Feb 21, 2012
Post By: Children's Health
I, unfortunately like many others, was teased in middle school. My peers would ridicule me for being too shy and quiet. I remember staying up nights wondering if I was weird. I struggled with that insecurity so much that I felt like I might even deserve the bullying.
But that was a long time ago. Long enough for me to forget how bad it was, at least. But all of it came flooding back to me when I attended the premiere of The Secret Life of Girls at the Dallas Children’s Theater. The play, which is about the challenges middle school girls face every day, gave me déjà vu, making me relive my days as an awkward middle schooler.
I believe I can speak for most females in the audience when I say it was difficult to revisit that experience. And based on the play, it seems like the conditions for junior-high girls are worse today than they were when I was their age. The bullying does seem to stop once you leave school anymore. Technology like cell phones and social networks are now used for bullying 24/7.
While I was watching the play, I kept thinking to myself, “These poor girls. Why is nobody stepping up to stop this?” The choice to take action against bullying is one that teenagers face every day. Since most bullying seems to be done in front of an audience, it’s common for bystanders to watch and shake their heads but not to intervene.
After the premiere, a group of panelists including Children’s psychologist Dr. Andy McGarrahan all stressed the importance of being an “active bystander” during a Q & A session with the audience. They said that even though standing up for someone else isn’t easy, especially for a teenage girl, it makes a big difference
Even though parents can’t speak for their children, Dr. McGarrahan said he believes parents can help their children become active bystanders. He referenced tips from Dan Olweus, Ph.D., one of the leading researchers in bullying prevention, that can be found on Olweus.org:
One way to open the discussion on bullying is to take your child to a showing of The Secret Life of Girls. The final opportunity to see it is this weekend at the Dallas Children’s Theater. Just think – this could be the perfect opportunity to be an active bystander.
Welcome to the new and improved Children’s Health Patient Family blog! We hope that our new blog will help you find the best information for your children in an easy and fun way. Take a look around and see all the new features this site has to offer! If you need to, you can access our old blog here where all our news articles will be.
Sign up to get updates on what's new at Children’s Health!
Thank you for subscribing to the Children's Medical Center Newsletter.