Perhaps you saw it over Thanksgiving — a child running wild with no limits set by parents. Perhaps it was your kid who was out of control and you feel guilty, ashamed and don’t know where to turn.
Posted tagged ‘Bullying’
Categories: boundaries, kind and firm, motivation, mutual respect, natural and logical consequences, won't listen
Tags: bullies, Bullying, difficult child, discipline, helpful tips for parents, limits, school behavior
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I’m taking care of two extra dogs this week. In addition to the extra dog hair, licking, and exuberance when the front door opens, the dogs show the rules of the kingdom are also useful for children and families.
Here are the rules.
1. Someone must be boss. The boss must be bossy enough to prove it. As in sports, there is a home court advantage and size matters.
2. Turf is important. Don’t take what isn’t yours. My dog, Gonzo, likes nothing better than to go into Lily’s crate, just to annoy her.
3. Relationships are important. Be aware of who belongs to who. Gonzo is so insecure that she can’t tolerate it when I show affection to Lily or Kasha.
4. Jealousy erupts over turf and relationships. It’s difficult to manage one’s emotions over limited resources. Gonzo growls, intimidates and playfully bites to communicate dominion over turf and relationships.
5. The dogs can work it out. Or not. We adopted Gonzo when she was 2 years old, so she has intrinsic insecurity. She grudgingly shares her resources with others, and complains while doing it, no matter what I do.
The dogs prove that it’s best for children and dogs to be allowed to work out their conflicts over turf, relationships and jealousy without interference from authority figures.
The dogs show that some conflicts can never be resolved, even when Mom and Dad intervene. It is best to let dogs/children/teens establish their own hierarchy, define their turf, manage their emotions over jealousy – even when growling, intimidation and physical altercations are involved. They will find out that life isn’t fair and how to manage conflict without a referee.
Bullying is frequently in the headlines as it was in today’s Boston Globe. The common response is to protect and pity the victims and adult intervention.
Anti-bullying legislation hopes to safeguard youth against hard-hearted mean children
I propose a radical alternative to bullying: empower the victims.
1. As a victim of bullying for five years because I was one of a few white students in a black student body in the 1970s), I learned to take preventative action. I protested loudly during class when bullies threatened. I became acutely aware of my personal safety and stayed out of dangerous situations as much as possible. I out-smarted the bullies and developed an assertive walk. I found friends — other misfits. I stayed safe most of the time. I coped. I became stronger, more confident and willing to take risks.
2. My son Ian said when a known bully picked on him on the high school late bus, “I punched him in the face, hard. He left me alone after that.” Ian stood up for himself and it worked. If a child is small in statue, s/he can take martial arts classes and learn self-defense. S/he can teach the aggressors that bullying doesn’t pay.
3. It’s impossible to legislate good behavior. Examples of this abound. Start with affirmative action, violence against women and the Clean Air Act. It’s nearly impossible to legislate good behavior.
A Montessori teacher quoted in the Globe reports that 5-year-olds start saying, ”You’re not my best friend anymore. I’m not inviting you to my birthday party.”
If parents report such incidents to school authorities, does this mean schools must insure the girl has friends?
Who wants to go to a bully’s birthday party? Instead, let’s empower the victim to speak up and say, “I don’t want to go to your stupid birthday party!” and find other friends. We can’t all be in the popular crowd. The state can’t legislate it and schools can’t enforce it.
What we can do is the following — in order of efficacy.
1. Provide assertiveness training to victims: teach them to walk and talk confidently, to be acutely aware of their surroundings, to speak up loudly when bullies prey, to ask for help, and in extreme situations, change classes or schools.
2. Bullying often starts at home.Parents can create a positive parenting plan to avoid using size and strength to get children to behave. Parents can limit the kind of media their children watch and monitor texting and emails. Parents can eliminate the child’s access to electronics to control behavior.
3. Work together to create school environments that condone condemn bullying.
Empowering the victims is an unconventional approach and the most sensible and sustainable. Otherwise children can become victims for life.
