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Raise your hand if you think "kids these days" are nicer than they used to be - Page 2

post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I do.

 

I also think that schools are more likely to approach problem behavior in a more positive way. I think that kids are more accepting of special education students than they were back when I was in school. I also see a lot of kids who are concerned about the environment and want to do something about it.

 

I think the world is getting better!


We see this trend as well. I know that lots of things that were labeled as "kids being kids" when I was in school now are seen as bullying issues. My son had guidance classes last year that I really disliked, but his current school has counselors who seem to put together some thoughtful, productive programs. They're more about being compassionate and kindness and how to handle it if someone isn't being nice to you. Overall I definitely see more attention placed on personal actions than when I was a kid.

 

post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

And yet, I've seen behaviour at MDC that rivals any schoolyard. I don't want to resurrect the controversies from this past year, but if mamas here can act like that to each other, what do we really expect from our kids? And it's nothing compared to the piling on that happens at other message boards. 

 

 

Goodness, yes.  

 

I think that is some of the issue with the cyber world in general (and the cyber bullying people see).  It is so easy to be mean to each other online.  We do it on online conversation/forums, and people do it through cyber bullying or just online nastiness.  There are reasons, I think, why this medium is tied to such things.

 

It can also be a fairly friendly medium, however.  I can get a hug here anytime i want just for asking.  It is virtual, but it counts. smile.gif  I have seen less-than-popular kids have numerous "friends" on facebook.  I don't know how real the friendships are - but at least they have someone to talk to.  

 

 

Despite me being a bit of a naysayer on this thread - I am hopeful of positive change.

 

While the schools in this area have not been able to stop bullying yet they are at least talking about it - which is more than I can say for my youth.

 

 

 

post #23 of 55

Yes, it does seem to me that kids are getting nicer and bullying is dealt with quickly when it pops up. 

post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



I taught my kid to say in a very loud voice "stop touching my body part" No one has the right to touch you without your consent. If you speak/yell loud enough... adults will hear and the word butt will get attention. No one wants sexual harassment issues at their school. The staff gets classes on that every year. No school wants any negative attention on that front.


Kathymuggle did have a point in that if you are miserable with your kids school.. you should make a change. As someone who has homeschooled and public schooled as a parent , I can tell you they both have their challenges but you can find a balance for your family needs and your child's needs.

 

As I pointed out the situation with my son is past.  Hindsight is of course 20/20, and Monday morning quarterbacking is easy to do.. I don't recall saying we were miserable.  While leaving school would certainly have been an option...it wouldn't have been one I would have chosen quickly.  
 

 

I'm a cynic.  My point was just because there is a policy on paper, doesn't mean everyone follows it.  I still believe just as it was when I was a kid, it still is now...school officials turn a blind eye to many situations.

 

post #25 of 55

I think kids are much nicer than they used to be.  I have noticed that schools are much more responsive and they work to help both children learn from the experience in developmentally appropriate ways.  It seems like the schools do a better job of teaching empathy and respect as group lessons through the elementary years and it is paying off.

post #26 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post



Goodness, yes.  

 

I think that is some of the issue with the cyber world in general (and the cyber bullying people see).  It is so easy to be mean to each other online.  We do it on online conversation/forums, and people do it through cyber bullying or just online nastiness.  There are reasons, I think, why this medium is tied to such things.

 

It can also be a fairly friendly medium, however.  I can get a hug here anytime i want just for asking.  It is virtual, but it counts. smile.gif  I have seen less-than-popular kids have numerous "friends" on facebook.  I don't know how real the friendships are - but at least they have someone to talk to.  

 

 

Despite me being a bit of a naysayer on this thread - I am hopeful of positive change.

 

While the schools in this area have not been able to stop bullying yet they are at least talking about it - which is more than I can say for my youth.

 

 

 


I'm hopeful too. I think my own naysaying arose because I was reading some depressing stuff last week and I guess it coloured my view a little. Generally, I think there is a lot to be hopeful for - bullying isn't generally accepted as inevitable or a necessary part of growing up and there are programs to encourage empathy and kindness. Implementation may not always be effective, but at least there is better awareness and people are trying - or know that they should be trying. 

 

post #27 of 55

 

Reviving this thread because I read the NYT book review for The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker last weekend. Since it reminded me of this conversation, I thought others might be interested in the book too. The author's thesis is that our world is less violent and less cruel than at any time in the past and it sounds like he's done a lot of research to back up that claim. I'm very interested in reading it. 

