Bullycide: To Whom It Concerns
by Normandy D. Piccolo
I need to tell you
I’m feeling sad
You need to listen
For I need to speak
Things suck at school
My outlook on life has turned bleak
I’m being bullied, picked on, teased
No matter what I try, my enemies are never pleased
I need your help, I need the bullying to end
I tried to handle it, but, by myself, I can no longer defend
The hatred, the lies, the rumors, the pain
At school or at home, I feel it will always remain
I need your strength, your guidance, your support and your love
I do not need more judgement, anger, disappointments or shoves
I’ll say it again,
What I need right now from you, my parents, is your strength,
your guidance, your support and your love.
Please be my parents
Don’t be my friends
Help me, please help me
Bring this bullying to an end
I love you.
I HAD NO IDEA...
Time and again the phrase, “I had no idea”, is uttered by parents of children who commit Bullycide.
They had no idea their child was being bullied. They had no idea their child was in so much pain. They had no idea their child was contemplating committing suicide. They had no idea...They had no idea...Sadly, they had no idea.
Because our society has become so busy and quite frankly, self-serving, it is easy to overlook those silent cries for help often uttered by our own hurting children.
The world of today moves at a rapid pace. The phrase, “Johnny on the spot. Go! Go! Go!”, often comes to mind. Our society is constantly on the go whether it’s going to work, going to school, participating in after school activities or going out to some event. There is no more rest for the weary and we no longer have time to smell the roses, let alone water them.
We are so busy, in fact, we don't even have time to sit down as a family and discuss what is going on in each other's lives while enjoying a home cooked meal. Let me just say, listening to your kid smack his/her lips on a Happy Meal and ramble on about a game score while sitting in the backseat as you drive him/her over to the next event does not make for a real in depth conversation nor does it help you recognize a potential problem in your child’s life, such as bullying.
I can remember as a kid, growing up, my parents, sister and I would sit down at the dinner table and talk about our day. My parents always took the time to talk to us no matter what was going on in their lives. I can remember approaching my dad in his workshop and he would stop what he was doing, pull out a stool and say, “Have a seat kid. Tell me what’s going on.”
My parents were never nosey. They were parents. Parents who were in tune enough with their kids to know right away when something was wrong, even if they had to sometimes drag it out of us.
Because my parents laid out a foundation of communication when we were young, it helped my sister and I feel comfortable enough to come and talk to either one of them about anything, especially when we entered those tough teen years. It especially enabled me to reach out to them when I was being bullied and I felt suicidal and overwhelmed.
A lot of parents make the mistake of trying to become their child’s friend, rather than be an actual parent. I’m not saying that you cannot or should not be friends with your child. I think you should, once your child becomes an adult.
Children need guidance, boundaries, love and protection. They need these things from their parents. Their parents! Not their friend(s) acting as if they are their parent(s). They also need to spend time with their parents. Real time in order to form a bond of trust...thus leaving the door open to come and talk about anything that may be wrong in their lives.
I know it is natural for teens to rebel against their parents, but I also know teens are capable of coming to their parents, if they know their parents will be there with a hand stretched forth to help lift them up when they are down.
As a parent, please keep in mind that bullying can make a child feel very helpless, isolated, alone and like no one cares or understands what they are feeling or going through. Often times a child will keep the bullying he/she is enduring to themselves out of fear of appearing weak, fear of retaliation from the kid who bullied them, fear of rejection by their peers, fear their parents or other adults may judge them or punish them for being weak.
Take the time to talk to your kid(s). Take the time to really get to know your kid(s). Be a parent, not a friend.
Signs a Child is Being Bullied
Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics or jewelry
Feeling sick or taking illness
Changes in habit...skipping meals or binge eating
Frequent nightmares or difficulty sleeping
Not wanting to go to school, declining grades or
loss of interest in schoolwork
Avoiding social activities or sudden loss of friends
Decreased self esteem or feelings of helplessness
Self-destructive behavior like running away from home,
harming themselves or talking about suicide
Signs a Child is Bullying Others
Getting into physical or verbal fights
Have friends who bully others
Shows signs of increasingly aggressive behavior
Is sent to detention or the principal’s office frequently
New belongings or money that can’t be explained
Blames others for their problems
Refuses to accept responsibility for their actions
Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity.