If you’re a parent, please take 3 minutes to watch the video below, Confessions of a Bully. It is a perfect example of how early intervention, education and empathy can stop a bullying incident and prevent further bullying.
The sweet 7 year old Cameron Thompson reminds us that a bully isn’t necessarily a bad kid, but simply a child who has made a bad choice.
As parents and educators, we need to help our children understand and feel empathy. They need to start caring about other people at a young age and learn how their actions impact others.
Cameron is an example of a child who is especially susceptible to acting like a bully. He has oppositional defiance disorder (ODD) and is a strong leader. If he hadn’t had good parents and other positive influences in his life explaining to him about good and bad choices, this story could have ended very differently.
All kids need to learn about good/bad choices and be taught what shame and empathy are and how to use their feelings and actions for good.
What We Can Learn From Cameron’s Story
Everyone involved in this situation led to the positive outcome…
- Cameron’s parents had set a foundation of learning about good/bad choices.
- The school intervened, stopped the teasing and informed Cameron’s parents.
- Cameron’s parents did a great job explaining to Cameron why his actions had been a bad choice and had hurt the other child. They explained shame and helped him apologize.
- Cameron took his apology further, became friends with the other child and started an anti-bullying club.
- And we must not forget… the other child and his parents forgave Cameron and they’re all working together now to help prevent bullying.
This is such a remarkable story and I think one of the reasons for the positive result is that these kids were still very young. The earlier we can talk to our kids, while they are still open to positive influence and dialog with their parents, the better the results.
Bullying Over Gender-Marketed Toys
It breaks my heart that more often than not, a case of a child being teased over a gender-based toy ends much differently.
For instance, a recent case when a boy was taunted by an entire school for bringing a My Little Pony backpack to school, instead of the school taking action to stop the bullying, the school told the bullied child to NOT bring the backpack to school as it was causing a disruption.
What a missed opportunity to help the entire school to grow in their understanding and empathy. And this blame-the-victim approach devastated the child and his family.
Fortunately, the boy and his mom raised so much awareness, that the school later reversed their ruling and allowed Grayson to bring the backpack to school.
It’s shocking to think that this recently happened after Michael Morones was so badly bullied over his love for My Little Pony that he tried to take his own life and now lays in a hospital bed with severe brain damage.
All three of these bullying stories remind us how critical it is that we teach young kids the importance of accepting each other’s differences.
Every child, boy or girl, must have the right to love whatever toy or television show they want, regardless of the gender marketing.
Please help spread the video, Confessions of a Bully, and watch it with your young children.
I also highly recommend you talk to your children about Michael and watch this news report explaining what happened to him. His is a brutally devastating cautionary tale to warn children about the life-threatening affects of bullying.
Find More Help
For more resources and help to stop bullying, visit our Anti-Bullying Resource Page and follow our Stop Bullying Pinterest Board.