Bullying and Suicide and Teens
Bullying has always been around. Kids getting beat up on the playground, name calling,
teasing, gangs and clubs have all been a way for kids to feel better about themselves.
The saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me” has been around forever but names do hurt and bullying can have severe consequences like the many suicides that have been brought to the attention of the media recently. These cases have people wondering if bullying is on the rise.
Cyber bullying is new and can spread instantly to hundreds of kids. There is no real way to control it and if you are the victim of this kind of bullying you could begin to feel like the whole world is against you and find no place to turn.
Before you know it an unflattering picture of you or naming you a slut or a fag is on everyone’s cell phone or computer. At least bullies of previous decades had to hold you down before they could punch you and then usually it was only between the two of you.
Kids are embarrassed and hurt, so many times they don’t tell their parents what is going on. They hide it. Some of the ways a parent might tell if their child is being bullied is:
- Academic issues
- Substance use
- Safety concerns
- Aggressive behavior
- Low self-esteem
- Not getting along with their peers
Schools seem to be the place where bullying is most prevalent. There is always a social hierarchy, popular kids, nerdy kids, jocks, etc. A freshman at Rutgers University threw himself from the George Washington Bridge in New York City after his roommate had secretly recorded a video of him kissing a guy and the video went up on YouTube.There have been several other similar cases.
Some people have great memories of their school years and others have traumatic memories that haunt them all their life. They continue to have self-esteem issues into adulthood from things mean kids said or did to them. It seems like life is hard enough to get through but when you add bullying into the mix it sometimes makes life unbearable and kids fall into deep depressions leading eventually to suicide in some cases.
It seems to me that we need to start with elementary school and teach our kids to appreciate each other for our differences. The world would be pretty boring if everyone was the same. They should have a “Peer Appreciation Day” every week where they do something like pick a name out of a hat and that is the person you eat lunch with. After lunch you write a paragraph on what you like about that person and at the end of the day that paper is given to the person it was written about. It is amazing when your peers write something honest and positive about you, how it boosts your self esteem. If this starts with young kids and is carried out all through your school years I think it could make a big difference in the way kids see each other.
Bullies should be held accountable for their actions. If they caused someone to commit suicide or someone to stop coming to school out of fear, there should be some retribution. We can’t sit back and watch this happen to our children. Someday that person that was picked on may be the person everyone wants to know, like a genius in technology or a fortune 500 CEO or a movie star.
There needs to be a lot more attention put on this in the schools. I don’t think all kids really want to be mean but sometimes the peer pressure is too great from their friends and they do things they regret later. Self Hypnosis is a good way for teens to learn self esteem. If a child’s self esteem is intact and they learn at an early age to see the good in everyone as well as teachers using effective teaching strategies to ingrain this in their students; I think we may have a chance. Some links to resources on this subject are: