In an attempt to celebrate people who is actively involved and working with kids and mothers for their better lifestyle, Mommy Me is so proud to interview Cherie White, an anti-bullying activist. She has so many insights on this topic and I really hope this will be of great help to parents.
Cherie White has a wonderful blog, where she shares about her experiences and things she has learnt about bullies and bullying over the last two decades. I am so honored that she decided to contribute to Mommy Me.
This blog post is part II of Cherie White’s interview and part I is here.
Mommy Me : How can a person who has been bullied get his life back? what is your advice for that person?
Cherie : Several things:
- If you have talents or gifts- things you’re good at, and I believe everyone has a talent in something. Nurture those talents and gifts! If you can sing, enter talent shows. If you can write short stories, enter writing contests. Do the things that you’re good at and that you love to do the most. And show them OFF! You would be surprised what it will do for your self-esteem.
- If you can, switch schools or move to a new town or city. Bullying has a way of following you to other places if you live in the same community that you were bullied in. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to go where you can get a fresh start with a clean slate.
- Keep company with the people who love you and who lift you up. Stay away from people who tear you down. They don’t deserve the privilege of being in your life and you own them nothing.
- Make daily affirmations to yourself. For example, look yourself in the mirror when you get out of bed in the mornings and make “I AM” statements. “I am a good person.” “I am beautiful.” “I am smart.” “I am awesome no matter what they say or how they treat me.”
- And lastly, no matter how bad you’re bullied, continue to love yourself. Bullies may turn others against you, but just be sure never to let them cause you to turn against yourself. I know this is difficult to do when it seems that you have negativity coming from every direction, but always love yourself and know that you are worthy of love and friendship. Know that you are so worth fighting and living for. School is only one chapter of your life and not the entire book. Rest assured that things will eventually get better- much better. Just don’t give up!
All these things will act as a buffer to your self-esteem and it won’t take such a big hit if you’re being bullied.
Mommy Me : Please tell us about your other books
Cherie : I’ve published 3 fictions and they also have bullying in them. Bullying is my brand.
Mommy Me : What is the role of parents and school in preventing bullying?
Cherie : Parents’ roles are to teach kindness and to teach confidence from the time the child is a baby. If the child is bullied in school, their roles are to be there for their child and to advocate for that child if the school doesn’t act, or places the blame on the child who’s bullied. Two many schools side with the bully and parents must be prepared to go to bat for their child, even move the child to a different school if the bullying gets overwhelming.
The school’s role is to protect the child being bullied. If a student reports that he/she is being bullied and fears for his safety, the school has a responsibility and an obligation to act. They should do a thorough investigation and hold the bully accountable for his/her behavior. The school also has an obligation to notify the student’s parents if the child is physically harmed at school and has to have medical attention. I’ve read articles about students being knocked unconscious by a bully and schools failing to call for medical help or to notify the parents. This is wrong and it’s a clear indication that the school is negligent and should be held accountable.
Mommy Me : At what age do you think bullying starts these days? What are the different places and scenarios where one is likely to be bullied?
Cherie : Bullying can start when kids are toddlers. For instance, one toddler walks up to another toddler in a nursery school and takes a toy away. The second toddler doesn’t defend herself by taking the toy back and only stands there crying. The toddler who took the toy will learn quickly that he can repeat the behavior and will likely know who to go to whenever he feels like taking a toy away from another child.
People can be bullied anywhere- in nursery schools, in the home where one sibling bullies the other, at school in the hallways, bathroom, locker room or lunchroom; lots of times bullies go after the smart kids who make exceptionally high grades because they’re jealous. Kids can be bullied in the neighborhood and jumped by other kids because they got a brand new bike for Christmas. Adults can be bullied at work because their coworkers are jealous of them and feel threatened by their competence, intelligence or popularity with people.
Mommy Me : What are the ways you offer support to children who are bullied and how can parents get in touch with you?
Cherie : Parents can get in touch with me via email or through social media. Once they reach me online, they can have me call them if they need to tell their stories and find solutions.
Kids can also reach me through facebook messenger. But I highly recommend that they have their parents, guardians or trusted adult get in touch with me first. Then we can have dialogue through the adult in charge. It’s safer that way. It protects me and it protects the child.
Also, I have also sent cards and letters of encouragement to bullied kids as well. I want to let them know that they are great kids no matter what others may tell them.
I work with other advocates as well- Bud Collier with ImBullyFree, Penny Jean The Anti-Bully Diva, Natasha Gonell with Anti Bullying Zone, and too many others to name.
I hope you enjoyed reading this interview as much as I did. I thank Cherie from the bottom of my heart for sharing her information and psychology behind bullying. The most important thing to take away from this interview is the ways to prevent bullying and this is especially for teachers and parents. I really really hope kids and parents who are going through a hard time because of bullies get benefited by this.
If you are someone who loves working for the betterment of moms and kids or if you are someone who provides a service or business that helps moms and kids to build a better lifestyle, do write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mommy Me will be honored to feature you. The world needs to hear your story. For more details, check here.