While the numbers are startling, they should not be very surprising. Bullies prey on those that are not capable of defending themselves, so no matter how much I prepare my neuro-typical son and daughter to stand up to bullies, the fact is that they are not going to be their target. My oldest daughter however, will. She is autistic and may not be able to apply this "bootstrap mentality" suggested by the meme.
Nahla, my beautiful pitbull rescue, has taught me more about love, happiness, and loyalty in the past year than my husband ever did. She is fiercely kind, comforting, and forgiving -- everything I could ever want in a spouse.
My challenge is to start the parent hugging campaign. This is where you don't let go of a hug, until your child is ready to be released. Let's see if this simple act of love can change the psyche of our kids.
For me, many years after the bullying had stopped, anorexia became a new way to get smaller, quieter, less intimidating, non-existent, so that my life would be less risky -- or, at least, less painful.
I hadn't experienced that blood/metal/electric taste in years, but it came roaring back last night. And it was stronger than ever. I'm no longer the helpless little boy I was when I quietly swallowed the injustice and brutality of each of those patient stories.
I was walking down the hall at school after mass, when I felt a hard smack in the back of my head. It wasn't unexpected. Kids had been calling me names like "stupid retard," poking, and threatening me for weeks before it happened. But after it happened I was still in shock. Unfortunately, since I was blindsided, I still have no idea who did it. Nobody who walked down the hall with me that day will speak up and help identify the bully. I'm not going to fight back the way the bullies want me to. Instead, I'm going to speak up and not suffer in silence.
We can distinguish the reasonable men in our lives from the unreasonable men, simply by observing their reactions to our expressions of anger, displeasure or frustration toward them. A reasonable man is willing to take responsibility for his part in things; he'll accept our feedback and will make every effort to accommodate our needs.
The bad news is we perceive bullying to be more prolific than it was when we were young. The good news is we seem to be more aware and less tolerant of its destructive effects. We're split on how effectively our schools are dealing with the problem, to be sure. But the conversations are more open; the subject less beguiling.
It's pretty simple. Yet, somehow, we forget. We eat too much, sleep too little, wake up on the wrong side of life, are running late, annoyed by fate ...
If your dream is to accumulate more and more stuff, more power to you. You know what's important to your well being. But if it isn't, maybe you'll shift to making a life and not just a living?
We all know how this script is supposed to go: Gay kid gets teased and bullied. Gay kid feels demeaned and ashamed. Gay kid maybe gets beaten up. Gay kid runs off to lick his wounds and feel horrible about himself. Gay kid feels alone. But not this time. This time the gay kid, my gay kid, fought back. And the bully ran away.
The truth is that you can't count on anyone else to take the lead: Sometimes it has to be you.
We need to get angry. We need to get involved. More than anything, we need to get angry at the right people. We need to stand together, and not allow ourselves to be hoodwinked into being angry at Mosques, when we should be angry at the fat cats of Threadneedle Street, and at Parliament
In 2015, on the cusp of our presidential election year, courage can take us to being above party politics, putting employee good above profit to shareholders, demonstrating caring and responsibility to our neighbors, being true to our word, valuing life, and exhibiting love.
There are numerous ways to ensure that your child has the greatest possible chance to learn to be kind and empathic to others. All of these are things that are easy for you to do at home.
Boys of parents who encourage high standards and moral courage have an easier time thinking independently and standing up for what they believe in. And that can be as simple as being brave yourself: After all, you are the best role model for your son.