Me and My Friend Prince William

   Written by on December 7, 2017 at 1:06 pm
Cheryl Gowin and Dennis Gowin.  Call us at our counseling practice with your feedback, comments, issues, or questions at 434-808-2637.

Cheryl Gowin and Dennis Gowin.  Call us at our counseling practice with your feedback, comments, issues, or questions at 434-808-2637.

Are you in the process of addressing a stack of Christmas cards?  Are you struggling to write your annual letter telling the world about all the great things that have happened this year?  However, you don’t know what to include.  How about including a plan that follows in the footsteps of your friend Prince William?  Okay, not to live in a castle or aspire to being the King of England but making 2018 the year you help stamp out bullying.

Have you heard about the Duke of Cambridge’s Royal Foundation’s Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying?  The Foundation produced a guide for children on how to cope with a “banter escalation scenario.”  The guide urges young people to “stop, speak, support.”  It asks them to stop and recognize a bullying situation, speak to an adult about a situation that concerns them, and offer support to the individual who is the target of bullying.

Oh, but you say your child is not affected or involved in bullying.  Have you ever thought that all kids fall into one of three categories:  the kid subjected to bullying, the child doing the bullying, or the people on the sidelines who see the bullying but turn a deaf ear and closed eye to the bullying.

In which category do your children fall and what should you do?

Many parents take the stance of denial or thinking there is no problem.  Many of us have a tendency to view teasing as harmless fun.  If this is you, you may be passing on an attitude of indifference regarding bullying.  Your kids may read your indifference as meaning bullying is okay.  Or you don’t care if your children are the target of bullying.  Your indifference may lead your children to think you don’t take bullying seriously.

Children need to understand that that what may seem natural to them may be harmful to others.  Communication and teaching empathy at home is the beginning.  Talk to your child about how it feels to be bullied.  Explain that bullying in any form causes pain to others.  Let them know that name-calling, teasing, hitting, pushing, spreading rumors, cyberbullying, and all other forms of bullying are wrong, and not acceptable behavior.

Ask them how they would stop bullying from occurring if they could.  Start your children thinking about what has to change.  What can they do to stop it?  Talk with them about what they should do when they witness bullying.  Your goal is to help your children develop an awareness of bullying.

Lastly, talk with them about what they should do when they witness bullying.  Encourage your kids to speak to an adult if they are bullied or see others being bullied.  Help your child identify an adult who can give comfort, support, and advice.  Your child needs to feel empowered to report bullying to the appropriate people.

Prince William met with Lucy Alexander, whose son Felix killed himself as a result of bullying, and Chloe Hine who, at the age of 13, attempted to take her own life.  Prince William’s response to their discussion was, “I think it is worth reminding everyone the human tragedy of what we are talking about here isn’t just about companies and about online stuff – it’s actually real lives that get affected.  And, the consequences, that is the big thing, the consequences of what happens if things are not kept in check in terms of what we say and what we do.  We are still responsible for our own actions online – this anonymity, as you were saying, is really, really dangerous.”

Make 2018 the year you work to stop bullying.  Just think, in next year’s Christmas letter you can write about how you and your friend Prince William both worked to help eliminate bullying.

But, I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.  Luke 6:27-28     Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  Ephesians 4:29

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Call us with your feedback, comments, issues, or questions; our phone number is 434-808-2637.

About Cheryl & Dennis Gowin

Cheryl Gowin, Counselor and Dennis Gowin, Director of Discovery Counseling Center. Contact us with your feedback, comments, issues or questions at 434-808-2426 or dgowin@discoverycounseling.org.

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