An Inside Look at Bullying…

“Anti-bullying” is the new hot commodity. And everyone seems to have an expert opinion… people who haven’t been bullied.

Two nights ago I was watching TV and an ad for the “news at 11:00” came on. A robotic anchorman declared, “A backpack that your kids can wear to prevent bullying… news, at 11:00.”

Simply hilarious.

Doing research on the subject, I found web sites where you can buy signs and banners where PhD’s argue, “This anti-bullying sign will motivate students to think positively and care for others.”

I’d love to line up a panel of 10 bullied kids and ask them. “How are those anti-bullying signs working?” If they were being completely candid, one kid would probably share, “Someone rolled up one of those anti-bullying banners just last week and beat the snot out of me with it!”

The fact is, bullying was a problem 50 years ago, it was 20 years ago, and it still is today. I’m not speaking as a guy who studies youth culture right now, or as a guy who’s been in youth ministry almost 20 years… I sharing as a guy who was bullied (and when you see my picture from when I was in elementary school… you’ll see why I was bullied). In fact, my dad was bullied, I was bullied, and my son was bullied… big time. Forget “anti-bully” signs for a minute. Let’s look at the problem for what it is, and how we can really take a dent out of it.

I went ahead and posted the article early. It’s the Youth Culture Window article for next week. It’s titled, Voices of the Bullied” (CLICK HERE). It was an emotional piece to write, especially the parts about my son Alec. Alec went through the article with me and gave input throughout. I hope it’s a help to parents and youth workers who work not only with bullied kids, but with bullies.

(Oh yeah… and you’ll see that picture of me too. Be nice!)

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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One Response to An Inside Look at Bullying…

  1. Deb says:

    I can relate to your article. When we moved to a new area, our daughter was bullied. It was a difficult time for her and us. I so appreciate your article on bullying. I plan to share this with our parents at church. Thank you and God bless you! 🙂