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?