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Posts Tagged ‘Bully’

8 Methods to Stop Your Child From Being a Bully

December 31, 2014

 

 

Courtesy of via huffingtonpost.com:

 

1. Your child needs to be aware of others’ inner experiences.
It needs to become second nature to him to think about others and their feelings almost as quickly as he thinks of his own. Many parents validate one child’s perspective, but fail to discuss their own feelings or feelings of another child. Just validating your own child’s feelings does not teach him that there are other people in the world whose feelings matter.

Example of validating your child:

“I see you felt really angry right there when John took your ball.”

Example of teaching empathy:

“I see you felt really angry right there when John took your ball. He looked angry too. I think he thought you were going to play with him, but then you ended up playing alone.”

2. Discuss your own emotions too.
It does children no good to view a parent as having no weaknesses or vulnerable emotions. If they can empathize with you, they will remember this and it will facilitate self-compassion when they are an adult behaving as you do. Here’s an example of that:

“I’m sorry you got upset when Mommy didn’t play with you. Mommy was feeling anxious because she had a lot of cleaning to do before our friends come over. I will play with you now.”

3. Discuss both siblings’ or friends’ emotions after any conflict, validating and empathizing with both sides. Do not only validate the child whose actions you agree with more.
Example: “You were mad that your sister grabbed your doll, and she was feeling sad that you weren’t paying attention to her.  That’s probably why she grabbed it.”  You’re not condoning any behavior, but just giving a value-free description of the emotions underlying each child’s actions.

4. Make sure to speak for those who cannot speak, such as pets or babies.  
“Why is baby crying?  I wonder if he is hungry or tired? What do you think?” And a zero tolerance policy for meanness to those smaller and weaker than yourself.  Horton Hears A Who! by Dr. Seuss is a good book to serve as a springboard for a discussion about why it is important to look out for those smaller than yourself.

5. When you interact with others outside the home, discuss their feelings later together.
“I wonder what Grandma was thinking when she waved bye bye to you. I think she was happy she visited with you, but also a little sad you had to go. What do you think?”

You can also do this with characters in books and on TV.

6. Aim for consistency around the issue of meanness and teasing.
Any name-calling or making fun of others should be nipped in the bud right away.  Bad names and mean words are unacceptable, even from the smallest child. Don’t laugh or roll your eyes when your 3-year-old calls Daddy a poopy head. This just shows her that bad names are okay and even funny. Instead, say something like, “It hurts Daddy’s feelings when you call him a bad name. That is not nice and it’s not okay.”

You and your partner or any other caregiver should get on the same page about “teasing.” Often, one parent thinks that gentle teasing is okay, and a more sensitive parent or child then ends up getting hurt a lot because the less sensitive family members are “just” teasing them multiple times a day. This is especially a salient issue with Highly Sensitive Children.  I recommend that this is discussed openly in a family, e.g. “Mary thinks that you calling her sillyhead isn’t funny, so please don’t say that to her. Joe thinks it’s funny so we can say it to him. Whenever someone says they don’t think teasing is funny, it means we should stop right away.”

7. When children see others who are different from them, e.g. with special needs or birth defects, it is important to discuss that everyone has feelings and wants friends.  
Don’t be content with just telling your kids not to talk meanly or make fun of these children. You should go up and say hello and introduce yourselves.  Read this wonderful article by a mom of a little boy with a craniofacial disorder for more on this.

8. When you are mean, apologize.  
Don’t just feel ashamed and then try to silently make it up to your child or partner later. Own your mean behavior. This is extremely important because you’re modeling taking responsibility for your mean behavior. Children learn from what they see you do much more than from what you tell them to you.

Example: “I’m sorry I grabbed your arm roughly when you pulled the stuff off the shelf in the grocery store. I did it because I was mad. But no matter what I was feeling, grabbing you wasn’t okay.”

 

If I can add to the list I would recommend having your child watch the entire How to UnMake a Bully series. I was fortunate enough to have some involvement in the installment above.

 

Click on the link to read High School Bullying Victim Gets Even! (Video)

Click on the link to read Police Charges for Teen Bullies is More than Appropriate

Click on the link to read African Children Bullied at School Because of Ebola

Click on the link to read Another Vicious Schoolyard Fight Video Emerges

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Brilliant New Advertisement on Schoolyard Bullying

April 17, 2014

 

 

 

An absolute masterpiece!

 

Click on the link to read The Bystander Experiment (Video)

Click on the link to read Tips for Managing Workplace Bullying

Click on the link to read 12,000 Students a Year Change Schools Due to Bullying

Click on the link to read The Devastating Effects of Bullying (Video)

Click on the link to read Sickening Video of Girl Being Bullied for Having Ginger Hair

Click on the link to read Our Young Children Shouldn’t Even Know What a Diet Is?

 

 

The Bystander Experiment (Video)

December 4, 2013

 

 

I don’t believe in shaming bystanders too afraid to confront an aggressive stranger whilst he is bullying another. While I strongly believe in the duty of a bystander to get involved, I understand that it doesn’t come at no risk.

