Bullying and mental health | Anti-bullying is a shared responsibility

A message from the reader This is a discussion post written by an outside contributor. The publication expresses the views of the author.

When bullying is treated as a social problem, the focus is often what is happening at school. The school bears a great, valid and important responsibility for the psychological and social environment of students, see the Education Act.

Having said that, it is unrealistic to think that the school can solve the problem on its own. Homes play one of the main roles, because a lot of education and socialization takes place there. Whether children and young adults develop generosity, tolerance, and empathy for others is influenced by all adults with whom they spend their daily time.

It is wrong in my opinion to think that only children and young people with various difficulties are the ones who bully others. Experience shows that ordinary children in furnished homes often do this.

I miss that extra attention to education and socialization at home. What are we talking about at the table and on social media, and what attitude are we expressing?

What do we say about neighbors, about people with different sexual orientations than us, about politicians and immigrants, to name a few. Let’s let people’s socioeconomic background and popularity dictate the dinner invitations we send ourselves? How generous, tolerant and inclusive are we, honest and truthful?

Kindergartens and schools are required to do what they can to prevent and stop bullying, but they will not be able to do the job on their own. Parents and guardians have equal responsibility, whether they are role models, supervisors or illustrators.

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We influence our children and each other through what we say and do. Until everyone feels this responsibility and is on their own, I fear that bullying will continue in Norwegian society.

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Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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