Dear Rhonda & Dr. Cheri: Civility is the answer to bullying
Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
A friend of my daughter is bullying her by harassing and humiliating her with damaging comments. She also gets classmates to exclude her from many activities.
She told others that my daughter was having sex with an older boy in our neighborhood. I found out from my daughter that she didn’t even know his name!
I wanted to have a party for my daughter to help stop the bullying, but she said no to it because she thinks no one will come.
My daughter didn’t do anything to deserve this wrong-doing. The girl called her stupid a million times and shoved her around. She’s pushed her food tray off their lunch tables.
My daughter’s cried, begged not to go to school, told her teacher (who said she told the principal and talked with the girl and her parents).
My daughter is being bullied and abused. My heart is breaking for her. I don’t know how to stop it!
Signed, Sad Mom
Dear Sad Mom,
Young people are bullied every seven seconds. It’s the most common form of abuse our school-aged children experience.
In the U.S., 160,000 kids stay home from school each day for fear of being bullied. Who knows how many, like your daughter, are begging to stay home.
Exhaust every resource for help at the school level and then go to the next level. As a last resort, look into other school options. Then get involved with your daughter’s school.
Your daughter’s isolating herself in order to escape her pain and probable depression. There are many free and inexpensive professionals to help.
Encourage her to make new friends that will help her have positive academic and talent developmental experiences. Help to her to discover civility.
Here are our examples:
1 - Consideration—continuous and careful thoughts about her friends, developing sympathetic feelings towards the needs of others and basing opinions on careful reflection;
2 - Courtesy—having standards of behavior that include common manners, respect, expressions of consideration for others, thoughtful cooperation with others, and having generosity of spirit;
3 - Care—helping the oppressed, sick, unfortunate, needy, or those grieving, and having respect for her friends.
Help her to learn she can only change herself and she’s not responsible for the bullying.
You are already expressing our definitions of civility. Look for ways to serve in your community.
Civility is a community responsibility. We all need to define civility in our communities and help stop bullying to create a better society.
Signed, Rhonda and Dr. Cheri
Save the date: Thursday, Oct. 26, for our downtown Prescott Civility Rally. Let’s make Prescott the most civil city in the US. Rhonda Orr is the president of Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation and host of a podcast at therhondaorrshow.com. Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Contact us at Rhonda@rhondastopbullying.org.