We at Kidpower join thousands of others in congratulating the investigators from the National Football League for their courageous, thorough, and insightful report about the actions of the players and leadership at the Miami Dophins that contributed to the resignation of team member Jonathon Martin after two years of bullying and harassment.
We encourage everyone in a leadership position to read and learn from this report and for the NFL to follow through with meaningful consequences for each person who participated in this unethical behavior either directly or by not taking responsibility to make it stop.
Bullying and harassment are destructive forms of emotional pollution. Just like environmental pollution, emotional pollution usually doesn’t kill you right away. However, it can make for an extremely unpleasant environment. It is likely to damage your quality of life and erode your emotional health, which can in turn affect your physical health.
Adults usually have more power and more choices than children do about getting away from someone who is bullying them. However, we have heard countless stories from adults in every walk of life who feel trapped into enduring bullying because leaving would require changing where they live, play, work, or worship.
Once I had the opportunity to co-lead a workshop with a large organization of preschool teachers who were bullying each other. To their credit, these dedicated teachers realized that they could not expect the children in their care to act respectfully and safely towards each other if they as adults were leaving each other out, making unkind jokes, and putting each other down. We practiced strategies and skills they could use for setting boundaries instead of letting annoyances fester and of dealing with pressure, frustration, and overwhelm in positive ways instead of harmful ones.
By taking a stand against bullying and harassment of anyone, for any reason, we are making a commitment to creating a better world for our children and for ourselves – a world where cultures of caring, respect, and safety are considered the normal – and where bullying behavior is considered socially unacceptable.
Here are some resources that can help:
Mean Adults? – 5 Kidpower Skills to Address Adult to Adult Bullying
Face Bullying With Confidence, which is the title of our most requested article and also the title of a new book about addressing bullying for people of all ages that we will soon be publishing.
Speaking Up About Putdowns
Assertive Advocacy Communication Skills – So Others Will Listen to You Better and Bother You Less
Fullpower Boundaries for Adults With People We Know
The Power of Positive Practice™
7 Emotional Safety Techniques from Kidpower
Unsafe Words We Use on Ourselves: Kidpower Skills for Unlearning Negative Self-Talk
We are currently working on new articles about adult to adult bullying in neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces and would appreciate your stories and questions.