February 25th, 2008
09:49 PM ET

How to stop bullying: Parenting

Tonight’s reporting on 360° about the murder of a gay teenager coming out of the closet is really about tolerance and the lack of it.  When we see our children, teenagers and even adults bullying people, it never feels ok.

But it's common. And we need to understand that it could a one-time incident or the 31st incident that bullying behavior can make someone so angry that they lose control.

We see this played out in many ways, from suicide to homicide. None of this should be acceptable to our society.

Some studies have shown that half of our children are bullied in school and as high as 10% are bullied on a regular basis.

Bullying can be physical and emotional and it still hurts. This pain can affect all areas of their life.

We need to do a better job as parents to educate and support our children to better know themselves and better tolerate others.  If we accomplish this, we have served our children well.

Parenting is the place to start. It's one of the toughest jobs that any of us will ever do.

The outcomes vary but I think it’s important that we wrap our arms around significant and shared parenting values.

Knowing yourself and understanding the concept that parenting begins with YOU.  Yes, YOU.  It's important that you as a parent are as whole and balanced as you can be.

I offer a simple tool to be able to keep your check and balance system afloat. It's my SWEEP technique:

Sleep – are you getting enough quantity and quality of sleep? When you wake up do you feel good? Work – Are you fulfilled enough at work, even if staying home is your work, to be happy at the end of the day?

Eating – are you using food to stay healthy and energetic? Is meal time a time for relaxation and communication?Emotional expression of self – Do you let the important people in your life know how you are feeling? Do you allow yourself physical and emotional intimacy?

Play – are you letting yourself enjoy life? Do you have a way to let go of worry and direct your energy to a positive place?

To learn more, see www.drsophy.com

– Dr. Charles J. Sophy

Filed under: Parenting
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