kids to be mindful is ongoing and something that perhaps gets put on the back burner with all of the other demands such as math, language arts and testing. We are pushing kids to be more academic and less empathetic. Curriculum isn’t keeping up with the changes and the needs of the children.

  4. Definitely, teaching mindfulness practices can only help! And not just the kids, the teachers, too! I find that my brain is so set to multi-tasking (especially in regard to technology…the dozen tabs open on my browser are proof!) and I need to use these practices (for me, it’s prayer and medication) to stay focused, present and intentional. Thanks, Shannon! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s