I think the actors did a brilliant job in ‘setting up’ unsuspecting bystanders to their concocted scenario, but I believe their summary is all wrong. Instead of shaming those who were too afraid to stand up to the bully, highlighting those courageous enough to do so would have made for a far more effective message. One young woman in particular does an awesome job at diffusing a heated situation.

Making headway when it comes to changing bystander habits should be done though promoting positive and courageous actions rather than admonishment those who let fear stand in the way of what is the right thing to do.

For a comprehensive treatment on the power of the bystander for young children, I cannot recommend this film highly enough:

 

Click on the link to read Tips for Managing Workplace Bullying

Click on the link to read 12,000 Students a Year Change Schools Due to Bullying

Click on the link to read The Devastating Effects of Bullying (Video)

Click on the link to read Sickening Video of Girl Being Bullied for Having Ginger Hair

Click on the link to read Our Young Children Shouldn’t Even Know What a Diet Is?

Click on the link to read Charity Pays for Teen’s Plastic Surgery to Help Stop Bullying

The Fixation on Bus Monitor’s Donation Earnings is Extremely Disappointing

June 24, 2012

I can’t believe the rhetoric I have read about the money Karen Klein is earning from donations. So what? Generous people were so outraged by what they witnessed on that clip that they donated money. Get over it!

This story was never really about a bus monitor anyway. The. Klein case merely exemplified some very big bullying related issues – namely, the lack of respect many children have for adults, the lack of empathy for a person who is clearly being hurt, the influence of a group in regards to peer pressure and the passive behaviour from bystanders.

I am happy that Ms. Klein’s earnings mean she never has to step foot on that bus with those children again:

An elderly bus monitor who was taunted, picked on and threatened by a quartet of ruthless seventh-graders is likely going to retire on the $586,000 she has so far received in donations from concerned strangers who were outraged after viewing a video that captured her torment.

‘She is definitely surprised and overwhelmed and certainly thankful for everyone’s support, and it is nice knowing she is not alone,’ Karen Huff Klein’s daughter, Amanda Romig, told RadarOnline.com on Friday.

‘We never thought it was going to be that much, she didn’t think that much – then wow!’ Romig added, saying that her 68-year-old mother is not likely to return to work.

Click here on my post which discussed the need to punish the middle school children involved.

I hope the generous people who helped secure this donation together with the many other people who were shocked and angered by the clip, now focus their energies on ensuring that their children never treat people like those middle school children treated Ms. Klein.

Teacher Orders 20 Classmates to Beat Up Bully

June 16, 2012

It’s stories like this that cause me to rethink my idealism. I may believe that teachers sign up for the profession because of a desire to help all children reach their potential. However, when you read stories like this one, you wonder how on earth the teachers involved could have rationalised such a poorly thought out strategy. These are not the actions of proud and passionate teachers:

A Texas teacher will lose her job after ordering more than 20 kindergartners to line up and hit a classmate accused of being a bully, a district spokesman said Friday.

The teacher at a suburban San Antonio school is accused of orchestrating the slugfest after a younger teaching colleague went to her last month seeking suggestions on how to discipline the 6-year-old, according to a police report from the Judson Independent School District.

Both teachers at Salinas Elementary were placed on paid administrative leave, though the one who allegedly arranged the punishment will not work for the district next school year, said district spokesman Steve Linscomb. Prosecutors are reviewing the allegations and will determine whether formal charges will be filed in 30 to 60 days.

The police report alleges the teacher chose to show the child “why bullying is bad” by instructing his peers to “Hit him!” and “Hit him harder!” It also states that the second teacher intervened only after one of the children hit the boy hard on his upper back.

“Twenty-four of those kids hit him and he said that most of them hit him twice,” Amy Neely (pictured above), the mother of 6-year-old Aiden, told KENS-TV. She did not specify what injuries her son may have received.

Neely said her son is not a problem child and that this was the first she’d heard of teachers having issues with him. She said she wants to make sure the teacher who ordered the hitting does not work in a classroom again.

“She doesn’t need to be around any children,” Neely told the television station.

The mother added — and the police report confirmed — that some of Aiden’s classroom friends told him they didn’t want to hit the boy but did so because they were afraid not to.

Praise Your Children and then Watch them Bully

May 30, 2012

A new report dispels the long-held theory that bullies have low self-esteem. This report maintains that bullies often come as a result of being over-praised and over-complimented.

LAVISHING children with praise and constantly pumping up self-esteem is breeding a generation of bullies, groundbreaking research reveals.

Prof Helen McGrath from RMIT, a key player in Australia’s anti-bullying policies, says mums, dads and educators have spent too much time telling kids that “darling, everything you do is wonderful”.

Rather than giving children “trophies for coming seventh, eighth and ninth”, they instead need a good old-fashioned dose of reality – including in their school reports, she said.

“The silliest thing you can tell children is, ‘If you set your mind to it, you can do anything you want’,” Prof McGrath said.

