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Shawn Creighton

There will always be bullies…

There will always be bullies…

Give me a moment to change your mind. You see over the past 5 to 10 years the Anti-Bully movement has picked up quite a bit of steam, and to their credit there has been much more awareness about bullying in society. Not just in schools but in the workplace and in sport as well. Bully Awareness Week is a great concept, although I do believe we are all aware of it already. Some of us still have the hope that it will never effect us or our children though.

Here’s the thing, Bullying has nothing to do with bad parenting. There is no point in vilifying the parents, even if those parents are bullies themselves. The root cause of bullying is control. People, children, exerting control over others. It’s pervasive because it is apart of human nature to figure out the pecking order of your peer group. At the Jk. level where kids are still at their most primitive, when they are still learning how to share, you can see this in all its glory because they haven't learned how to be civilized yet.

But here’s the thing, even in civilized culture there are accepted and expected forms of ‘bullying’. In the adult world where people have to work to make a living, to put food on their children’s table, there are bosses and there are workers. It’s the bosses job to make sure these workers, who in many cases are only there for the paycheque, do more with less. These bosses are pressured in turn by their own upper management who ultimately answer to shareholders. 

You see, there really is no bullying in the adult world, but only because we don’t use the term. In the adult world we use legal labels such as assault, defamation of character, and extortion to describe what happens daily in our school system. While re-education of criminals is highly effective in other countries, it isn’t a priority in the north american prison complex where re-offending is a likely hood rather than an exception. Even if we could re-educate or remove all “Bullies”, there will always be another one.

So, if your child is going to be surrounded by people who are going to exert their control over them their entire lives from yesterday to the day they retire, how can we help them?

It’s simple, we as parents need to equip them with the skills not to be a victim. We need to teach them how to speak up and defend their principles. We need to teach them effective communications skills that will allow them to be cooperative without compromising their own morals or safety. We need to teach them to stand up for themselves as well as others against  those who mistakenly think they can control others without permission. We need to teach our children how to set boundaries so that they don’t inadvertently give permission to others to control them.

Sensei Creighton

November 19, 2016