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HomeGraphic PlusFamilies find solutions to bullying from the Bible

Families find solutions to bullying from the Bible

Bullying is a major problem worldwide with serious consequences for students’ lives, said the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

As millions of children head back to school this year, the 2018 PISA study disclosed that six in 10 Filipino students reported being bullied at least few times a month.

In a report by UNICEF, the latest Philippine data also showed that 44% of male and 43% of female children aged 13 to 17 are affected by cyberviolence in the form of verbally abusive or sexual messages.

As parents search for ways to protect their children, a growing group of families are turning to an unlikely source for practical guidance: the Bible.

Sonny and Eva, parents of a girl named Jade who was physically and verbally harassed in school, talked with all three of their children about helpful scriptural principles they had learned through their faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

These include verses that teach them how to protect themselves from bullies and how to respond when someone treats them badly.

“I expressed to my parents how these incidents made me feel,” said Jade who also had to seek professional help as a result of the bullying.

Through the Bible, she also learned not to retaliate against her aggressors, but to firmly tell them to stop harassing her.

“I had a hard time letting go of my anger toward my classmates, but praying helped me to forgive them. It gave me peace of mind,” she added.

Jade and her family also went to jw.org, the Witnesses’ official website, where a search for the term “bullying” brought up a wealth of free resources, including videos, articles, worksheets, and other online activities on topics young people face in school.

These resources include a whiteboard animation entitled Beat a Bully Without Using Your Fists and an animated cartoon about the powerful effect of prayer for those who are being bullied. 

“Not every situation resolves so easily. But applying the Bible’s advice and focusing on the big picture can help individuals cope and maintain their sense of self-worth.  The Bible has proven to be a practical resource for many families to navigate difficult situations in life. The principles found in this ancient book can help adults and children resolve conflict and maintain peaceful relationships with others,” said James Morales, Philippines spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Principles such as the so-called Golden Rule of treating others as you would want to be treated, showing love, and being slow to anger are tools Sonny said help his family in many circumstances.

“Parents should not wait for their children to become victims of bullying before taking action. They should prepare their kids as soon as possible,” he said.

Videos such as “Beat a bully without using your fists” and “Does Jehovah answer prayers?” provide practical advice for parents and their children.

These videos along with articles and worksheets can be viewed free-of-charge in several languages on jw.org.

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