On Wednesday I was a guest on the Mom Up Show. It is a show about getting moms together to talk about real topics. The hosts are Soleil Moon Frye and Randi Zuckerbergwho, despite their celebrity status, are down to earth parents. The episode this week was about bullying in schools and in social media.
I thought about it more last night while I was pretending to sleep. There were some really good points made on Wednesday about bullying and some strategies to help those who are being bullied.
My very first year of teaching I attended a seminar called "Teaching 101". A piece of research was shared during that meeting that I will never forget. The woman who was presenting pulled out one yellow card. She taped it on the board. It had the word NEGATIVE written on it. Then beside it she taped up eleven blue cards that had the word POSITIVE written on them. She read the article that stated it takes ELEVEN positive comments to "make-up" for ONE negative comment.
Of course we know that sometimes words that are said to us, especially negative ones, can linger in the back of our minds. It just struck a cord with me, as a first year teacher, the kind of impact I would have on kids. Those negative words, actions, and reactions sure can pack a powerful punch.
Soleil and Randi pointed out on the show that there has been an increasing trend of "cyber bullying" with kids, bloggers, and on social sites. I agreed with them. I have seen it. I did want to mention too, that I have also seen supportive communities grow from these instances.
I am really lucky to be surrounded by very honest, thoughtful people. I do my best to shun away the negative comments or rudeness. I won't lie, it gets to me sometimes, especially when it impacts another person that I admire. It is amazing how mean and down right dirty people can get with one another...for all the world to see.
On the flip side, it is also heart warming how people come to another's rescue by making that negative comment "disappear" with their outpouring of positive comments and energy. I recently read a heart wrenching blog post that displays just that. It was a perfect example of how a few callous words can have a lasting affect on someone. It also shows how HUNDREDS of thoughtful people overrode that hurt and made a huge difference in a little girl's life. You can read the post and the comments (especially the comments!) here:Lit Up Like a Parade
The one word we all kept coming back to in the show was RESPECT. There are so many people out there wanting to make a difference and working hard to make a change. Whether it is on the Internet, in schools, or in your community; bullying is out there. There are many stories and a lot of hurt. There are also an equal, if not more, amount of people who can help spread the positive!
There are an impressive amount of resources available to prevent bullying. Here are some great organizations that are working to make bullying extinct: