Was Fame The True Answer To Bullying
Being bullied happens all over the world. It happens for every age group, gender, race, religion, culture, and it happens to people with and without disabilities.
Recently, I have been on the fence about the little boy, that is said to be, being bullied, Quaden Bayles, from Australia. He is 9 years old. I have no doubts whatsoever that he is being bullied, but to what extent? I also wonder to what extent his mother is pushing his reactions to the bullying versus teaching him to stand up for himself or seeking the proper treatment. What has she done to prevent bullying?
Apparently, social media is ripping this mother apart for the posts that she has made via Facebook over the years. Quaden, himself, or rather, at his mother’s hand, has held numerous social media accounts whereas he is claiming to be an actor, model, and influencer. He was questioned for being in photographs where is was shown being 18 inches tall, which is taller than he should be for his age. Since 2015, the mother has been sharing Quaden’s “bullying” story via social media. For 5 years this has been viewed! 5 entire years of this child crying, stating he was going to commit suicide, is it a hoax or is it real?
Obviously, the mother must have tried to do something to stop this situation, correct? Changed schools, contacted law enforcement, tried counseling, tried reaching out to the school? What steps have been or were taken? What am I missing here?
Bullying of any form is not acceptable, PERIOD! Not to a child nor anyone with a special condition or disabilities. In this case, what the mother has shared, could traumatize her son for a lifetime. He may be known as “the little bullied boy”.
I watch several of the “Little People” shows, and I find them to be uplifting and brave. I would have liked to have seen this story become one of positivity and the world of dwarfism reach out to Quaden. He may be different in many ways, but aren’t we all? I personally have a variety of invisible illnesses, I know others with visible illnesses, I know people that stutter, I know dyslexic people, I know people with a wide variety of differences and yes, they have faced bullying over the years. As a child I did. I was the nerdy little white girl with big glasses.
The difference in this situation, in my opinion, is a child is being given notoriety and special treatment by the press, the media, and Hollywood for being bullied. What is this teaching other children? What about all those other children that have committed suicide for being bullied? Should their mothers have documented across social media what was happening to save them and maybe they too would be funded a trip to Disney world? Should families be documenting across social media ALL pain and trauma of ALL bullying in attempts to get Hollywood to step in and save everyone?
The answer is simply NO! There is help available. There are psychologists, there are psychiatrists, there are support groups, there are many other ways to help children, parents, friends and loved ones get through these situations and trauma. There are even law enforcement officials to step in.
I do NOT claim to know all the facts of this story, I do know what I have seen across social media and in the press. What is has become is a circus. It is completely absurd to have given this child so much notoriety for being bullied and gifted the abundance of celebrity status versus mental help and taught ways to overcome the bullying. It is setting other children and people that are being bullied up for failure, for real suicides, real problems, it is even set up those who are not being bullied up to commit false allegations in attempts to reach that same notoriety and celebrity attention in the same ways.
We all want to be noticed, don’t we?
How do we stop bullying in real life? We act!
What action can we take?
First, we need to know what true bullying is
- Physical and verbal attacks repeatedly
- Abuse of power through physical strength
- Forms of embarrassment
- Forms of control
- Excessive aggression
- Excessive threats
- Spreading rumors
- Verbally attacking someone repeatedly
- Exclusion regularly
- Taunting, calling names, threatening harm, teasing, inappropriate comments (to include sexual), social bullying.
In the United States, in 2017, the School Crime Supplement indicates that 20% of students between the ages of 12-18 experienced bullying. In 2017, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System indicates that 19% of students, grades 9-12 reported being bullied on school property.
Warning Signs of a Child Being Bullied
- Destroyed clothing
- Lost belongings
- Frequent illnesses
- Sleep difficulties
- A decline in grades
- Feeling of hopelessness, helplessness, decreased self-esteem
- Major changes in eating habits
- Avoidance of events
- Warning Signs That a Child Is a Bully
- Constant verbal or physical altercations
- Hanging with friends that bully others
- Constantly worrying about popularity and reputation
- Refuses to accept responsibility for their actions
- Blaming others for their own problems
- An increase in aggression
- Having an increase in personal belongings or money that cannot be reasonably explained
Kids that are bullied may be embarrassed to ask for help, it is important to talk to them regularly and ask questions about how things are going at school. What’s not okay is to chalk it up to their “attitudes” to acting like just a “kid” or “teenager”. If you struggle to ask the appropriate questions or receive pushback, it may be a good idea to get the school counselor involved. Kids who are bullied have an increased risk of depression, substance abuse, medical problems, mental health issues, even suicide.
Kids that bully often have a higher risk of incarceration, domestic abuse, substance abuse, and risky behavior
Now, what can you do to help your child or any child that is being bullied?
- Listen to them first
- Support them
- Call law enforcement
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255)
- Find a counselor or another mental health provider and ask for help
- Contact a school administrator, if that fails, go above them to the Board of Education
- Watch after the child or have others watch after the child
Together, knowing the signs, raising awareness, handling the bullying and the bullies correctly CAN make a difference in the outcome of both children's lives.
I am sure this is one of the most controversial posts that I have written to date. I truly do not believe this "bullying" situation was handled properly. I really, truly hope, that Quaden and his mother can receive long-term mental health treatment and coping treatment for what has gone on. Fame is not the answer to suicide prevention!
As always, thank you for reading!