1. There are consequences to their actions. We as parents need to start teaching our kids at an early age that there are consequences to bad behavior; to give them the tools they need to think before they act.
2. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. That no matter what you’ve done, there is no reason you can’t recover from it.
I completely and totally agree with Lisa. I feel like in today’s society, kids don’t have consequences. They can to whatever they want with no repercussions. They need to learn that their actions have consequences. It’s up to us parents to teach our kids that. I know with my son, he tests us on a daily basis. We are trying to instill in him the idea of consequences. It’s not always easy, but if we keep at it, he will learn. It’s like with anything we have been teaching him, keep drilling into his head and one day he will make the connection. We as parents need to start parenting again. We need to lead by example. We aren’t doing our kids any favors by not disciplining them and not teaching them that their actions have consequences.
I also agree with Lisa’s second point, that there is nothing you can’t overcome. I think back to being in Junior High and being bullied, and how I felt like that was the “be all and end all” of life. 15-20 yrs later I know differently. I am not the same person that was bullied 15 yrs ago. I have a wonderful life, amazing husband, beautiful son, supportive and caring friends. It’s so hard to see the future when all you see is pain and suffering. How do we teach our kids to see past that? I’m not sure but some ways may be:
- To be honest with our kids and let them know that it will feel like it will never end, but everything always does end. The hurt, pain and bullying will go away.
- Give them support and help.
- Allow them to express how they feel.
- Give them outlets to help them vent.
- Put them into activities that raise their self-confidence.
- Tell them they are loved and worth it.
- Listen to them.
I am by no means a psychologist, this is just me thinking aloud. Amanda’s suicide hit me quite hard, because it reminded me of when I was bullied and how fearful I am that my son will be bullied. I never want my son to feel the way I did. I want to be proactive and prevent it, not only for my son but for all the kids out there.
My bottom line is that we as parents need to start parenting our kids again. We need to be our kids mentors, and give them the guidance they need in order to grow up to be the best adults they can be. Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done and I have stumbled many times since my son has been born, but I am trying to be the best parent I can be. We should all try the same and our kids will thank us for it.
I hope that all these blogs, posts, Facebook messages, tweets, media attention will not be in vain; that we as a society and parents will put an end to bullying.