We constantly see campaigns and programs to help combat the epidemic of bullying in our children’s schools and playgrounds. Bullying is a big problem in society and is a serious threat to the mental health of our children. With all the resources and attention that is invested into combating bullying, why do we still see a constant need for help? I think it is important to examine the effects of how children are parented in their earliest years and how it conditions their perception of bullying.
“The reason why parents mistreat their children has less to do with character and temperament than with the fact that they were mistreated themselves and were not permitted to defend themselves.” Alice Miller.
The first five years of a child’s life is the most impressionable and will determine most of their personality and behavioral traits. We blame video games, hardcore music, and even some cartoons for the violent behaviors of our children. Why do we think that all these societal influences are more harmful than spanking your baby or young child?
To condition your baby for the first three years through threats, yelling, screaming, blaming, and punishment will be the biggest indicator of their future self. As a parent if we instill obedience, submission to authority, and reinforce complacency as opposed to encouragement, curiosity, and self worth, we are subconsciously setting the stage for bullying. If we move our focus away from these obvious abuses, we can start to explore aspects of self esteem, patience, negotiation, and reasoning in regards to reducing the effects of bullying in our society.
I really believe all parents try to love their children, but have difficulty providing a truly nurturing and functionally healthy home environment. They never fully healed from their own childhood and continue to pass down their unresolved pain. This to me is the start of how we condition our children to become a bully or be the victim of one. If we speak the language of fear, anger, resentment, and pain to our children from the time they are born, this is the language they will speak to the world. We must learn deal with our children during their most impressionable years with love, kindness, and patience. We need to get out of the mindset that this problem with bullying is external. Children mirror their parents and so we must work on loving ourselves more to help our children.
Being kind and taking the time to teach instead of using force will not make your child weak. It will create connection and a bond that can be used to communicate openly and help to build mutual relationships. To me these children that are raised peacefully will be the key to a future with no bullying.
I would often think that I needed to prepare my children for a harsh and cruel world. Now I tell my children that they have the responsibility to spread love into the world.
If we really want children to stop bullying than we need to stop blaming the children and look at the behavior and actions of the adults who are raising these children!