I recently watched the documentary Bully. It was a very eyeopening film about bullying and the impact on children and their families. I will start by saying I am in no way condoning this awful behavior, or pretending to be an expert on this subject, nor have I had to endure bullying myself; if you or your child is experiencing bullying you should seek help and intervene whenever and wherever possible to ensure the safety and well being of your child.
This being said, while watching this film I couldn’t help but ask myself some questions. Questions like ” Where is the parental responsibility in this? Do these families know Jesus? Are parents giving their children the tools they need both emotionally and spiritually to be able to withstand this horrendous behavior?”
I don’t know these people, their life circumstances, or their walk with God. What I do know is that I serve a God that is bigger than bullying, a God who loves my children more than me, and a God who gives us the tools I need to be an effective parent, and the tools my children need to be successful in life.
We can’t protect our children from everything, but we can teach them that even through these terrible and atrocious circumstances there is a God in heaven, and He is bigger than ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. There has to be parental responsibility behind this behavior.
In my personal experience children behave the way they are raised to behave. And reflect the attitudes of their surroundings.
This begs another question……
Are you a Bully?
Kid’s are not the only ones who bully. Adults bully too, and sadly there are adults who bully their children. This is not Christlike behavior and is unacceptable. If your child is a bully it may be wise to evaluate your own behavior and look into the environments that your child may be saturated in.
” Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)
Here are some ways that you can help your child cope with bullying:
1. Be involved : Don’t allow your relationship with your child to fall silent. Know who their friends are, what they are doing, and when they are doing it. You are their parent not someone else.
2. Teach your child about what God says about their value : Don’t allow other children’s comments and opinions fall on your child’s ears without giving them the tools to fight the attacks of the devil on their self-worth and self- esteem.
3. Pray for them every day: Pray that God protects them, and gives them strength.
4.Raise courageous children: Teach your children how to deal with fear. Give them scripture to repeat when they feel fearful. Here is a starter verse “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:6)
5. Teach your children about healthy relationships: You can do this by modeling healthy relationships in your personal life and having clear and direct boundaries with those around you. Explain to your children that healthy relationships are not purposefully hurtful.
Even the bullying dilemma that we face in this country is not too small of a problem for God. When you feel like you have no where to turn, turn to God. He will give you wisdom, peace, and comfort, and can give it to a child as well.
Again, please seek help if you suspect your child is being bullied.Talk with their teachers, and principals. Take action to ensure your child’s safety.
Your child may experience bullying but they don’t have to be a victim or resort to irreversible measures. Give them a way out, give them God.
Below are some resources available to parents of children who have been bullied or are experiencing bullying: