During the Xmas holidays, I decided to rent “Bully” via iTunes, a US documentary that highlighted the lives of 4 individuals, all of whom were subjected to various forms of bullying. It just made me cry so much. Sometimes, as a parent, I wonder if I’ve raised my children right. Do I teach them to defend themselves when being picked on? But what does that entail? Retaliate by mirroring the violent behaviour, or walk away? Or have they bullied themselves? Do they call others names? When they are in their ‘rat pack’, do they hurl names at others?
With these thoughts swirling around my head, I decided to sit myself down and re-read the following book. It’s been long overdue, and I know that this book needs more attention, and it should be in all libraries around the world. Whatever parenting stage you are at this point, it is never too late to change yourself, to equip yourself with the knowledge, that you can help your children. Seek forgiveness from within, and from your children, and start from the very beginning.
“The Bullying Antidote – Superpower Your Kids For Life” is written by Dr. Louise Hart and Kristen Carven.
The book is broken up into three parts, mainly “Where we’re at”, “Focus on Bullying” and “Positive Parenting in a Bully Free World”. The first part reviews where our world is at, where society has now progressed to – the differences of generations and what has been common in all generations. It made me go, “yes..yes..yes”, but still I was very impatient and wanted to get to part 2 very quickly. I could be trying to avoid reading the truth and examining within, to see if major correction was required? Well… I admit, lots of times I react rather than proact. It’s quite confronting, when you see these lines “Parents who focus on deepening connections with their children, however, have fewer battles than those who focus on controlling their kids”, highlighted in neon yellow (I did that 2 years ago), and still am in the same position as I was back then. If I need my kids to be confident in their adult lives, I need to change my behaviour. And that means, to have heaps of self-control, patience and work it out with my kids, rather than yell at the top of my head.
This book helped me reflect on reasons why bullies bully and why victims endure it. Unfortunately, there have been many instances where bullying is reported in school, but without a well thought out proactive plan, such incidences are more often just ignored or dealt with reactively, simply because of lack of support or understanding into this subject.
This book is a must read for all educators, parents and anyone who is working with children. Chockful of tips, action plans and tools that can be easily implemented and used now and for life.
IBSN : 978-1-61649-417-9
Publisher : Hazeldon
Authors : Dr. Louise Hart and Kristen Caven