Bullying – the Power of M

Bullying – the Power of M

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I read your suggestions for students and thought of writing to you about my problem. I am a high school student. Lately I am being teased very often by my class mates. They pick up anything I do or say and make it a laughing stock. I am frustrated and don’t know what to do. If I tell them that it makes me angry, they say I am ‘un cool’. Don’t you think they are being so un cool in teasing me? I don’t want to tell my parents or teachers about it. It will simply become a big issue. What do I tell them that will shut them up completely?

Case study

The need of the hour is to focus on being solution-oriented rather than problem-oriented, towards our children or even our life situations. By this I mean that many a times, we get caught up in discussing what is not right with our lives and in the process making everything seem wrong. What’s more? We end up feeling even more miserable and more convinced that our problems are too great to have any solutions! What a pity!!I would say it is actually just the opposite because each time we encounter a new situation or face a new challenge, it means that we need to shed or mend our old ways and think of a new game plan. These are opportunities in disguise that keep us from stagnating; the chances life gives us to think anew and begin afresh, ‘because there’s no end to learning and no stop to adventure! Next time you catch yourself going ‘Blah blah blah’ about your child or husband or work, stop and say, ‘Hey wait a minute! Maybe I can think of something we could do to overcome these problems…’Taking the charge, being open to changing views and behaviors, pledging to remain happy and being hopelessly hopeful are the rules of the game. Ready to play??

I appreciate your courage to come up with this issue. It is indeed tough sometimes to deal with class teasing. But I want you to know that it is not impossible.

• You have tried telling your class mates not to tease you. That is a brave step you took and I think you can definitely deal with this.
• You can think of telling your parents, trusted teacher or principal about this. It helps when someone elder and responsible is informed about what is happening. This will also make you feel secure and stronger in dealing with them.
• If they continue to tease you, just remember that you are better than them and you have better things to do. So take off from the situation or at least take your mind off it. Think of your good qualities, the people who trust you and your close friends. Remember that what they are saying to you is not true and you are much better than that.
• It may help thinking of how they feel about themselves if they talk like that about you. You must pity them actually for not valuing themselves by doing such acts. Imagine them as little children crying for attention.
• Last but not the least; ignore them as if they were invisible and inaudible. If you happen to cross tracks, imagine all of them shrinking and contracting in front of your eyes, till they look small like crawling ants. Have a good laugh at your imaginary scene and move forth.
• Stick to your own group and your own people. Make yourself comfortable and don’t worry.

Such phases are a part and parcel of life but we must be strong, confident, positive about ourselves and a little imaginative 😉 Strengthen your good qualities and keep reminding yourself constantly of them. Repeat to yourself, ‘I am good, capable and loveable.’

Case study

My teenager son just celebrated his birthday party. A few of his friends bought him really expensive gifts. The problem now is that we cannot afford to get such expensive gifts for his friends and my son insists that we buy them something for an equal amount. He says that he feels embarrassed to give something of lesser value. I explained to him that we will buy the best of gifts within our budget. I generally suggest books because they are a life long companion. So, I said that we can get them some really good book, worth reading and the book will be such a thoughtful and useful gift, not expensive but reasonable. My son agreed at that time but I am wondering whether I did the right thing. Don’t you think we should set a limit on the price of gifts and still gift the best we can?
-Amanda, London.

Your confusion is understandable. You also seem to be a very conscientious mother. Well, I would like to say that it is absolutely fine to decide the upper limit for gifting. There will always be people who can and will gift above and below your limit. It is an individual choice. Gifts are an expression of love and the feeling has to be valued more than the price. Maybe his friends are very rich and can buy such gifts. If you are uncomfortable accepting them, you could mention it to them to avoid bringing any gifts for the party next time. If they still do bring a gift, say ‘Thanks’ and accept it. If it is too expensive and you are uncomfortable accepting it, say so and politely refuse the gift. You can use your judgement to decide what is appropriate at that point of time. It is important to teach our children the value for money, budgeting and planning finances. You can also take the help of this book.

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This incident is an important lesson for your child about affordability, differences among people’s opinions and capacities and decisions regarding finances. Besides, he can now also learn to pick out the best within his budget. Good going!

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