My daughter gained weight due to a medication in 5th grade and was bullied the entire school year. It led to severe anxiety, panic attacks and extremely low body image. She didn't tell me about her bully until they were both at different schools. She was afraid I'd go to the school and the other child would taunt her more in retaliation.
If you have a child in school, it's likely they've also experienced bullying. And they might even be the bully themselves sometimes.
Bullying statistics from DoSomething.org are staggering.
- A whopping 3.2 million students are bullied each year
- 71% of students saying bullying is a problem in their school
- 90% of fourth through 8th graders say they have been bullied
- 160,000 teens skip school each day because of bullies
- 1 in 10 students drop out of school because of repeated bullying
One in four teachers say they see nothing wrong with bullying and will only intervene 4% of the time. It's no wonder so many kids keep it to themselves. The majority of kids report a lack of confidence in adult intervention making things better. This makes it even more important we talk to our kids about this issue. We want them to know what constitutes bullying, how to be sure they aren't a bully and what to do if they or a classmate is being bullied.
One musician is working to stop bullying through music. Craig Raymo, a.k.a. Craymo, is an Orlando musician devoted to helping people love themselves and one another. Craymo's songs open up an important dialogue about unity, acceptance and embracing differences.
" Be Myself" is dedicated to "anyone who has ever been bullied, teased or made fun of for being different." The upbeat song is a bullying-anthem. Turn it up loud and have a family dance party in the living room. Belt it out together as you drive to school in the morning. Use it is a starting point to talk to your kids about how cool you think they are and how they should be proud of to be themselves no matter what anyone else says or thinks.
Craymo's latest song " One Love One World" has been taught to children in classrooms all over the world. The island-inspired tune says,
"We are one love, we are one world. Put your hands together now every boy and every girl. We are one love, we are one world. Take some time to help your brother then you'll understand."
Craymo says he wants to encourage his listeners to, " Be yourself. Be who you want to be. And don't let anyone else tell you anything different." As parents we have a responsibility to help our children embrace themselves and be strong no matter what comes our way. We can help our kids stop bullying by arming them with confidence and making sure they know they can always come to us for help.
Have you dealt with bullies? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.