A parent asked, “What do I do because my teenage daughter is being bullied on line?”
It is a fact we have to deal with. Bullies will bully anywhere. They pick people who they are jealous of and who can be hurt by their words.
It is not true that “sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you.”
Words create a wound that can last a lifetime. I was loving known by my sisters as adopted and called Sliver Lips. Until recently, I was very self-conscious of my lips and never wore lipstick. It was when i recognized siblings say things to hurt each other, but it didn’t make it true. People say all kinds of things out of jealousy or because they are hurting inside.
I love the following experiment to exemplify how destructive words can be:
1. Take a piece of paper. Crumble it up.
2. Now press out the folds created by crumbling it.
3. Hard as we try, those creases can’t be completely removed. They can’t even be ironed out.
Each crease represents hurtful words. Once they come out of a person’s mouth, they are their permanently.
This experiment can help children recognize how important it is to think before they speak.
We can stop the hurt if we recognize what is being said is one person’s opinion. If it is not a kind supportive statement, we can recognize what is behind it and easily stop being the target of their unhappiness or allowing it to affect our own well being.
We can’t protect our children from everyone on line, but we can offer them a method of combating on-line bullying.
Sharon Goldhamer, a superb educator, shared one thing we can say to bullies, “If your words were meant to hurt me, you weren’t successful.” I added to it, “I can’t be concerned with what you think of me. I know who I am and your words don’t affect how I feel about myself. Those who know me, know you are being hateful and they are judging you. Find someone who thinks your opinion matters. I don’t happen to be one of them.”
Side Note: Kind and supportive comments also form creases. I personally want to the be the person who puts kind creases in others’ papers