Bullying in school; workplace; parliament; The Bachelor Australia and The US Open Tennis.
Bullying occurs in school, the workplace, in parliament and in elite sport; online, and on reality TV shows, like The Bachelor Australia.
Moreover, bullying in the 21st century invades our homes like never before. That is not to say that we have not seen, for many years, representations of mean behaviours in books and movies. Anyone who has read traditional fairy-tales will be familiar with the representations of sibling rivalries that turn nasty. Disney movies are full of mean characters.
What’s different is that bullying comes home from school with a child. Access to social media platforms means that a message can be sent to groups throughout the evening and into the night, so there’s no escape. These messages can be cruel, such as a group discussion about body shape, or hair colour, or an event that not all of the group are included in.
Meanwhile, on the TV series The Bachelor Australia in recent weeks, two women, who claim to be working in business, behaved in such a manner as to make me anxious. I’m quite sure I was not the only person to be left feeling this way. Many posts on Twitter, support this:
These horrible nasty girls on the Bachelor Australia are behaving so hideously. Absolute bullying. And it is not okay!
#StopBullying #MeanGirlsSuck #BachelorAu @TheBachelorAU Future employers take note of these girls behaviour.
Another post asked the question, “where is bullying worse, on The Bachelor or in Parliament?”
I feel that this isn’t the question we need to be asking. The fact is it’s ugly in both contexts and in others besides.
The pressing issue is around the well-being of our children and young adults who are seeing and hearing AND experiencing first hand, such behaviour.
I was made anxious by the Kat and her stooges, on The Bachelor, because it brought back the feelings I felt in junior school. I’m now in my 50s and she, my version of Kat, (her name was Elizabeth)
, made my early school years so bad that I reacted to those women (who claimed to be in the show to be looking for love), in a quite extreme way. It stays with you.
If your son or daughter is being taunted and excluded, they can’t escape unless you support them. Not only are they getting Snapstories etc on their smart phones, but they’re also seeing the same behaviour played out by adults – business owners (Kat has a jewelry line, apparently – heaven help her staff), elite tennis players such as Serena Williams https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2018/09/08/serena-williams-vs-naomi-osaka-us-open-2018-final-live-score/, and parliamentarians alike, on TV.
As a parent it is essential to help our children to see some balance in what they hear and see on the news and in movies and shows. Talk to them about:
- what is presently in the media being extreme examples of rare events
- the likely penalties on bullies – fines, eliminations, sanctions, scrutiny
- how to be resilient in the face of what might seem to be a targeted attack by another
- how to limit their contact with online content
As part of my coaching services I support my young clients holistically, and so if they are struggling with issues at school or work, I will work through coping strategies with them. I am also trained to know the limits of my expertise and I will refer at client to a medical health practitioner. If I am concerned that there are some underlying issues that might be impacting their:
- sleep patterns
- changed behaviour – school avoidance, loss of social connections
- concentration and/or motivation
- new behaviours at mealtimes – loss of appetite, avoiding foods/entire meals
- new and extreme sporting activities
I will recommend they talk to a trusted family member and I may offer a referral to an Adolescent Psychologist.
If you are concerned about how your child is coping at school, university, or in the workplace, I can offer career coaching that is underpinned by unconditional positive regard and a caring holistic approach in the ongoing relationship. I will not turn a blind eye to bullying.
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