Did you know that in today’s society, 1 in 5 teens have reported that they have been bullied? 1 in 5. In fact, parents cite it as their #1 concern for their teenagers. Statistically, we are right on the mark. Our oldest daughter battled bullies during her high school years and they did everything they could to try to tear her down. My concern for the younger four is that they never face what their sister did.
Bullying is, unfortunately, far too common in our world today. From schools, to our work place, to the gym, there seems to always be someone ready to pass judgement. Not only have I educated myself to the signs of bullying, but I work to let my children know how to handle any situation as well. I am delighted to partner with Planet Fitness on this issue through their Judgement Free Generation® initiative. The Judgement Free Generation® at Planet Fitness initiative hopes to educate and give back to local communities, committing $1.3 million in grants and donations to Boys & Girls Clubs of America and STOMP Out Bullying.
For Cheyenne, two of her “friends,” a boy her age and a girl a year older, decided to make it part of their regular routine to constantly bully her online. But not only where they her friends, they were also my son’s best friends. So, as they were playing the best friend role in his life… they were attacking his sister behind-the-scenes. They were slowly tearing her down almost daily and I would have to step in and build her back up. After months of trying to stop the bullying and contacting their parents to no avail, I took all the physical evidence to the police. Only then did they stop contacting my daughter.
Through the experience, I discovered a few tips to help stop bullying:
- Save the evidence. With all of today’s technology, it’s incredibly easy to download, screenshot, or archive almost anything.
- Block the bully. Technology can be both helpful and a nuisance when it comes to bullies. Block them online anywhere possible.
- Tell a trusted adult. It’s important for youth to know there is an adult they can trust and have open lines of communication with.
- Reports threats to police. The news is a sad reminder of what can go wrong when bullies take it too far. If your teen (or you) feel threatened, go to the police.
As my children get older, it’s nice to know there are places, such as Planet Fitness, where there are No critics®. No egos®. A place where You Belong® simply for being the person you are. It’s encouraging to know there is a place designed to combat judgement and bullying our teens face today by creating a culture of kindness and encouragement. A place where you can exercise without feeling judged or bullied. Plus, a place where you can have fun and celebrate with events such as Pizza Monday and Bagel Tuesday. A Judgement Free Zone®.
How will you help combat bullying?
Learn more about The Judgement Free Generation® at givingback.planetfitness.com