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Over the past month I have heard this question being asked by students and mothers picking up the pieces from the school yard more than enough times.It breaks my heart to see Mothers that are frustrated and friengthen for their precious child. To see our young people with tear stained faces trying to understand what they are meant to do to be accepted.

Cruelty, bullying, disrespect is commonly seen among our students and the wider community. Just as any mother wants to enlighten any small or big situation and help solve young student issues that occur on a daily to weekly bases, by talking about RESPECT. Respect for yourself and others and talking about the awareness of a positive 'Ripple Effect' that each of us are able to create.

Identify the Problem

Whether it is either you who are being mistreated or disrespected, or a daughter, a student who may be experiencing conflict with peers, a teachers or even member of the community. We all will experience cruelty and we will at some stage enflick cruelty whether knowingly or unconsciously. Each of us need to recognise our own actions and the effect they have on others and adjust immediately. Even when we are not happy, we can find ways to be truthful without sacrificing the other person. How you say? By speaking and acting with RESPECT and honouring the person facing you.

If you choose to ignore this common but growing problem the effects will be long term emotional harm and potential physical harm on all sides of the pond.

Symptoms to Identify Current Issues.

Each individual will cope with each situation differently. Some may display quiet behaviour, others may show disruptive/outrage behaviour, or continuous emotional imbalance. These are little signs of emotional abuse, cruelty to an individual and low self-worth. If you recognise them, you can take action by asking the question; Are you ok? How can I help? Look them in the eye and simply smile!

Facts of Bullying 

Cruelty among young children are 1 in 4 students being bullied weekly.

83% of students who bully online, also bully in person. 

Peers that are present as onlookers in 87% of bullying interactions, and play a central role in the bullying process.

Solution to Having a Conscious Awareness

RESPECT. Every behaviour and decision made in the community all comes back to the roots of having respect for yourself and having respect for other individuals regardless of their culture, appearance, ability or gender. 

For those experiencing cruelty, know you are worthy of RESPECT from your peers (younger or older), from your teachers (dancing or school). Cruelty is actioned out of a place of insecurity, resentment and or pain that the other person is experiencing. You are merely the mirror they are focusing on. 

So the choice is yours, do you enter into the pond of their insecurity or do you create your own ripples of self RESPECT with words of encouragement backed up by actions that bring peace and focus on positive actions.

Respect yourself as a unique individual with differences that tell you apart from the ordinary world and you RESPECT and honour others in theirs. This will solve all conflict, as you understand you have the ability to believe in your strengths no matter anyone else's opinion. This is then the great theory of the 'Ripple Effect'. 

The Ripple Effect

Being aware of your actions can have either a positive ripple effect or a negative effect. You can create a better environment from just one small action. One smile to another student may just reciprocate to another action of kindness and generate to a community of kindness. I encourage you to smile at anyone you feel needs to smile today, or smile at anyone that disrespects you or your peers. Spread that kindness with a strong and compassionate stance. 

For those witnessing cruelty as a bystander, the 'Ripple Effect' can also be an effective solution. Saying NO to bullying in your presence, sends a message to your surrounding peers that bullying/cruelty is not accepted. This message is then carried through those surrounding and creating a bigger NO bullying policy. Stand together as peers to RESPECT one another. 


Sources: Bullying No Way!. (2018). Facts and figures.