One rated R movie you might want your child to see…
by Lisa Hunter, M.A., LMFT

More on the important topic of BULLYING. This article by GreatSchools titled ‘One rated R movie you might want your child to see’ summarizes the harrowing content of a documentary set to release in theaters on March 30.

“The new documentary, Bully, captures a wicked picture of what’s really going on in schools: rampant bullying and the utter failure of adults to stop it.”

“In fact, the obliviousness of adults and their failure to take bullying seriously is one of the most disturbing aspects of Bully. We witness graphic scenes from the violent frontlines of childhood, but when kids attempt to report back from the warzone of their daily lives, the adults fail, again and again, to get it. This bad behavior on the part of adults serves as an excellent talking point with your child — to build a bridge with them and make them understand you will never respond the same way. And it’s one of the strongest reasons to overlook the movie’s adults-only rating.”

“For this reason, Bully may be the most important R-rated movie your children ever see. Each parent must decide what’s appropriate for their child, based on their temperament and age, but for this movie, don’t make your decision based on the rating alone. After all, The Hunger Games, due out a week before Bully, is about children in sexy outfits slaughtering each other for the entertainment of the masses, and it garnered a mere PG-13.”

This movie received an R rating because of a few ‘f-bombs’ dropped by the kids (this rating is currently being challenged). After reading this article, I plan to take my kids to see this important message. Bullying is much more than ‘kids being kids’, and as adults, this message needs to start with us.

If you read the article or end up viewing the movie, I’d love to hear your input on this important topic that has gone seemingly unchecked for too long.

by Lisa Hunter, M.A., LMFTA

It’s a child, family, school, community, and societal issue. Bullying can happen to any child. It can be blatant or it can be insidious. This systemic problem is real, it’s here, and it’s now. Every single one of us is obligated to step up and do our part to prevent the long-lasting emotional and social damage that can result when a child is bullied, including self-harming behaviors and suicide.

This Consumer Update from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy does a great job of defining bullying as well as how each of us, from parents to teachers to those children who stand around and don’t do anything, can step in and step up to decrease bullying behavior and create an atmosphere of zero tolerance. Having dealt with the issue of bullying both personally and professionally, as a therapist and a parent, I urge you to be alert for the signs of bullying listed in this article. Listen, validate and believe your child when he or she comes to you, and then do something about it. Get involved and advocate for your child’s well-being and the right to a bully-free school experience. Marriage and Family Therapists are trained to assist families dealing with bullying, including how to manage the bullying behavior, working with the school, and providing social skills training.