Families Find Solutions to Bullying From a Surprising Source
November 2, 2022
As millions of children attend school this year, more than one in five of them will experience bullying, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. And in a national study by the Cyberbullying Research Center, nearly 21% of tweens said they had been a target, aggressor or witness to bullying online or by other electronic means.
As parents search for ways to protect their children, a growing group of families are turning to an unlikely source for practical guidance: the Bible.
Anaconda residents Jason and Tressa talk with their two daughters about helpful scriptural principles they learn through their faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“You would like to be there 24/7 to watch over your child,” Jason said. “That’s the desire that we have — to be there to protect them, and the reality is you can’t.” He added, “Helping them to have some knowledge on how to handle certain situations is really key to their success.”
They also use jw.org, the Witnesses’ official website, where a search for the term bullying brings up a wealth of free resources including videos, articles, worksheets and other online activities on topics young people face at school. Those resources include a whiteboard animation entitled, “Beat a Bully Without Using Your Fists” and an animated cartoon about the powerful effect of prayer for those who are being bullied.
Talking with kids openly and often helps too. “That is really key because if we don’t know how they’re dealing with it, we don’t know how to help them with it,” Jason said.
Jason and Tressa’s oldest daughter agrees and has learned that talking to a responsible adult can be a powerful tool to navigate a tricky situation. “Not only will it prevent the bullying from happening to you, but there are also other kids who could face that same bully,” she explained, “and so it could defuse it for others too.”
Even with resources to help parents and children, there are still challenges.
“Not every situation resolves so easily. But applying the Bible’s advice and focusing on the big picture can help individuals cope and maintain their sense of self-worth,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“The Bible has proven to be a practical resource for many families to navigate difficult situations in life,” said Hendriks. “The principles found in this ancient book can help adults and children resolve conflict and maintain peaceful relationships with others.”
Principles like the so-called Golden Rule of treating others as you’d want to be treated, showing love, and being slow to anger are what Jason said help his family in many circumstances. “My children can go to school with confidence, knowing that they have the tools to combat issues that they’re faced with.”