These anti-bullying campaigns are getting way out of hand. Once the serious school work starts, many children stop loving going to school; however, this is more due to lack of parent support than of anything else.
No matter what the school says about them working with the students and trying to finish everything in school, there is always a part that needs to be played by the parents, regardless how minimal it may be. Once a child feels more or less alone doing his school work without parent supervision and/or assistance, it is a normal human tendency to slack off, especially with all the distractions which are available; however, instead of limiting a child’s access to these games and shows during the school week and putting up with a bit (or sometimes a lot) of nagging, many parents just prefer to keep the child distracted. The result is that the child starts to get behind on school work and ultimately begin to fail. While the child doesn’t want to lose access to his favorite games and the parents don’t want to hear any nagging, a scapegoat is needed: “my child is being bullied, and the school isn’t doing anything about it.”
Just like the parents, the child also wants to blame his failure on something other than himself and to cast the blame as far away from his videogames as possible, so he plays along. By dramatizing events like an accidental bump in the playground or acting traumatized because his classmate called him stupid, enough repetitions of the same cycle eventually makes it a reality. In addition to that, children are excellent storytellers: they can create the most vivid stories about how they are being taunted and hurt in school by their peers. Parents who truly believe that their children don’t lie to them are the most gullible; either that or they are too involved in finding a scapegoat for their child’s failure that they are ready to believe anything. Seriously, how many times have we heard our parents say that we are the most perfect angels while we had a huge list of mischief up our sleeves? But yes, give a child a chance to escape punishment and he will take it no matter what you believe.
Human psychology is the most self-destructive weapon anyone can wield. Whatever you believe is happening to you, your mind will find various ways to validate it and make it true. If you are honest enough with yourself, you can’t but admit that this is true. Children are even more prone to that because their world revolves around small events with seemingly big significance to them, so if they believe that they are being bullied, they will find as much evidence of it as they can, and then they will fill in the gaps with whatever they can come up with. Parents, instead of helping their kids get out of that situation by teaching them how to gather proper evidence (if any), play along with them because it’s easier to believe that their child is failing because of bullying and not because of lack of parental intervention. And finally, as a compensation for having a tough time at school, parents end up allowing children more time on video games which are the root cause of the issue. I am not saying that we have to ban video games completely; I am just saying that too much of one thing is unhealthy. Too little of it is also unhealthy, as children still need to be exposed to TV and games so that they can stay on the same footing with their peers.
Instead of allowing their children to wallow in their own self-created misery, parents should empower their kids by tackling the real problem: lack of focus. They have to admit that all this cycle is because they have yet to take responsibility for their children’s mental health by creating specific rules and routines. Sure there will be some (or plenty of) tantrums, but they will decrease over time as the child falls into these routines and starts to manage his own time.
In the end, I am not saying that bullying does not exist; I am just saying that its effects on a child’s mental health and wellbeing can be mitigated through proper parental intervention. Moreover, bullying doesn’t only happen in schools; it happens everywhere, and children need to learn how to deal with it and not how to suffer from it and become “offended” easily. For more information on that, check out my article “Offended, … Deal with it!“
Originally posted on April 14, 2020 @ 5:07 am