October is National Bullying Prevention Month. It was created in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to help raise awareness about bullying. As a parent, I remember the times my child came home from school and talked about being bullied or seeing someone he knew being bullied. He would try to stand up to them or help the victims. When we try to talk to other people about bullying and its effects, we sometimes are told to get over it or turn the other cheek, but it is not that simple. Bullying means to “seek out to harm or to intimidate or coerce someone who is vulnerable.” A bully uses their strength or power to frighten or make another person uncomfortable. Bystanders see what is going on but do not take part in the bullying or try to stop it.
Here are a couple of books that you can check out at the library about this topic:
“Wonder” by R.J. Palacio: Auggie Pullman is an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face who shows one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope.
“Weird” by Erin Frankel: Luisa is repeatedly teased and called weird by her classmate Sam. Luisa is simply being herself – greeting her father in Spanish and wearing her favorite polka-dot boots. With the support of her teachers, parents, and one special friend named Jayla, Luisa is able to reclaim her identity and resist Sam’s put-downs.
“The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander: From Preschool to Highschool — How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence” by Barbara Coloroso: Bullies who terrorize, bullied kids who are afraid to tell, bystanders who watch, and adults who see the incidents as a normal part of childhood are all discussed in this informative book.
Bullying is not just among youth — adults can also be bullies. There is no age limit. Help stop bullying today by educating yourself.