Government Anti-Bullying Programs Will Take Years and Have Little Effect Since Bullying Will Never End. Kids Need Help Now.

The recent announcement by the Canadian Government of the creation of an anti-bullying program will take years and have little effect since many are under the impression that bullying ends with graduation.  Bullying will never end.  The bullies at school will later be replaced by supervisors, co-workers, neighbours, unions, governments and possibly by a husband or a wife.  Although the government should be applauded for their efforts, kids need the skills to recognize and learn how to deal with bullying today.  Bullying takes place every day and can start at any time.  Waiting for a program to be developed and implemented does nothing to help a kid being bullied right now and we have the programs to address this situation.

Unfortunately, these government sponsored programs attract what people would call “the good kids.”  They already know the difference between right and wrong.  The kids who most need these programs do not realize that bullying is wrong.  They see it all around them inside and outside of school.

In Ontario, some teachers unions instructed their members to withhold extracurricular activities in their negotiations with the government.  Those teachers who wished to offer extracurricular activities to their students were threatened with a fine of $500 a day by the union if they didn’t follow along.  Students were well aware of the situation and recognized it as bullying.  That is just one example of why bullying will never end.

The victims of bullying are chosen because of their perceived weakness.  They are seen as strange, different in their race, language or sexual preference and lacking in their ability to defend themselves.

Parents are encouraged to give their kids the skills they need to recognize and deal with bullying.  Telling a kid to “toughen up” or comparing their situation to their own upbringing does not help a kid.  It may in fact do the opposite by giving them the impression that their problems are not important.  Telling them “you’ll grow out of it” offers little help as well.

“Kids today need to have confidence in themselves.  They need to know who they are and to feel comfortable about it” says Brian Presley of What To Do With The Kids®.  “The most vulnerable are kids who doubt themselves so when someone bullies them they almost start to believe what the bully is saying is true.  When bullies say or write things about them, kids with high self-esteem can easily shrug it off as someone being stupid.  If more people are confident about themselves, eventually bullies will have no one to attack and that’s why we’ve created our Leadership Programs.”

The What To Do With The Kids® Self Esteem program is designed to give kids the skills they need by discussing their thoughts and opinions on a number of topics and participate in exercises that help them to understand how they feel, how they view themselves, their attitude and how it affects them.  Participants leave with a better sense of who they are, how they perceive themselves and how better to communicate their feelings.  It helps develop their confidence and self-respect so that if they are bullied, they’ll understand what is happening and what the bully is trying to do.  A kid with high self-esteem is less likely to be affected by bullies, less likely to turn to drugs and alcohol and less likely to get into trouble.

All What To Do With The Kids® Leadership Programs are designed by former local Boys and Girls Club Staff with a combined 30 years of experience.

Leadership Programs in the Ottawa area will begin in July.  An agreement has also been reached to offer the Self Esteem program in Renfrew through the local public library starting in September.

Brian Presley: “The 7 hours spent in the Self Esteem program will go a long way in helping kids deal with bullies now and when they leave school.  After all, bullying will never end.”



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