Friday, October 14, 2011

Bullying - A Very Complex Issue

Dear Friends,

About a month ago, an AHG Facebook fan posted this question,” What is AHG’s position on bullying?”  At the time, I thought it a bit of an unusual comment for a Facebook page as it really required a longer answer than the brief comments Facebook allows on its wall.

However, the question and the concern of the “poster” has never left my mind.

Bullying is quite the buzzword these days and it seems that almost every kid is being bullied by someone or something.  You know that feeling is not so far from the truth. According to recent statistics provided by Focus on the Family, three out of four children ages 8-11 have been bullied and 80% of teenagers have had some sort of bullying experience.

Many, many years ago when I was a freshman in high school, I attended an all girl parochial school fairly far away from my house.  I entered that school knowing a handful of friends from my elementary school but by and large this school was filled with complete strangers.  Most of the girls were friendly, at least initially, and making friends was something I enjoyed doing.  But at the tender age of 14, I met my first bully and “Lori” made my life at school a living hell. 

I am not sure why I was chosen. I did nothing to provoke her behavior,  but for some reason, Lori wanted to unsettle me and bring me to a state of complete fear and confusion.  She learned my lock combination and vandalized my locker, covering it with powder or food or worse….my textbooks were ruined, my personal items tattered and my fear was mounting.  Finally a Sister believed me and moved my locker away from this bully but it was too late - my confidence was all but shot.

This abuse is not uncommon.  Bullying doesn’t have to happen in the schoolyard or in the locker corral.  It can happen in committee meetings, in offices, in homes, on the internet and possibly in your AHG Troop.  A desire of some people to want to dominate other people through force, whether physical or emotional, is as old as the human race.  It is wrong and sinful.  

What is the response of AHG to bullying? Bullies intimidate and want to shame their victims into silence. It is the Christian response – the AHG response to assert the moral courage given to you at your birth as a result of being made in the image of our Maker.  This incredible gift makes us unique, loved by the Creator of all and thus a person of incredible worth.

Ignoring a bully doesn’t make the bullying stop.  It actually fuels the actions of a bully.  As a Christian, one must address the bullying but only after bringing the issue to prayer and asking God to impart His wisdom upon you.

Many resources exist to deal with this complex issue.  Each case is as individual as the girls involved.  Biblical conflict resolution tactics should be considered and girls' safety addressed above all.  To learn more about tactics about preventing bullying as well as dealing with it, visit http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/schooling/bullying/how-to-prevent-bullying.aspx.

Bullying is a very complex and real issue today.  The likelihood of you or your child falling victim  to this behavior is real.  It is heartbreaking to know that even Christian environments fall prey to this.

As you can see the issue of bullying is too complex for a blog much less a Facebook post.  If you know of other Christ centered resources on this subject, please share with our readers.

As difficult as it is to do, we must remember to pray for those who have persecuted us.  They too need to know the joy that comes from a relationship with our Father.

May the Lord keep and protect you and yours.

Be on guard.  Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.    1 Corinthians 16:13

Until Next Time,
Patti

1 comment:

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