Categories: Bullying, positive parenting
Tags: A radical strategy to protect victims of bullies, Bullying, bullying behavior, empower victims of bullying, media, parenting skills, positive parenting, radical anti-bullying strategy, regulate access to electronics, Unconventional solution to bullying
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Bullies require victims who believe they deserve the bullying, and do not protest or get help. Bullies rely on victims silent consent to ride the bully-cycle.
Patrick Kennedy was none of those. He exposed private letters sent from the bishop asking him to stop receiving communion because of Kennedy’s support of abortion rights, same-sex marriage and the ordination of women and married men as priests.
Tobin’s office said in a statement, ”Any previous correspondence or conversations between the Bishop and the congressman is still considered private at this time.”
Kennedy busted Tobin in the same way Martin Luther King Jr. busted the bullying of blacks in the south: he turned the cameras on it. The image of Selma Police Chief Bull Connor using a fire hose to intimidate peaceful voting rights protestors is a watershed moment.
The day I called out, “Stop that!” and interrupted Mr. Penn’s seventh grade math class when Dana started his daily pestering regime was the last day of his bullying.
Speaking up empowered me. I made the teacher and other students aware of the situation. I refused to sit quietly any more and be victimized by his hitting, tapping, taking my school supplies, copying, and whispering while I was trying to learn.
The light of day exposed Dana. The same with the bishop. The media glare will inspire the bully to behave.
In school situations, the glare of the teacher can defuse bullying. Victims must be coached to speak up and stay within the glare of the teacher when they feel threatened. Schools must respond to students’ complaints and empower them to speak up and avoid bullying.
My mother coached me when I told her what was happening. “Have you told the teacher or spoken up?” she asked. In 1970, we didn’t have the term “bullying.”
“No,” I said. I was a compliant “good girl” who didn’t want to make trouble.
The day I yelled in the middle of a math lesson, “Stop that. Give me back my pencil,” was the day I found my voice and quit being a “good girl.” I got off the bully-cycle.
Thanks, Dana and Mom. Well behaved women rarely make history. My life has been a lot more interesting and productive since I found my voice.
Tags: anti-bullying, bullies, bully, bully prevention, bully-buster, bully-proof, Bullying, bullying behavior, empower victims, how to bust a bully, prevent bullying, stop bullies, stop bullying, teach bullying victims to speak up, victimization, victims
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Two stories in the Boston Globe today caught my attention.
The first describe how an anti-smoking campaign has worked. More people on the state health insurance have quit smoking, which resulted in fewer emergency room visits. Education, support and empowerment worked to convince people to change their smoking behavior.
The second story describes some of the 11 bills before the Massachusetts legislature to stop bullying. Some 38 states have already passed laws to regulate bullying in schools. I wonder how they’re working.
House Bill 384 would prohibit bullying on school grounds and at school functions and would require staff to report cases of bullying. The mother of Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover testified about how peers bullied Carl and called him “gay.” The 11-yearpold killed himself out of desperation.
I wish that House Bill 384 could bring back Carl. I wish that passing a law would force us to change our behavior.
Most behavior is learned. Most bullies learn cruelty at home. A better investment for the anti-bullying crusaders would be to initiate parenting education for all mothers and fathers to teach them how to discipline their children without bullying them.
The root of discipline is disciple. A disciple is a pupil. Discipline is to teach. When we teach our children by threatening, yelling, berating, beating and punishing, we teach them the only way we can influence them is to be bigger, meaner and louder.
Sounds like a bully to me.
Outlawing bullying will not make it go away any more than prohibition eliminated drinking. Take a lesson from the smoking cessation campaign. What worked was education, support and empowerment. The same formula will work to create a generation of children who do not bully each other.
Tags: anti-bullying legislation, bullies, bully-proof, Bullying, bullying behavior, discipline, good parenting tips, help parenting, helpful tips for parents, how to parent, how to stop bullies, parenting about step parenting, parenting advice, parenting tips
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