Beware the celtic tiger,
Who roamed the Emerald Isle,
Lifting peoples fortunes, as it
walked around, in style!
An actress, this imposter,
Who stole the cinema screen,
And lifted peoples’ spirits
til it as suddenly, disappeared!
Bereft, the Irish bankers
Pulled out all the stops
Without a thought of honesty
They shut down all our little shops.
Peoples spirits, that once lifted,
by this banker-tiger coalition
Now sleep in doorways,
Mourning, dreams denied fruition
And alas, the housing crisis
Now roams the Emerald Isle,
While 10,300 innocent families
Suffer all the while…
Corrupt politicians & bankers
Laugh, as they fill you with a pile
Of broken hopeless promises
whilst they wine & dine in style!
(“… there has been a rapid increase in the number of families becoming homeless, and in April 2019, there were 1,729 families accessing emergency accommodation. This includes 3,794 children.)
Time and the right conditions not only preserve but bring about something of beauty – Marie Clancy.
“It is rare that children with good confidence and self esteem will be the victim of bullying”…so a recent article stated,
Rare…means seldom occurring.
I say beware the word ‘rare‘ which can lull you into a false sense of security…
Rare still happens to someone!
Have you ever stopped to consider how rare is rare?
Consider this… If your children were functioning to the peak of their individual ability at home, in school, and in community life until they were bullied, over an extended period of time, would that tip them into the ‘rare‘ category?
Or would reporting the bullying but being told ‘stand up for yourself,’ ‘build a wall and put it behind you’ or “he needs to be more resilient” be the tipping point into that “rare” category?
Having good confidence and self esteem might make you more effective at dealing with bullying, but if bullying is experienced on an on-going basis, and if it is left unsupported over a long period, it is the DURATION of bullying that, in my experience, overwhelms the victim’s confidence and self esteem and determines the impact of bullying, both short and long term.
The only solution to bullying, is rapid and easyaccess to support and that support must be informed, professional and cohesive. Anything less is unacceptable! You might find some information & support in this post…Bullying & Beyond…20 Knowledge is Power!
What do you think? Please join in this conversation and help others find the support they need, now, and not when it is too late.
Mich at Michnavs joined the conversation and her insightful comment got me thinking, so I’m breaking with my tradition of waiting to post at the weekend.
This is what Mich said… “Very well said Marie. I am fortunate to have been a teacher and a mother as well..having said that, I got to witness different behaviors and coping mechanisms of kids from different ages…and it’s not easy to spot a problematic or bullied kid…because sometimes they are really good at keeping it cool…but nevertheless I have kept a very mindful heart..”
This was my reply to Mich..
Thank you Mich, I appreciate your encouraging feedback. Thank you also for sharing your thoughts and experience. Bullies are very cunning, manipulative and powerful in their control over their victims, so you are correct in saying it’s not easy to spot a bullied child. Victims have many reasons, (as we’ve seen in my previous post), to become masters of disguise, making it very difficult for teachers of large classes and with ever increasing workloads, to detect a child who is struggling with bullying.
I really like your term a “mindful heart,” it is a good marriage of heart & mind and I envisage it being very Rogerian, (Carl Rogers), encompasing UPR (unconditional positive regard), empathy (being able to step into the victim’s shoes) and congruence (being your true, genuine & real self), all positive, powerful and necessary attributes for teachers, and the core conditions, enabling teachers create effective and theraputic relationships in their classrooms.
These core conditions are the foundation of every successful relationship be it in school, at home or in society.
When you are the victim of bullying, you want people to care about you. You want them to understand how you feel but you behave in the exact opposite way. You pretend you don’t care to protect yourself. You put up a front, isolate yourself and sink further into despair. You believe teachers don’t care and you believe parents don’t care.
What gets in the way of caring? As a mother who has witnessed the impact of bullying on children, here are my guesses why children change their behaviour…
1. Fear that teachers/parents will utter one more disparaging remark about them in front of the other students/siblings.
2. Feeling stupid because they don’t want to be feeling like this but they can’t help it.
3. Feeling frustrated because they feel silenced by bullying.
3. Shame because no matter how much effort they’ve put in, they can’t break the cycle of bullying by themselves.
5. Worry that their resilience is at breaking point and being terrified of what will happen to them if they can’t cope.
6. Feeling worthless because they can see that other students/siblings around them are getting better marks or making progress.
7. Guilt that they are upsetting their teachers/parents and feeling that they are a burden.
Dear Teacher/Parent, please care! Please look beyond the puzzling behaviour that you, as a teacher or as a parent are seeing and realise that it is an ingenious front. Please look at the pain this child is in and see what “I don’t care that you don’t care” looks like. Please empower yourself to care by seeking advice, which will help you realise what really matters here, their mental health.
Have you/your child had similar feelings because of bullying?
With the benefit of experience and hindsight here are 6 warning signs to save you these painful pitfalls…
1. If you or your child are offered a solution from a teacher or principal saying, “sometimes you have to learn to stand up for yourself,” remember your child is not the only victim of bullying here, you are too. Don’t take it! It’s not a good enough solution!
2. If your child is starting to miss days from school and this is totally out of character for them be sure to listen to your intuition. Reflect on it. Seek advice and act on it. You might like to read Bullying & Beyond…17. Stand up, speak up!
3. If well meaning friends knock your intuition and fail to see your child’s mental health warning signs, please, don’t act on their advice to “drag them out of bed and kick them in the butt, straight into school.” You know your child better than any concerned friend. Your child is unable to voice their upset, they are showing you instead…see the signs!
4. If a teacher tells you at a parent teacher meeting that “sure we all say things” please read between the lines. They are not admitting the full truth of what was said and your child is too hurt to tell you. Please don’t hold back, immediately ask what they mean! Remind them that their words have the power to empower your child or the power to destroy your child’s last threads of confidence.
5. If your child is physically and psychologically assault and if they are offered the ‘wise’ advice by a principal to ‘build a high wall & put it all behind you’. Remember this experience is traumatic! It has denied your child the right to respect. Demand to see the school’s anti-bullying policy. Look for evidence of their bully free zone where high walls won’t be need.
5. If a person in authority says teachers will be more sympathetic say “I’d prefer empathy thank you,” children need a school that operates from a place of empathy not sympathy.
6. And finally, if you are told your child needs to be more resilient…stand your ground, look the advice giver in the eye, thank them for their suggestion but leave them in no doubt that your child has been too resilient for too long in an environment that has no obvious signs of safe boundaries or a bully free zone. And then ask them how resilient they’d be in the same environment!
Now you’re taking ownership, using your voice and making progress… to ree-create your life beyond bullying!
Has bullying affected you or your children? What painful pitfalls did you experience? What did you learn from it?