Carl Katter libels me.
Bullying: helping your son be the victor, not the victim
As a resilience coach I am adamant that, in any bullying situation, you must own your part of the problem, no matter how small, no matter how unfair it may seem. No one is lily-white and blameless.
As a wise person once said – you must clean up your side of the street.
Earlier this year, I employed a gardener to do some work in our backyard. For 2.5 hours he worked but stopped many times to chat to me. In a short period I heard his life story – his marriage breakup, how his children were not talking to him, how he lost everything, how he had a breakdown, how he doesn’t have many friends, how hard it was to find a girlfriend. His life narrative was all negative and I heard not one moment of self-reflection or the taking of responsibility. He also asked not one question about my life. Such self-absorption may explain a lot.
This gardener was a bore. He was no people magnet.
Importantly, he appeared to take no responsibility for his situation. So, nothing for him will change.
You can only change what you are prepared to acknowledge.
If your son is currently being bullied, in the spirit of cleaning up your side of the street:
- Is he part of the problem? Even 5%?
- Is he a whinger, a complainer, self-absorbed, an exaggerator, loose with the truth, a passive doormat, displaying negative body language, an approval addict, a try hard, critical or a bad sport?
Of course, you might say but how can my son clean up his side of the street if he is the target of cruel taunts because he has buck teeth, acne, a disability or a lisp. That’s not his fault.
Of course, it’s not his fault, but owning his small part of the unpleasant problem may be learning to stand up for himself, developing grit, steely self-belief, strong self-esteem, choosing his friends wisely and reminding himself that the bullies are dealing with their own demons and that the problem lies principally with them and not him.
After having been bullied myself for most of high school, it was only when I was brave enough and self-aware enough to ‘own’ my part of the problem that the bullying stopped. I earned respect whilst building self-respect.
Time to own your part, and stop playing the victim.
Be the victor, not the victim.
Brighton Grammar is hosting a FREE PARENT SEMINAR featuring Melissa Anderson, exploring the issue of bullying including coping skills for parents and their children. Click here for bookings.
It’s also ok to teach kids about homophobia and transphobia. Offering a safe environment for students goes well beyond a basic anti-bullying program. Telling students it’s not ok to tease or bully another student because they’re “gay” or “fat” or “stupid” is only the start in educating them about diversity, inclusion and acceptance. It goes well beyond that, something that any educationalist worth their salt should know.
Parents, watch this video and then ask your Principal, Rabbi James Kennard, why he is refusing to give your students the safest possible schooling your hard-earned money can buy when he says he won’t join the Safe Schools Coalition Victoria (web site / Facebook page). You are currently paying for a SECOND RATE school while many others, including King David School, are offering a far safer environment for their students than Mount Scopus.
Sign Daniel Baker’s petition too and leave a message about why a safer school for your precious children is so important. They only get one chance. As parents, ask yourself if you and your school are doing the absolute best to make it the safest chance possible?
Update (Mar 6 2013): Bialik College signed up as a member of SSCV on March 1 2013. Read the Aleph Melbourne media release.
Leave a Comment » | Community, Education, Humanity, Youth | Tagged: Bullying, Daniel Baker, Homophobia, King David School, Mount Scopus Memorial College, Rabbi James Kennard, Safe Schools Coalition Victoria, Transphobia | Permalink
Posted by Michael Barnett
Please Watch & ShareJoseph’s Story of almost committing suicide & overcoming being bullied.I would be forever grateful if you would share this amazing story of a young teen on your Facebook Page. I met Joseph in Tennessee while interviewing LGBT teens across America. His story changed my life and inspired me to really honor him in my writing. Our goal is to get the video viral by October 11 for Coming Out Day.Once Again Thank You,Elliot LondonFRIEND Film is about a gay & transgendered teenager dealing with coming out in 2012. A world of social networking and social change.
Director Elliot London Wants You as Friend to LGBT Youth through
National Awareness Campaign
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
(LOS ANGELES – OCT. 2, 2012) – It’s no doubt difficult being a teenager in today’s society, especially a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered teen.
But through it all, having strong allies and friends does tend to make it easier.
