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Bullying 101: The Leader


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This is the place we all want to be and if you are not in a leadership position, make sure you are following a great leader. The Leader is the only role that is not dealing with a self-esteem issue. Yes, it is always a work in progress and we can always deepen our relationship with ourselves, but leaders know who they are and who they are not.

Who are they? They are individuals who can’t tolerate bullying, no matter who is involved. It is like a bad taste in their mouth that they have to get rid of. Who aren’t leaders? Leaders are not people who just sit by and watch bullying going on. They can’t. They feel compelled to connect and get involved. Now I did not say confront, but rather connect. If you confront a bully that person will want to knock you into tomorrow. What leaders do best is connect. They can connect with bullies to find out why they have disconnected and what is needed to reconnect. They can also connect with victims and find out where they have disconnected and what is needed for them to reconnect.

Leaders operate most efficiently when they work in groups. A group of dynamic leaders is the best cure for bullying. Yes, individuals can make a difference, but especially in dealing with a bully, it is best to increase your numbers when connecting with this person. Leaders are those people who look into their mirrors and know who they are. The words that float inside their heads on a daily basis are not negative, nor self-sabotaging words. On the contrary, they fill their minds and their lives with empowerment. The best way they lead is by example. We all yearn to be leaders at one time or another. When it comes to bullying, we should all want to be leaders…not bullies, not victims, and not witnesses.

So again, my challenge to you is to identify which role you, as the parent/guardian played when you were a kid and which role you are playing today. Is it the same role or did you make a shift at some point in your life when maybe you said, “enough is enough.” Share this transition with your child, letting them know why you were one way and why you are the other today. Let them know that change is possible. Give them confidence that it is better than o-kay to be a leader or follow a great leader. Help them come to the realization that bullying is unacceptable by not just telling them not to bully, but more importantly, why people bully. Information is power, but what is even more powerful is when a child can arrive at their own understanding through you guidance and the sharing of your own experiences. That is when your child embarks upon the best journey in the entire world, the journey of self-discovery.

My fellow parents…bullying is going on in your child’s elementary, middle, and high school. While the ideal situation is to eliminate it totally, that is not being real. The truth is that people, young and old, are going to disconnect from themselves from time to time and thus do some harmful things to themselves and others. By working on ourselves, making peace with our own pasts, and being fully present for our children, we can reduce the number of these incidences and address and hopefully resolve quicker the ones that still transpire. My challenge to each and every one of you who is reading this is to do your part. Stop playing the blame game and take full responsibility for your role and your child’s role in bullying. That will be a great start!

Scott Chesney is a motivational speaker and life coach, Verona resident, husband, and parent of two children. You can reach him at [email protected]. Read all five parts of his special column on bullying here.

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