Bullies do NOT cause our low "self-esteem"...
...they only expose it!
Bullies both adults and children, will look for anyone they can to make fun of and name call and harass. Because of the decade in which I grew up, I, as a child, was able to handle the bullying problem a little differently. I'm not saying what I did was right either, for I was the "vigilante" of the bullies, which means, I was the bully of the bullies. Here was my almost daily childhood experience:
When I was a child, it was not called "bulling", it was called "being teased" or "being picked on" or "being made fun of". We didn't know the term "bullying". Second, the only one's who were NOT "teased" or "picked on" were the bullies themselves and their friends. They did it to just about everyone. So there was none of this "I'm the only one".
Two advantages that I had by the grace of God were that I was not afraid of anyone regardless of their size, because I was not afraid for my physical safety. And I believed myself to be much stronger than I was in reality.
If someone wants to bully, they will look for absolutely any way of doing it...I was "bullied" for, of all things, having 11 younger brothers and sisters at home and for having long finger nails. (Yes, we humans can really be that stupid) Most others were bullied because their name rhymed with some other word; thanks be to God, "Lara" doesn't rhyme with anything in English reality.
Others were bullied because they had glasses or because they were smarter or because they were the tallest or because they had curly hair or because of what they brought for lunch or for what clothes they were wearing that day. I had a sister who was born with one side of her mouth a little smaller than the other and she was teased for that. You name it, someone was going to use it in order to "make fun of" you!
I handled my own self being teased versus protecting others differently due to an agreement that I made with my father. My father was of the age old false belief, that if you ignore them, they will get bored and go away / leave you alone. This is so not reality. Throughout my entire childhood, not one bully ever stopped harassing anyone because they were ignored, the exact opposite occurred; it got worse! This is because one of the main goals of the bully is to get attention.
So, I compromised with my father. What I did, was any time I was teased or made fun of, I would give the person 2 chances to stop on their own and I would ignore them only (one chance per day).
But the third time that they did it, I would aggressively say, "If you do that again I will kill you!" Of course I was not going to kill anyone. And I should NOT have used this vocabulary. This was during a time in the US many decades before children where really killing each other at school. So everyone understood what that really meant...it meant that, "You and I are going to physically fight if you don't knock it off now!" I never had any child regardless of gender or size challenge my threat.
And because I had no fear of being physically injured, and all bullies are just as fearful as their victims, it worked!
Now, when it came to defending and protecting others, there were no chances. The first time I heard about or caught someone bullying someone else, they would be threatened. One of the victims whom I had protected in elementary school on the bus, I encountered as an adult and he thanked me for what I had done for him. I don't remember it at all, but he does to this day, and he's now a Lutheran Pastor and University Professor.
I of course agree with everything said against bullying. I disagree how it is being problem solved by most adults. All I see and read are parents writing self-pity articles and Facebook posts about what a victim their kid is and how they expect everyone else to stop their own child from being bullied. That is primarily helping the parent seek a pity party and avoid looking for what they are failing to do in learning how to help their child correctly:
There are several factors that adults fail to teach their children in order to be able to properly handle when they are teased, criticized, and made fun of:
All adults need to be learning and teaching their children the facts:
1. all bullies are afraid too; that's why they bully, they hate themselves and are so afraid of being rejected too, that they bully in order to be the "rejecter" out of fear of being rejected...So when you are afraid and insecure and show it, the bully knows it and will prey on that.
2. all bullies are being rejected in some way by their own parents; aka all bullies are being bullied in some way by their own parents (it just looks different)...they do not know Jesus the Christ and His Love for them...teach your child how to teach this to others. [The phrase I use with my own family members who are bullies is: "Jesus Christ loves you, so you don't need to use me to make yourself feel good."; and I walk away. You can try to come up with your own line.]
3. it is unrealistic to expect any solution to work instantaneously; expect that you will get resistance and may get an even more negative reaction at first, but keep doing all of these solutions anyway, because they are "working" on some level, whether you get the immediate results you want or not.
4. the child victim AND his or her parents need to offer the bulling to Jesus the Christ as a sacrifice for the healing of the bully and the healing of the weakness(es) that the victim of the bully suffers.
5. everything and I mean everything that we can't control, Jesus is using to try to teach us something in order to better help ourselves...Have you and your child ask Christ Jesus what He wants you all to learn from the bullying situations and listen for His answers? Write them down and discuss them together.