Now the State Government has flagged a comprehensive discussion on teaching methods.

Education Minister Martin Dixon said last night: “What Prof McGrath’s research has shown makes good sense and is worthy of wider debate.

“While parents and teachers want to encourage their children and students to be the best they can be, it is also important that we are genuine. A measure of self-esteem is good, but a large dose of self-respect and respect for others is even better.”

Well-meaning parents and teachers had been unwittingly contributing to the problem for 30 years through the “failed self-esteem movement”, she said.

“Parents love their children and are trying really hard to keep their self-esteem high, not realising … they’ve made the mistake of assuming that means their child can never have any failures, disappointments, sadness,” she said.

“But if we’re getting kids who are increasing in their sense of narcissism, and the need to be entitled and always get positive feedback … that is a fairly dangerous way for our community to go.”

It is fascinating to read of the Government’s clumsy response to this findings. They want teachers to start being “genuine” with the2ir students. Great idea! Now why didn’t I think of that?

It is quite a simple interpretation to think that bullies are just often children with overfed egos. The mistake this report seems to make is that it assumes that children grow to believe the messages that these parents send. The assumption is that these kids grow up thinking they can achieve anything they want (whether they have natural ability or otherwise).

This is not my experience. My experience tells me that such children weigh up the compliments and positivity they get from home with some of the negative talk they get outside, and it confuses them. Children who are constantly told how beautiful they are at home, are then called “ugly” and “fat” in the schoolyard. This mixture of messages makes them feel terrible insecure. Are their parents liars? Are their school friends just being cruel, or do they have a point?

So indeed, I do believe such children have low self-esteem. The realisation that some of the messages being sent from home are not shared by the world outside doesn’t inflate their ego, but rather, confuses them and makes them less trustworthy of others.

The best depiction of a bully (or I should say, “bullies”) comes from Mike Feurstein’s classic movie “How to Unmake a Bully“. Instead of portraying the bully as a person that has no characteristics that other children can related to, Feurstein paints him as a lost child, bullied himself in the past, without a undesratnding of other options and modes for letting off steam.

The beauty about the film is that after watching it, my students gain an appreciation and a unserdtanding not only for the victim but also for the bully himself.

 

 

Tips for When Your Child is the Bully

March 31, 2012

It is never a pleasant experience when loving parents find out that their child is bullying others. The crucial reaction is not to deny it or pretend it doesn’t exist. The child must be confronted, and the tone of the communication must be both direct and supportive. They must realise that whilst you deeply care about their feelings and wellbeing, their behaviour needs to change.

Below are some helpful tips by Dr. Christine Carter, Mary Gordon, Pat Mitchell and Dr. June Reynolds:

  • One building block toward empathy can be talking with them about their feelings and emotions.
  • Model empathetic, compassionate behavior by treating children and others respectfully.
  • Share your own experiences of vulnerability with your children.
  • Provide consequences for bad behavior. If a child mistreats another, take away a privilege; if a child sends mean texts, take away his/her phone, for example.
  • If a child mistreats others, examine the family and school dynamics for signs that he/she is feeling mistreated or powerless.
  • Seek help from teachers and principals, other parents and mental health professionals, if necessary.

Cyberbullying is More Harmful than Traditional Bullying

March 15, 2012

I’ve been of the opinion for quite a while that cyberbullying is the form of bullying that does the most harm and is the hardest to address. By invading the home of the child, cyberbullying takes an environment that was traditionally safe and has ensured that victims of such bullying have nowhere to hide. Cyberbullying also reaches a far wider audience, replacing the half a dozen or so witnesses in a playground incident with literally thousands online.

Children think face-to-face bullying is more harmful than cyber bullying but new research shows that perception to be false.

Researchers from Queensland University of Technology surveyed over 3000 students in Years 6 to 12 from 30 schools nationally and found 45 per cent said they were bullied.

The victims of face-to-face bullying, often referred to as traditional bullying, reported it had harsher impacts than victims of cyber bullying. However, other signs show the opposite to be true.

Lead researcher, Associate Professor Marilyn Campbell, said victims of cyber bullying reported higher levels of anxiety and depression than children who had been bullied face-to-face.

“When we measured their social problems, children who had been cyber bullied had much higher scores than victims of traditional bullying but they didn’t see it themselves,” Campbell told Education Review.

Campbell said children were usually bullied by kids they knew and often because they were different.

“It’s a cycle. They go to school, they get bullied. They go home and get cyber bullied. They go back to school and are bullied again.”

It is absolutely vital that schools stop sitting on their hands and start becoming more proactive when it comes to fighting cyberbullying. Schools are quick to point out that since the bullying is done outside school gates it becomes a parenting issue rather than a school issue. That may be true when it comes to legal obligations but not moral obligations. Schools should be expected to do what they can to ensure that their students are protected from being harassed or bullied by other students, regardless of where the harassment takes place.

Schools have got to stop obsessing about potential lawsuits and handballing issues to other stakeholders. They must show they care and fight for the wellbeing of their students!


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