Tag Archives: bullying

Steps to Help a Bullied Child
Bullied Child

It is not easy to learn your child is being bullied. You are ready to do battle—anything to save your child from the pain and agony of daily terrorizing. Especially if you were bullied as a child. It’s hard enough to watch a sibling use age and power to overcome the wishes of the younger but a school bully, or a controlling friend is quite another thing. High emotional reactions from parents are always understandable but never helpful.

Bullying has likely been going on awhile when most parents learn of it—if they ever do. For the child, being the target of a bully is humiliating and shameful. The target does not want anyone to know. Even the most loving and accepting parent is often the last to find out for fear he may be letting his parents down. After all, to the target, he assumes it must be his fault. He must be weak and ineffective at preventing the bullying.

Therefore it is up to the parent to interpret behavioral signs. Not an easy thing to do. Changes in typical behavior, moodiness, staying alone, loss of appetite or sleep, sudden or more intense rudeness toward siblings or parents are a few behaviors that could signal bullying.

read more
6 Warning Signs You Need to Empower Your Harmony Child
Harmony Child with Mom

Harmony children* are just what the name implies — they thrive on harmony. They hate fights, anger and tension and will do what they can to avoid it. Unlike an Integrity child*, Harmony kids can easily comply with your wishes and back down when faced with anger. Similar to the Dandelion child* who does well in any environment, your Harmony child is likely to be flexible and can transition well.

Whereas an Integrity child has you tearing your hair out, Harmony kids make you feel like a great parent. They will work hard to meet high expectations. This child can get very upset and angry but gets over it pretty quickly. Things that stick to your Integrity kid like Velcro, roll off your Harmony child like water off a duck’s back. This child is easy to live with and doesn’t often stress you out or give you reason to worry.

They make great friends and generally have lots of them. They are easy to like as they are good at understanding all points of view. They can move from group to group with their chameleon-like qualities and rarely cause discomfort or discord among friends. They generally fit well in school because they are malleable and work diligently. They make great mediators and can stand up for the kid who gets bullied.

read more
Aug ’19 Q&A – Teaching Your Child to Handle a Bully

Q. My daughter is 8 years old. She is quiet, honest, kind, diligent, and the “dream child to teach”, the teachers say. She follows every rule to the T. On the playground, one of her better friends is starting to bully her. She was crying as she was telling me about the girl telling her to go into a dark shed on the playground. My daughter said she didn’t want to as she was afraid of the dark. The girl teased her for being a cry baby and insisted. Last week this girl told her she couldn’t play with their group and pushed her tray away. My daughter is afraid if she leaves the group she will have no one to play with. What should I do? I encouraged her to say STOP! and that you don’t like the way she is treating you, but she says that is not kind and she doesn’t want to be like this girl. She ‘practiced’ saying it but sounded like a mouse. Do I speak to the girl’s parents? Embarrassing. Or directly to the girl? Appropriate?

A. Your work is with your daughter to help her find her voice without prompting her to use your voice. “Stop” doesn’t work for her but something else will. Of course, we think we would know how to handle the situation if we were in it, and we want to tell our children what to do to solve it. Sometimes our suggestions work. But much of the time we are not helpful because we are simply telling them what we would do.

read more
Mar. ’19 Q&A – Being Your Child’s Friend and Parent, Angry Behavior and When the Coach is a Bully

Being Your Child’s Friend and Parent

Q. I do welcome your advice and think you speak a lot of sense, but I am not sure about your advice to be your child’s friend in one of your articles. What is wrong with being a mum? I am the only person who can officially be regarded as mum in my daughter’s life and I feel very proud to be so. I am not sure being a friend is possible as the friendship is automatically unbalanced. I have a number of very good friends, some long term and we have quite balanced relationships, involving give and take. I do not regard my relationship with my daughter as balanced, and she does not seem to understand give and take. I would also say she is a very high maintenance friend, and therefore I would go out of my way not to be her friend if she wasn’t my daughter. I don’t think she is like that with her peers though – I think their relationship is balanced. When choosing activities, we try to pick nice things to do and see, and we get a lot of resistance from her until we get her there and then she loves it. We also get resistance around food and most things at the moment – she is quite selfish and does not seem to understand the notion of helping out, and she wants things from shops all the time, which is wearing.

read more

Are we ready or able to stop bullying?

The youtube capture of the 68-year-old bus monitor being bullied by a group of 12-14 year olds has been viewed by almost 5 million and has raised the ire of each one of us. We are all full of opinions and judgments. But what would you do if you were the parent of one of these children?

The situation was so horrifying that our knee jerk reaction would likely be to shame the boys (I think they were all boys) with almost as horrific threats and punishments as they gave to their bus monitor. That’s what we do in reaction mode. And look where it’s gotten us.

The school district’s assistant superintendent for student services said, “Certainly the behavior of the students on the video is a clear violation of our district’s code of conduct and will not be tolerated. Disciplinary action to the fullest extent appropriate under New York education law will be taken against all involved.” I’m sure it will. But what will that disciplinary action be, and will it be effective? My guess is not at all.

How we handle bullying in our school systems certainly hasn’t helped yet. What can we learn from this incident? What can the bullies learn? What can schools learn—and will they?

As it turns out, one of the weapons used in the incident has become its best teacher—the cellphone used to capture the event. Upon seeing and hearing their own behavior apart from the pack mentality, the boys were able to experience the true natural consequences—how their behavior effected their victim, what they sounded like and what they did.

“I feel really bad about what I did,” one boy said. “I wish I had never done those things. If that had happened to someone in my family, like my mother or grandmother, I would be really mad at the people who did that to them.” A statement from another boy was, “I am so sorry for the way I treated you. When I saw the video, I was disgusted and could not believe I did that. I am sorry for being so mean and I will never treat anyone this way again.”

I hope that their learning will not be destroyed by the usual ineffective punishments doled out that could easily send them right back into the mindset that started it all.

Here’s what I would do:

1) Insure that each child spend fifteen minutes to a half hour alone with Mrs. Klein listening to what her experience was like and responding to her with his own thoughts and experience, 2) bring the boys together under the direction of a school

social worker to talk about their experience, why it happened and how they feel about it in hindsight, 3) write a paper about the experience and what they learned, and 4) assign them the job of partnering and designing a year long program in which they would talk to and teach their peers about the consequences of bullying using their experience.

Instead they will probably be suspended or given detention—much easier. Although with summer upon us, who knows if anything will happen until the event is history. I can only imagine what kind of treatment they will be given in their homes and neighborhoods. After all these are the homes in which they have learned how others should be treated.

The boys have received enormous amounts of hate emails and threats. Is this how we want to correct abhorrent behavior? Look at our society. As New York Times columnist Charles Bow says, “This kind of behavior is not isolated to children and school buses and suburban communities. It stretches to the upper reaches of society — our politics and our pulpits and our public squares.”

Our children are subject to the slandering, the lies, and the bullying now normalized by those we are supposed to look up to. How can we expect our children to do what we say and not what we do? When are we going to start taking responsibility for ourselves as parents, politicians, teachers, administrators and stop putting all the blame on our children who are doing what they do best—learning from modeling. read more