Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stopping Bullying Among Children

Recently there have been a spate of stories of children being bullied and sometimes taking their lives to escape from the abuse. What are we to make of this?  Remedies have been a topic of much discussion. The journalist writing on the subject in the  Catholic Times worries about his own school children.

Why have we not been able to put a stop to this? he asks. The specialists have introduced all kinds of solutions. With the emphasis we have put on achieving academic excellence, we have forgotten the importance of educating for character, for the whole  person. Our sudden progress in industrialization, finances, and knowledge has put the practice of virtue on a secondary level. Getting rich quick, pleasure-seeking, commercialization of sex, depiction of gratuitous violence in movies and in the news media, and a money-buys-all approach to life can't help but be a potent influence on our young.

And it will be our young who will be running the next generation. Our greatest help to them will be to understand them, determine what are their concerns and desires, their present internal conflicts, and to help them come to a proper appreciation of who they are.The columnist reminds us that the mass media is always talking about mutual understanding, dialogue; the magic wand that will cure all the problems. In most cases, working parents don't have the time to spend with their children, talking with them, trying to understand what is bothering them, just being with them. This is the reason for many of the problems destroying family life.

As part of the solution, the Church's effort to make parish life attractive to the young is on-going, making it a place where they are able to rid themselves of some of their stress and to recharge themselves for their life in society. Efforts made for  'one time big events' are no longer going to appeal to the young; they want and need to be listened to concerning the small but important to them daily events in their lives. 

Parents should not only teach about the faith life but be an example of this faith life in the home. The home needs to be a place where everyone will feel the warmth and intimacy of a shared life. Now is the time, he believes, for the older generation to begin solving the problems of the young by making their problems our problems. 


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