Adults must be positive role models
When adults bully youth there are long term impacts.
March 17, 2016 - Author: Gretchen Stelter, Michigan State University Extension
Whether in schools or out and about in public, far too often we hear about our youth bullying others. Unfortunately, they are more likely to accept it as a reasonable way to act after seeing it happen so often on television and social media.
There are many great adult role models working with our youth in sports, education, 4H or the workplace but do we have enough? And what about the adults working with youth who are not good role models? Shocking as it may seem we find many adults are bullying our youth.
How will our youth learn respect, compassion and trust if they are beaten down by adults using swear words, accusations and disgusting language? Does this really make a strong person? Understandably, it can be frustrating sometimes to be mentoring youth when they are not focused on the situation. Despite this, no one ever has the right to belittle someone else.
Do adults that “bully” youth really believe that our young people will become model citizens after being called disgusting names, or told they will never amount to anything? Are the adults, that are bullying, model citizens? Most of us would answer, “No”.
“Teachers who Bully Students: A Hidden Trauma,” by Stuart Twemlow, states that 70 percent of teachers know of other teachers deliberately bullying students. 40 percent of these mentors said they were the ones to bully students. This does not mean all mentors bully students by any means, but the fact is some do and any amount is a cause for concern.
Nancy Willard, founder of EmbraceCivility.org explains that bullying is hurtful and may cause severe stress. Is that what we want for our youth? We must build our youth so they have the ability and fortitude to be successful in different stages of life.
A 2010 Harris Poll states that when young people are bullied, physically and mentally, they have a greater propensity to become involved in domestic violence and bullying others as an adult. They are more likely to end up threatening and pushing family members, participate in the public humiliation of others and much more.
Let us be model mentors for our youth! We can educate them by example and be proud of their success.