Children often wonder how to stop a bully. Should they tell a teacher? Should they tell their parents? The bigger question is why kids bully in the first place. I often wonder if we could stop the bullying before it starts by teaching our children to focus on something they love.
Yeah, I know…it sounds a little WOO-WOO to think love could be the secret to how to stop a bully, but you never know until you try. I mean, could we ignite the hearts and minds of our children so much so that they can’t even recognize the impulse to bully another?
What started out as a book tour in support of Saltwater Taffy, where I have had the privilege of speaking to over 10,000 kids nationwide, the Saltwater Taffy Tour is not just another author trying to sell a book, but a movement of literacy and education, a movement of creativity and desire, and quite simply,a movement that teaches children to listen to their hearts by choosing what they love to do.
If we can all agree that our thoughts are energy, then my focus is to teach our kids to think not about the ‘positive’ (because a kid can be positive that they are angry, frustrated, or alone), but to think about something that fuels their soul. The more ‘in tune’ a kid has with a soul call (something they love), the more they can leave behind the desire to ‘fit in with the crowd,’ which is the ignition to bully others.
If we can teach our children to focus and develop mental habits that support who they are and who they are to become, we can help them move past the worry, doubt and fear of peer pressure and pressuring others who are different. We all must remember that our “differentness” is the very thing that makes our country great.
The act of bullying has nothing to do with the person being bullied, but everything to do with the bully itself. I refer to the bully as ‘itself’ because I believe the act is simply a learned behavior, fueled by feelings of disconnection, frustration and anger and not the kid doing to bullying. We are all born into this world with only one emotion and that is the emotion of love. We learn fear. We learn anger. We learn frustration and hate.
The one thing that connects us all, and by ‘all’ I mean every living person on this planet, is our desire to love and be loved. I could focus on the behavior of the bully and try to ‘fix it,’ but I believe the behavior and emotive power of love has the ability to outlast, outwit, and out maneuver the behavior of hate, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
When a kid has the mental toughness and courage to focus on what they love, to dream about their future and the possibilities before them, they won’t have the mental capacity or incapacity to bully someone who is different. When we love, nothing else matters.
To all the bullies out there, I offer this reminder from the pages of Saltwater Taffy: ‘Always remember, each moment is another adventure waiting to happen.’ When you bully, you are not only wasting the time of the person you choose to bully, but you are wasting your own time. You are a gift to the rest of us, so make us proud of who you are becoming.