Once a victim of childhood bullying and homophobia himself, film director Elliot London (The Wedding Dance) has embarked today on an empowering and eye-opening campaign across America, hoping to bring awareness to the plight of LGBT youth bullying, and the importance of support systems.
The “Friend Project” is a new campaign showcasing two separate, yet thematically connected digital vignettes from two teenagers in different parts of rural America sharing their raw and tear-jerking stories of growing up gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered in the conservative heartland of America.
Starting today, each week for the next two weeks, London will share a new video with the public, with the ultimate goal of bringing these stories and others to life through an upcoming feature film entitled Friend.
In a completely hands-on and hybrid approach, both teenagers are also acting as creative liaisons on the project, having helped integrate their own life stories into the script.
“It’s a film that will bring the narrative and the reality into one,” says London. “We will be integrating a point of view from real life teenage experiences, rather than from a room of writers in Hollywood.”
He continues, “It’s so important that we continue to support and foster true independent American cinema. Unlike many other influential nations, we do not have the luxury of much government funding, grants and support they do for indie cinema, especially in a niche market.”
In the first film, viewers will get to meet Joseph, a timid, yet courageous 16-year-old boy from Tennessee who once thought suicide was the only way out from the pain and torment that bullying carved into his impressionable young soul.
Anyone interested in becoming a part of Friend is encouraged to visit the project’s IndieGoGo campaign page at indiegogo.com/friendproject All donations are tax-deductible, as this film is being supported through Fractured Atlas, a registered 501(c)3.
The Jewish community is a funny animal. Two weeks ago, on February 10, I brought to the attention of senior community leadership news of a story that was going to break that would put a spotlight on the Jewish community. After some resistance, a statement was issued by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry distancing the Jewish community from the distasteful views of a certain ‘respected’ rabbi.
The following week saw the story get the front-cover on both the Melbourne commuter newspaper mX and gay community newspaper Star Observer. Sydney’s Gay News Network also comprehensively covered the story as it unfolded. GLBT community radio JOY 94.9FM and veteran journalist and broadcaster Doug Pollard was also swift on covering and helping to break the story both on air and online. Even bloggers Mike Stuchbery and Torrents of Scorn took a stance on the issue. The take-up and interest by these outlets was impressive.
This week’s edition of the Australian Jewish News sees a highly reactive cover-story response to the news that I brought to the attention of the Jewish community two weeks ago. I am of the firm belief that if I had not responded to a tip-off from Doug Pollard on this story and set into place a chain of events, including bringing the developing stories to the attention of the Jewish News, that the paper would not have given this story the high-profile status that it has received this week. Kudos to the AJN for the coverage of an important issue nevertheless.
The actual issue at play here is a deeply odious statement by Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen that challenges the ethics of an anti-bullying program that affirms homosexuality. So offensive is the stance of this academic that both the ECAJ, the Monash University Faculty of Education staff and the Monash University media office have distanced themselves from his views.
Adding an extra dimension to this story, Monash University has been found to have an adjunct/honorary association with Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen, ongoing to 2015. Monash University have advised that the academic is not an employee of the university and that they believe the association with him is meritorious.
I have petitioned the university to hold Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen to account for his homophobic views, such that he compares homosexuality to incest and bestiality, and put it to the university that they would not be so welcoming of an academic who’s speciality was Holocaust denial.
The issue of homophobia and bullying is firmly on the radar of the Australian Jewish community now. It will be interesting to see the response from the community to an issue that makes so much of it deeply uncomfortable. It will also be interesting to see how Monash University handles the uncomfortable situation they find themselves in.
In September 2010 Ilana Leeds told us she was a victim of bullying. On Monday this week (Feb 13 2012), Ilana Leeds showed her support for Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen, a man who wants to delegitimise an anti-bullying program, simply because it affirms homosexuality.
The hypocrisy here is amazing. Really it is. It’s beggars belief that a self-professed anti-bullying campaigner is promoting the very attitudes, based on disproven junk science, that have been shown to contribute to the alarmingly high rates of youth suicide in Australia.
The bullied anti-bullying campaigner joins ranks with the bully who wants to disband the life-saving anti-bullying program.