Anti-Bullying Week – article two
An article by our Well-being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater and her video!
I am getting so weary of the overused and frankly empty word “awareness.”
What is the point of simply being “aware” for just a week without actually educating anyone?
We have autism “awareness” month, ADHD “awareness” month, anti-bullying “awareness” week …. But ALL of these things are either LIFE LONG or life changing.
Bullies will still bully long after this week is over, and victims will still be victims.
At least with neurodiversity we have gifts and strengths along with the challenges …
But bullying can literally change and even shorten lives. I personally and professionally know of several young people who have taken their lives in the last few months directly due to bullying.
Just as I am writing this my best friend is undergoing extensive jaw surgery 20 years after a group of older boys beat her up. She has Aspergers and has gone on to become a tremendous singer and made it to Miss Universe and the X Factor – but today she will be 11 years old again inside her head, reliving all that trauma and PTSD.
It never goes.
I know that personally too.
So, in my own work I often work with bullies as well as victims, mixing therapies into games so that it is always an invitation. They get to ask me questions too, so we are on a level. It is a conversation starter and although a little unconventional and off the wall at times, it WORKS!!
Whether it is weaving “Exploring Anxiety “or “Exploring Anger” lucky dip questions woven into UNO, Snakes and Ladders or table tennis, with a sweet for each time a question is answered …. Just do whatever you have to do to OPEN THAT CONVERSATION.
ANTI BULLYING WEEK Therapy games to explore anxiety & anger … for the bullies too. Get to the root!
And when it opens, just LISTEN. Do not offer false hope or promises, do not diminish those feelings, or bring your own story into it.
Just listen, without interruption and without judgment, even when it is hard.