I found a recent article in this month's Family Circle to be quite enlightening. Titled Too Cruel For School, there were a number of comments and statistics given that shed light beyond what I think the author even intended. Throughout the entire piece, the numbers were given to show the increase in any and all number of bullies and their attacks. 'In a 2009 study, researchers asked teachers whether they thought children's ability to get along with one another and resolve disputes had improved over the last decade, stayed about the same, declined slightly, or declined significantly. Their response was overwhelmingly negative: 75% of educators perceived a significant drop and 25% said they saw a slight decline.'
I found it interesting that these specialists, experts, teachers, and parents have all kinds of programs (many, very expensive) that they have found, have tried, or are willing to take a gamble on. 'But even the best of such programs are no silver bullet.' I would whole-heartedly agree with that. Even for parents such as myself who give our lives in an effort to not only educate our kids at home, but even more importantly in order to train them in the way they should go; we have no guarantees. I could not help but feel for the grasping heartache of parents who see their children in such a negative spiral and still leave them in the hands of others.
Lest anyone think that we are immune to bullying tactics and maneuvers within the homeschooling environment, let me assure you that even here the story is as old as Cain and Abel. I just recently had to have a couple of conversations with my own children and their friends. Tough girl attitudes, intimidation plays, demeaning and minimizing of a person's value, even threatening fists had come in to play. This is, unfortunately, our all-too-human nature. God desires to remake us. Our children have to be shown that a better way, His way, is a very real option.
By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
Praise be to you, O LORD;
teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.
*Psalm 119: 9-16