After hearing much about the ongoing bullying problem that exists with today’s youth I think that we as a society are missing the mark in identifying its origin.
One only has to really look around to see and realize that bullying exists, every day, in all age groups. Bullying is a constant in our society and it is about exerting or trying to exert power over those who are vulnerable or in positions with less or no power. It seems to be acceptable for adults to bully in their daily dealings and interactions. Corporations and government at all levels pay lip service to preventative programs. Programs need to be geared to adults as well as youth and children.
The activities of the U.S. president Donald Trump are a blatant example of bullying.
Children learn by observing the behaviours of their parents. They mimic those behaviours and take those behaviours and beliefs on as their own. If their parents/society demonstrate bullying behaviours and those behaviours/ beliefs/attitudes are deemed acceptable, then the child will think that they too can get away with those behaviours. They become the norm.
In Island Health facilities, there are signs posted notifying patients and the general public that abuse of any kind will not be tolerated. Services will be denied and the individual will be removed if any kind of abusive/bullying behaviour occurs. This is a positive action taken to curb violent/bullying behaviour and could be used as a model elsewhere.
Bullying behaviour by children and youth will not be reduced until adult bullying is addressed. It needs to be identified and labelled as such. Adults need to understand that they are one of the primary causes of child/youth bullying.
Richard Williams and Brenda McConnell