When I decided it was time for me to share my story of how I became a teen mother yet beat the statistics, I began to reflect on my life. And how I got to a place where my self-esteem was so low that I felt that just because this boy told me that I was pretty I should let him touch me.
My memory took me back to elementary school.
On top of that, I sucked my thumb and pushed my already big teeth further out of my mouth.
Students teased me, calling me a boy and beaver. They even created the I Hate Summer Club. As puberty hit, my body changed giving me new challenges. New insecurities. New things for people to say about me.
New reasons not to like how I looked.
All of those thoughts, feelings, words, and actions stayed with me until I understood how to stop bullying in my life.
Bullying is a major problem for youth which can lead to devastating consequences. For me, it made me insecure, and withdrawn, and seemingly shy when I later realized that I wasn’t. It can lead to depression, missing school, poor academic peformance, low self-esteem and the worst- suicide.
I am grateful for my journey and how I was able to deal with my bullying situation. Today, my mission to stop bullying is an important part of the literacy and life skills curriculum I created to help students achieve S.O. What! Success. That’s success over obstacles.
3 Tips to Stop Bullying
At the end of the first chapter of my book, The Innocent, Little Girl, I share these three tips or revelations I got from my bullying experience. This is by no means all that one should consider or do if they are in a bullying situation. This short list includes just a few things for both the bullied and the bully to think about to stop bullying.
- Children can be cruel but don’t realize how they make others feel. Don’t let other people’s opinions determine actions. Many times, people mistreat others out of jealousy and not understanding that person rather than a true dislike for that person.
- Treat people with kindness. Everyone has issues and insecurities they may be dealing with that others may not know or understand.
- A person’s worth should not be determined by how they look on the outside. Take time to know and appreciate people for who they are and not for how they dress or look.
But bullying is complicated with long-lasting impacts. Schools have policies, and there are even state laws in place to protect children. Stopbullying.gov has information and resources to help deal with bullying.
What are some ways that bullying has impacted your life? What advice do you have that could help stop bullying?