On Feb. 29, Lady Gaga will launch a foundation dedicated to creating caring communities and stopping bullying. Hosted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Harvard's Berkman Center, Lady Gaga will be joined by Oprah and other celebrities.
A powerful new film, "Bully," will be widely released at the end of March, and many Americans in recent years have been galvanized by a blizzard of tragic bullying stories. Yet too often in the past a problem plaguing children like bullying has received huge waves of public attention that simply never translates into any positive changes in kids' lives. What will it take to capitalize on this attention? How can we curb this problem once and for all? We can start by recognizing where the main solution lies. There is a tendency to simply blame bullying on "bad" kids or peer groups or destructive media. But bullying often has deep roots in parents' attitudes and behavior, and stopping bullying begins with us.
How can parents prevent bullying? Parents in recent years have been flooded with articles and books that guide them in shielding, or "bully-proofing," their own child. But just protecting our own kids won't stop bullying, and this guidance reinforces the damaging tendency of many parents to just focus on their own children.
The best way to prevent bullying -- and many other forms of cruelty and harassment -- is to encourage and enable children to care for and take responsibility for each other. Research indicates that bullying is greatly reduced in particular when children who witness bullying stand up for the victim. Bullying brings home to parents our fundamental moral responsibilities. How can we help our children widen their circle of concern and stand up for other children? How can we help our children build more just and caring communities? To read more, please visit The Huffington Post.