Monday, December 16, 2013

Hot Buttons - Bullying Edition by Nicole O'Dell

Overview:

Nicole O’Dell is a youth culture expert, who writes and speaks to preteens, teenagers, and parents about how to prepare for life’s tough choices. Over the years, Nicole has worked as a youth director, a Bible study leader for women and teens, and a counselor at a crisis pregnancy center. She is the founder of Choose NOW Ministries, which is dedicated to battling peer pressure and helping teens face the tough issues while encouraging their commitment to good decisions. Nicole and her husband, Wil, have six children, including toddler triplets, and reside in Illinois.



My Review:

First of all, when I read this Author's bio, I saw she is a Mother to six including toddler triplets!  Kudos to you!  Hope do you do it?

I was really excited to learn about this book tour.  As a parent, unfortunately I've already seen bullying at the elementary school level and as a former Pre-School teacher, I saw it at that level.  When I was a teen, I was bullied.  I even had a "friend" of mine shove a piece of pizza in my face because she thought it would was funny.  I have even been bullied as an adult and almost left a job due to it.

Unfortunately there seem to be more and more cases of bullying and suicide among young teens and it's really sad.  I don't get it.  In the years since I was a teen, it seems the bullying just gets worse and both children and adults bully others. 

This book is very informative and is a must read for parents.  If we can educate ourselves and react when we first see the signs, hopefully we can help our children before it's too late.

One part of her book, that I found interesting, is the reasons why people bully.  Especially cliques.  We all know what cliques are and some of us have been desperately wanting to fit into certain cliques.  What's really sad though is when you see adults doing whatever it takes to fit into certain cliques.   As adults, should we care about what others think about us? 

Here are the reasons cliques bully:

1.  To get attention - they are power-hungry.
2.  Get what they want - often bullied kids become the bullies
3.  Be respected - if other kids seem them as in charge they are revered
4.  Climb the popularity ladder
5.  Improve self-esteem
6.  Get back at others - bullied kids usually bully kids
7  Get pleasure from inflicting pain on others
8.  Follow the leader

All of those bother me but the one that bothers me the most is #7.  Why would anyone get pleasure from inflicting pain on others? 

Other poignant points she lists on what we should teach our kids, honestly apply to anyone.

Teach your kids:

1.  You are beautiful in God's sight because he created you just the way you are.
2.  Sacrificing self-respect for the approval of others is NOT worth it.
3.  There's no winner in the battle for perfect appearance - it's better to rise above it by not competing in it.
4.  Bullies are weak and feel insecure about themselves - don't submit yourself for their approval.

"Popularity is a state of mind, and it's up to each individual to decide not to grant that kind of power to others, whether as a result of intentional peer pressure and bullying or not.  Why let someone else decide one's worth?  Why submit to someone else's arbitrary standards?"

And something I've learned in life is to be careful who you are willing to kick aside so you can fit into the "clique" that you desperately want to be a part of.  There is a saying that "birds of a feather flock together".  Do you want to be known as a person who hangs with bullies?  People may assume then that you are a bully yourself.

What ever happened to people (adults) having a backbone and teaching our children to having a backbone?  If you see someone being bullied and tormented, stand up for them.  Don't be a wannabe.  Stand up and defend them.

This book is perfect!  It's a must read.  I suggest giving this book to anyone you know who have children!

Thank you to Kregel Publishing for providing me with the complimentary copy for my review.

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