Bullying has a long history. Here are some recorded facts.
- Bullying was first documented in literature in Tom Brown’s School Days on July 16th, 1857.
- October 4th, 1867 – A 12-year-old child died from “bullying behavior” at Kings School in Canterbury, United Kingdom.
- April 1st, 1897 – The first significant research data on bullying was published in Pedagogical Seminary by Frederick L. Burk
- March 12th, 1978 – The First Systematic Method of Studying Bullying. Dr. Dan Olweus began his research in 1978 and has spent several decades researching the issue of bullying to help keep children safe in schools and other settings. Olweus developed the first systematic method of studying bullying using a self-respect questionnaire.
- May 31st, 1981 – First Proposition of Anti-Bullying Law. As early as 1981, Dr. Dan Olweus proposed enacting a law against bullying in schools so students could be spared the repeated humiliation involved.
- June 17th, 1989 – The definition of bullying continues to evolve. By the end of the 1980s, the meaning of bullying is continually evolving to include direct verbal taunting, exclusion, and the spreading of rumors. *
The Cambridge Dictionary defines the word bully as:
“Someone who hurts or frightens someone who is smaller or less powerful, often forcing them to do something that they do not want to do.” **
Bullying is still very rampant in schools, workplaces, and the internet. What can be done about it? Have we looked at this issue from all sides? What if we could turn the tables on bullying by altering the victim’s point of view? Allow me to explain.
Stepping sideways, let’s get inside the mind of the person who is doing the bullying. Does this person like themselves? Do they have low self-esteem? Have they been bullied in the past? Do they get belittled when they are at home? Are they under intense pressure to do things against their will? How sad is that!
Now imagine that each time someone tries to bully you, you see a sad person before you who does not like themselves.
Imagine that you say to them, “I am so sorry for you because all I see is a sad person who needs to feel superior by putting others down. You need help.” How do you think they may react? Shocked?! You’ve just taken the wind out of their sails.
What stood out for me when I did the research into bullying was Dr. Dan Olweus’s self-respect questionnaire. What if you taught your kids, or all kids, self-respect and strong self-esteem so that the act of bullying rolls right off of them?
One of the fastest ways to build self-esteem is to write down three things that you did well at the end of the day.
They don’t have to be big things; it could be as simple as smiling at someone. Have your kids write down three things every night, for seven days, that they did well, and the research shows that self-esteem continues to climb for a month before plateauing for a month. Make it a life-long habit, and they’ll never have self-esteem issues again! Another simple thing that you can do before your kids go to sleep is to tell them, “I love you. You are going to have great success in your life. I am proud of you.” Allow their subconscious minds to do the rest.
Bullying isn’t going to go away anytime soon. However, when you connect children to the power of self-respect and rock-solid self-esteem, the control a bully has over them dissipates.