Anyone can be a bully. Even a friend. Even a parent. Maybe parents and all adults need to ask themselves, “Do I model bullying behavior?”
A few years ago, Proctor and Gamble had an anti-bullying campaign called “Mean Stinks.” They had a web page* that offered the following advice:
Bullying is name calling. Do my children hear me describe someone as: stupid, a nerd, wacko, crazy, fat or a retard?
Bullying is abusive phone calls. Do my children hear me swear at someone or use other degrading descriptive words to someone on the phone (telemarketing people count)?
Bullying is using physical force. Do I use physical force to control and manipulate?
Steve Maraboli warns us, “Stay away from people who gossip and spread rumors. They are choosing the path of emotional bullying.”
Roger Ebert says, “Teaching prejudice to a child is itself a form of bullying. A song from the musical, South Pacific, says, ‘You’ve got to be taught to hate.’”
What change do I need to make in my life to ensure that I am not teaching my children to be bullies?
*Editor’s note: this page is no longer active.