Saturday, July 21, 2018

Why Are The Children Hurting (W.A.T.C.H.): Strong Enough

February 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Extra

Strong Enough

BY SOURAYA CHRISTINE GREEN

Souraya Christine Green

With so many current events, or better yet, current issues in our community and country, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to discuss with you. I thought that I could have easily taken a stand with #metoo or #Oprah 2020, or projected my opinion concerning the rumors of war. I could have reached back a little and dug into all of the many lives that matter, or raised a fist against all of the racial division and injustice across all platforms. I could have even broken the silence concerning the astonishing rates of domestic violence, the countless humans being trafficked, or the childlike dolls being sold to pedophiles for sex. And while I may very well return to some of these topics, I decided it was best to cover a topic I covered long ago. One that has made its way back into the headlines and affects our communities, our legacies and our sanity.

A while back, I was asked by a group of constituents if I had ever been bullied or been a bully. My immediate answer was “No! Bullying never affected me.” That was a lie! I realized that I had lied completely unintentionally. Apparently my mouth spoke faster than my brain was working.

I absolutely had been bullied! I was only five years old and was being chased home from school every day. I would get locked in the middle of a circle of girls who would take turns hitting and pushing me. This went on for quite a while until the day I finally stood up for myself. It is certainly not an experience that I am proud of, but it did serve to help shape the person I am today. The simple truth is that we all experience things in life that ultimately help to mold the person we are to become.

Unfortunately, sometimes some of us succumb to the negative effects of bullying, and never make it to see the person we could have become. This breaks my heart. When I hear stories of children taking their own lives because they couldn’t cope with bullying, it makes my physically ill — as it should every human with a heart and with any amount of compassion for their fellow human beings.

Here’s what I’ve learned about bullies: Most of the time, kids bully because they are being bullied at home. This causes them to seek out someone who appears weaker than they are, in some aspect, and exact their anger and frustration onto the person that they believe to be inferior. Sometimes people, especially girls, use bullying as a way to boost their own self-esteem. They believe that degrading someone else will effectively make them appear more beautiful or popular. It’s a sad and distorted perception that has to be fixed. These cycles have to be broken!

Parents, our children are valuable. In fact, they are the most valuable resource that we have and we’re either destroying them, allowing others to, or allowing them to destroy themselves. Don’t think it applies to you? Well, it does! Regardless of whether or not your child is personally affected by bullying, it takes a village to raise a child — or haven’t you heard that before? We seem to have lost that along the way somewhere.

Our children, and our neighbor’s children, need us to care for them and protect them — not cause them more grief, or be the catalyst for them causing grief for others. If you’re the parent bullying your child at home, it’s time to break that cycle. Just because you went through it doesn’t mean that your child should also be a victim. Instead of creating generations of abuse and hurt, how about we start to build generations of love and support? It is entirely possible and entirely up to us.

Here are some steps that you can take today:

  • Realize that there is a problem
  • Forgive yourself
  • Seek out professional help (if you have no insurance or means to pay for this, then find someone else to talk to, or contact me)
  • Begin to practice new behaviors (such as, expressing love, supporting their ideas and endeavors, becoming involved in school experiences, homework and functions)
  • Make these new behaviors a habit (do them even when you don’t feel like doing them)
  • Write/journal your thoughts, emotions and triggers
  • Talk to your kids about bullying and show them the effects of bullying through documentary films, videos and news stories
  • Seek spiritual guidance
  • Learn new behaviors for yourself (such as, stopping smoking, drinking, or abusing drugs; learn to pamper yourself)
  • Believe that you and your children deserve better — and work toward it daily

Listen, I understand that the road won’t be easy. Generally, nothing truly worth it is easy, but that’s ok. It’s OK to mess up along the way. The important part is that you continue to work hard at reaching your goal and that you never give up on each other. Your children, my children, they need you — and you need them just as much. Recognize and realize that simple truth and I promise that life will begin to bring you brightness, comfort, and yes, even joy.

I chose this topic in memory of the 12-year-old in New Jersey, the 13-year-old in Ohio, the 15-year-old in Massachusetts, the 8-year-old in New Jersey, the 10-year-old in Colorado — and the many other young people who decided that dying was far easier than living as a victim.

Souraya Christine is the founder of W.A.T.C.H (Why Are The Children Hurting). Email her at Watchorg2014@gmail.com.

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