Young People-You Help Empower Them

Young People-You Help Empower Them

With the rash of LGBT teen suicides over incredibly harsh bullying in our schools I have to question what we as adults can do to help increase tolerance and acceptance in our world.  I say, awareness, education and the empowerment of our youth.

There are so many ways that we, as human beings choose to separate ourselves.  We do this through:   

  • sex
  • race
  • religion
  • politics
  • class
  • country

All of these things point out our differences when in fact we are all human beings with a heart, mind and body that are born the same way; eat, go to the bathroom, and cry the same way; and…we will all die!  So, what can we do to help our children understand this and to treat each other with respect, accepting that which is different?  This is not an issue that will go away overnight, but I do believe that we all have the power and responsibility to help create change, if we chose to take the time to do so. As adults we need to know that bulling, for whatever reason, is a very real threat to many young people.  We need to educate ourselves (whether we have children or not) as to what we can do to help a young person if we know that it is going on…we need to pay attention to the signs that may indicate someone we know and love is being bullied…and we need to let these young people know that there is help out there in many forms, including our support, to get them through this. Some organizations that are available to help are:

With this latest crises, many celebrities and activists have come out with messages all offering words of encouragement and information for help to these troubled youths.  And, I believe the best thing still is to empower our children when they are young to feel strong, magical and powerful in their hearts.  This is the foundation through which they will grow up to be empathic and productive adults. You may wonder what this has to do with design and beauty…I say, helping a child to feel good about themselves and to find help when they are in trouble is not only a responsibility, but definitely a Little Bit of Beauty™!  Check out Will i am’s latest and greatest song…one that tells all children that they are wonderful in their difference…and pass it on to someone, young or old!

What do you do to help the young people in your lives?  I’d love to know.

And for young people everywhere who are being bullied…here is a word from our President…”It WILL get better”!

Comments

comments

17 Comments

  1. Great post, Irene! Bullying has become epidemic and has escalated far beyond childish pranks. Atticus posted about this very subject last week. http://www.atticusuncensored.com/2010/10/bullying-is-for-losers/
    I love the video and am sharing! Great message for everyone. Let’s all commit to spreading the message of tolerance for others and intolerance towards bullying of any sort.

  2. June Sockol 10 years ago

    Bulling has been around for so long but kids now use Facebook, Myspace and texting to take it to a whole new level. We as parents need to explain to our kids it’s not ok to mistreat others because they are different. Teachers need to listen to kids and stop it right away when it happens at school. We as adults need to set a good example.

  3. Darcie Newton 10 years ago

    With a daughter in middle school, this topic is top of mind for me. It requires a delicate balance between teaching your children to be caring, independent thinkers and yet at the same time willing to ask for help when needed. Knock on wood…my children are not bullies nor have they been bullied. For children fortunate enough to not be touched by bullying, it is important for parents to teach them to stand up for those that are and cannot yet speak for themselves.

  4. Louise Edington 10 years ago

    Having two daughters and seeing what is happening in the State I live in right now (http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/12/mormon-leaders-remarks-spark-outcry-on-same-sex-issues/) this is a topic that brings me to tears.

    I agree with Darcie that she and I are lucky that, so far, our girls are not nor have been bullied and we teach our girls to be respectful and understanding of all differences. We also try to teach them to stand up for others. It’s something we talk about often in our home and my girls are as appalled as we are at what is going on in Utah right now. Just another form of bullying in my opinion.

    Thanks Irene – will be sharing this post.

    Louise Edington
    International Au pair Finder

  5. Donna McCord 10 years ago

    It is frightening and saddening to me to think that so many young children have to fear going to school because of how they will be treated by their peers, and I just don’t understand how it is allowed to happen by the authorities within the school itself. I am so grateful that my daughter did not have that experience in school, mainly because from Kindergarten to 7th grade she was in a private Christian school where something like that was stopped if it occurred, but even in the public 8th and high school grades, I think she was fortunate in choosing good friends that all took care of one another, plus she has grown up with knowing her value as a human being, a child of God, and that others are just as loved by Him as she is. This is a heart-wrenching subject, and kudos to you for bringing attention to it.

  6. Tracey Fisher 10 years ago

    Bullying was bad enough years ago when it was the school tough roaming the halls, or a note passed around the class. Now bullying has gone viral. What used to be stuff written on the bathroom wall or whispers behind your back, now has escalated to internet posting and video for literally all the world to see. Kids need to be protected, now more than ever and empowerment is one way to make sure that they are.

    Tracey

  7. Jennifer Duchene 10 years ago

    Bullying is a shocking way of life for so many. Wonderful to have resources that children can use, to help them defeat being bullied. Empowering not just children, but adults would definitely help all of us to live better lives. Acceptance of differences should be a right. Thanks Irene.

  8. Rachel Lavern 10 years ago

    I remember reading a study about bullying and was surprised to learn that low self-esteem was not the issue. In fact, the study reported that there was not a single cause for the bullying behavior. I copied some of the findings below:

    Most research indicates that children and youth who bully have average or above-average self-esteem. Interventions that focus on building the self-esteem of children who bully probably will be ineffective in stopping bullying behavior.

    Children who bully their peers regularly (i.e.,those who
    admit to bullying more than occasionally) tend to
    • Be impulsive, hot-headed, dominant;
    • Be easily frustrated;
    • Lack empathy;
    • Have difficulty following rules; and
    • View violence in a positive way.

    Children who bully are more likely than their nonbullying peers to live in homes where there is:
    • A lack of warmth and involvement on the part of parents;
    • Overly-permissive parenting (including a lack of limits for children’s behavior);
    • A lack of supervision by parents;
    • Harsh, physical discipline; and
    • A model for bullying behavior.

  9. Author
    Irene Turner 10 years ago

    Thanks Rachel for your insights…but I do think that those children who are bullied need to build up their self esteem. And the bullies…well they need some boundaries and some control. That’s why we adults need to be aware and step in when we know something is going on. It is a responsibility I believe.

  10. Jean Bentley 10 years ago

    I have to wonder how muhc of the bullying startsa at home. We need to teach our kids to treat others as we want to be treated and then live it so they will follow our example.

  11. Brandy Mychals 10 years ago

    Ugh…I can not stand bullies! I have worked in my daughter’s classrooms since preschool and have seen at least 1 bully every year since the age of 3! I can’t believe what goes on and I haven’t yet seen it effectively dealt with at any level. As for what I do, I am one of the leaders for Girl Scouts and I work with kids in the classrooms…it isn’t nearly enough and sometimes you wonder if it makes any difference at all? I know I’m not raising a bully so that’s something, but I wish the schools would actually do something, anything about identified, repeat bullying at school – and they just look the other way…
    Brandy

  12. Michael Cavitt 10 years ago

    Irene, good post. I’ve have young grandsons and they deal with this already. I’ll be forwarding this post to their parents. I’ll also forward it to my wife who works for Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health.

    Yes, a healthy child is A Little Bit of Beauty™.

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