6. the fear and hurt and insecure feelings are your child's worst enemy; not the bullying. And the bully is NOT causing the feelings of fear and hurt and insecurity, because no one can take a feeling and stick it inside of anyone else. We feel afraid and hurt and insecure before the bully even interacts with us. The bully is simply exposing our fears and hurts and insecurities. We are all responsible for our own feelings and doing what is necessary in order to get them Permanently Healed (See #7 below) so that there is nothing for the bully to expose. Blaming your and your child's feelings on the bully, doesn't help you at all; it simply makes you and your child pretend to be helpless.
7. every time your child feels afraid, or hurt, or insecure, and daily, the child needs to tell Jesus the Christ that he or she is sorry for feeling afraid of the bully (for example), afraid of physical suffering, and afraid of being disliked and rejected, and ask for permanent healing of these fears and to be given humility, courage, and strength in place of them. And do these prayers as well with the hurt and insecure feelings.
[And you as the parent need to do this as well for yourself and your child, because if your child suffers from this, you are where they learned it from.]
8. daily the child needs to be asking Jesus the Christ to help them feel His presence and feel His Love for them, and to believe that they have value and worth as a person because they are created in His image and likeness and are Loved more than they can imagine.
[And you as the parent need to do this as well. The child victim of the bully, believes what the bully says, because his or her parents have failed in teaching their child to know and feel the Love of Jesus the Christ and base their own value and worth only in Him.]
9. daily the child needs to ask the Holy Spirit to speak through them, for when the bullying occurs, because the child needs to verbally confront the bully in some charitable way, with full confidence, and recruit other children to do so against the bully together as a group, this is Scriptural.
[Make a confrontation plan with your child and organize other school children whom your child trusts in order to practice the plan with you role playing as the bully in the safety of your own home.]
10. "charitable" does not mean "passive" nor "weak"...Have you and your child read together all the times in the New Testament that Jesus confronted the Scribe and Pharisee bullies. You can find all the verses by doing an internet search.
11. If necessary put your child in self-defense classes or buy a instructional book and/or video(s) and teach your child and practice how to defend themselves physically without harming the other.
12. Here are two awesome Veggie Tale Videos on how to handle bullying; have your child watch them repeatedly:
"VeggieTales Junior Asparagus in "Bully Trouble"
"A Snoodle's Tale" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJzJ5s970Pc
[If for some reason these links no longer exist, do a title search in Youtube]
In addition, since all children, including bullies, are mirrors and sponges of their own parents, children are bullies because their parents are bullies, who "abuse" their child in some way (it just looks different than the kid because they are adults). So why don't all of you adults who are always protesting childhood bullies...come out and call out the bullying of that child's parents?
Why don't you write posts and articles about how critical and unloving the adult caregiver(s) of the bully is? Whether you witness it or not this is an objective Psychological fact, because children don't get their bully skills out of a cereal box. And if it's an older sybling bullying a younger, then somone even older has to be bullying the older sybling. This stuff is NOT genetic.
If you really care about your child who is being bullied, more than you care about yourself, find out who the bully's parents are. Take a group of parents and make a direct visit to the bullies parents to discuss how they or the caregiver is bullying the child bully and/or setting a bad example by how the adults treat each other badly.
And if the parents react negatively, tell them that if they don't stop bullying their kid and setting a bad example, they are going to be given consequences by the police and child welfare. And don't believe the lie if they tell you that they do nothing wrong and set a perfect example for their kid.
But the bottom line is that you as a parent need to learn and teach your child how to have a real friendship with Jesus the Christ in order for all of you to get your emotional needs met properly and feel loved enough in order to handle any “bullying”.
Depressed and suicidal feelings at any age is a huge red flag sign of the suffering person rejecting the Love and presence of Jesus the Christ and being opressed/obsessed by a demon; no matter how much we "think" we love God.
If you are the parents of children who are being bullied and want this to stop, what I have written is what you as a parent are responsible for doing with your child in order to solve the problem.
Expecting others to stop bullying just because you write a meme on social media, is just as asinine as expecting anyone to never sin.
If you don't teach your child how to correctly handle bullying as a child, then don’t expect your child to be able to know how to properly handle criticism and rejection when they become an adult.