Bullying has become a hot topic around the world and a major problem among teens. The new young adult novel written by Lori Heine; ‘Good Clowns’ is inspired on her personal experience when she was a child. She explains this issue through a nine-year-old Riley who has to face a bully every day at school.
Jillian, the bully, wants to fight with her because, Riley’s parents are clowns and she claims: “Clowns are creepy.” The author challenges that assumption and advises readers to look beyond the stereotype, and not to judge a book by its cover.
Bullying makes kids overly and painfully aware of how others see them. This is done in a negative light, but can also make them excessively focused on how they look to others in a broader sense. They also come to adopt views of themselves (and perhaps their families) that are darkly distorted.
Additionally, bullying upsets their sense of security, making them feel unsafe in their world. They may suffer from anxiety about going to school or participating in class which only leads to further loss of interest and reduced academic performance.
“Violence in schools not only impacts physical and mental health, but has adverse educational outcomes, violating the right of children and young people to quality education.”
Soo-Hyang Choi, UNESCO Director of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development.
Parents and teachers play a key role in helping to prevent bullying because they are the adults in the lives of bullied children. They can recognize the warning signs and reinforce a positive self-image of the abused child.
As this becomes internalized, it will provide a bulwark against negative messages from bullying peers. Parents and teachers can also help kids to see that those who torment them operate not from some lofty perch, but have all the same fears and insecurities.
This will help to offset the sense that bullies know something about them that they don’t. These adults can also be fully present to bullied children, listening to them and encouraging them to feel that they are being heard–thereby giving them a sense of security.
Bullying the person who has bullied you or your child is no the answer, bullying is violence and there are other peaceful ways to stand up for you or your child rights.
The author of the book, suggests us to live by “the Code of the Clown,” which says they should always bring happiness to others. Mom and dad teach Riley to deal with her bully with grace, wit, and compassion.
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You can find the ‘Good Clowns’ book in Amazon: