Today is Stand Up to Bullying day creating an important opportunity to discuss the problem to raise awareness and encourage people to seek help. Sadly bullying is as prevalent today as it was when I was growing up. The only difference is the way it is carried out.
When I was at school a few years ago (ahem!) bullying usually was confined to groups barring other groups. People that were seen to be different in whatever way were often on the receiving end of the behaviour. It was what happened in the playground and sometimes spilled out onto the streets and into the communities. However, I remember parents often getting involved and sorting things out.
Nowadays the behaviour is less obvious and is happening online out of sight but still as upsetting and potentially damaging to those who are victims. I am a big fan of the positive elements of social media but young people need to know how to make people aware of problems or bullying taking place online. From a young age we need to ensure children feel confident to talk about problems so they can be tackled.
If you have ever been subjecting to bullying it often feels as though you are on your own and the only one. Not true. Many, many people face bullying at some point in their lives. Even those who are seen to have everything and be rich or famous in later life have often suffered in childhood. In some cases the impact the bullying had was to spur them on to achieve success. That is a hugely positive outcome from what should not be allowed to happen.
I am like many people and did experience bullying when I was at school. It had more of an effect on me than I realised when I was growing up. At first I didn’t want to tell anyone and I just dealt with it on my own. But telling my parents was the best thing I did as we were then able to take action. Many years on I remember that point in my life very clearly which shows the impact it had.
We all need to Stand Up to Bullying and make sure young people grow up knowing how to seek help and deal with those who try to drag them down.