Why Kids Bullying – Bullies Do Not Raise Themselves
Spanking has been controversial for many years. The arguments for spanking include religious advocates who quote the “Spare the rod, spoil the child” bible verse. Well, technically, “the rod” this verse is referring to was the one a shepherd used to guide his sheep and pull them back in when they had gone astray. I’m pretty sure they did not use it to beat their sheep over the head. Although, I’m sure there were a few who after sleepless hours looking for wayward sheep were tempted.
The arguments by those who do spank range from, “It’s a deterrent” (yea, just like capital punishment is a deterrent for crime – uh, pretty sure that argument isn’t valid. If spanking were a deterrent, it would only need to be administered once), to, “I was spanked and I’m O.K.” – Well, there is a difference between being “O.K.” and surviving. Ask anyone who has survived a traumatic experience. Multiple studies and extensive research shows that children who are spanked are more anxious and aggressive than children disciplined by other means. Research shows that most bullies experience excessive spanking at home.
If the goal is to raise children who merely survive their childhood, I suppose many of us have survived spanking. But, I’m kind of hoping we wanted to raise the bar up a little to thriving. In an age where we can give our children the best of everything, it seems the best part of ourselves – the part that works to resolve conflict in a way that does not add to the problem would be ideal. Becoming conscious ourselves, gifting that conscious, awakened self to our children and showing them how to be conscious is a beautiful gift to the world.
If we want to stop the bullying in the world, the perpetual violence we seem to want to meet all of our societal ills with (“WAR on drugs, WAR on terrorism”), maybe we should STOP “warring” and start coming up with other ways to resolve our conflicts and our problems. Perhaps we begin with listening to what the behavior is trying to tell us. If a child is “misbehaving” that means their behavior has missed the mark. They are trying to communicate something, if we listen closely enough, we might actually hear what it is they are trying to say. But, we must listen with our hearts. Our hearts must be opened and we must be willing to look at what comes up in our own self as well. We cannot give away what we do not have. Our children are gifts that offer many opportunities to heal as they may mirror back to us many ways in which we ourselves have yet to heal. Then, when we give to our child that which we did not receive (patience, understanding, being heard/validated and loved unconditionally), we can heal ourselves in the process.
We continue with nurturing and loving our children so that they feel their own self worth and value. We expand this to include healthy boundaries and age-appropriate choices. We also allow our children to live with non-life-threatening consequences so that they learn from their “missed” takes. Loving, listening, and learning from our children is just what a good shepherd does with his or her sheep. When you truly care for any being, you love them unconditionally, listen to what their needs are, and are continually learning new and better ways to help them grow and flourish.
When a bigger kid picks on a smaller kid, we call it bullying.
When a person in authority and power over another uses his or her power to intimidate or dominate another person, we call it abuse or harassment.
Yet, when a parent hits a child, we call it “discipline”.
I call it bullying.
Bullying starts and ends at home.
Bullies do not raise themselves.