 

 

post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

 

I don't think a bullied kid cares or even should care that a bully has a lot of negativity in their life.  I think they primarily feel angry, hurt and degraded - it is really unlikely (and perhaps not healthy) for them to feel sympathy towards their abuser.  Yes, firm  words, but I was bullied and it is a form of abuse.

 


Actually, it does help my son to talk about why someone might be bullying. We talk about what might be going on with the bully and why they are acting the way they are. We stress that the behavior is not okay and it's not acceptable. But it does help my son step outside the situation and see that it is not about him, but about the bully. There isn't anything bad about my son that causes the bullying, but the bully has bad feeling that they are inappropriately expressing.

 

For example we were talking about one girl (A) who bullied him last year and how he was in class and friends with her friend (G) from the year before. We talked about how she was targeting him because she felt lonely and excluded. Did that mean he had to include someone who made him feel bad? Hell no. Did that mean he should stop being friends with G? No. Does that mean he needed to except how A treated him? No. Was any of this his fault? No. That last statement was the one that he needed to understand, and talking about the rest got us there.

post #29 of 55
Thread Starter 

yeahthat.gif

It helps my son, too, to understand that people who bully really don't feel good about themselves and that is why they are acting aggressive toward other kids, *not* because of anything that the kids getting bullied have done.  He has seen this played out when a boy in his class, who had been somewhat thoughtless and careless with classmates, got removed from his home because his caretakers needed to go through rehab.  Fortunately an extraordinary family of another boy in that class took the little boy into their care as a foster child to help out.  We were able to discuss how that boy had less than ideal home situation and so was hurting inside.  And my son got to see the boy change as he lived with a family who were kind and patient with him.

post #30 of 55



I am reading The Sociopath Next Door and those really mean ones are probably sociopaths.The book said 1 in every 25 people are sociopaths,but my friend says it was updated recently to 1 in 10.The book it really good at explaining behavior such as this.

 

I have dealt with the bullying of my kids.Thankfully the last year or two has been rather peaceful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post

Most kids are nice, but the ones who are mean...just MEAN...are so intense.  There's a lot of casual age-appropriate stuff like making clubs and leaving someone out and I won't be your best friend, but the kids who set out to be mean and get a reaction are so above and beyond ANYTHING I would expect from a kid, kid - it's shocking.  There's this mentality of hounding someone until you have just thoroughly, utterly dominated them that I can not understand.  I don't understand how a kid thinks it's ok to be like that and I don't understand how a parent doesn't pull them out of school and make them stay home till they learn to act human.  It's almost like schools are so on top of things that most kids are developing habits of being inclusive and considerate so in reaction, the odd mean kid has to amp it up.



 

post #31 of 55

I think that more schools nowadays step in to help when kids are aggressive or socially mean than when we were kids.  I can remember school yard fights as a daily problem, and regarded as just part of growing up, and verbal bullying was a non-issue.  I sub in 9 different schools, ,mostly rural, but two in town, and all of them are more pro-active than what I or most adults I know remember from childhood.  There's still a long way to go, but there's an improvement.

post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

Actually, it does help my son to talk about why someone might be bullying. We talk about what might be going on with the bully and why they are acting the way they are. We stress that the behavior is not okay and it's not acceptable. But it does help my son step outside the situation and see that it is not about him, but about the bully. There isn't anything bad about my son that causes the bullying, but the bully has bad feeling that they are inappropriately expressing.

 

For example we were talking about one girl (A) who bullied him last year and how he was in class and friends with her friend (G) from the year before. We talked about how she was targeting him because she felt lonely and excluded. Did that mean he had to include someone who made him feel bad? Hell no. Did that mean he should stop being friends with G? No. Does that mean he needed to except how A treated him? No. Was any of this his fault? No. That last statement was the one that he needed to understand, and talking about the rest got us there.

 

There was a serious amount of bullying going on in my dd's elem classes-grades 1-2.  My dd wasn't being bullied, but it was terrible to watch what was going on, and wasn't attended to.  I don't think it made any difference to try and "understand" the bullies.  It was a social dynamic, and it was mirrored by the parent's behavior.  It's also not really correct to say that it's not about the behavior of the kid being treated poorly-sometimes it is, sometimes there is something going on that makes a child more vulnerable in social situations, and it's really important to understand that.

 

This is where I find the schools starting to step it up a bit.  It's not enough to just have a zero tolerance for bullying behavior.  There needs to be a way to support kids who might be vulnerable as well.  In a situation where there was clear cut bullying, as a parent I would come down HARD on my child's behalf.  Abuse should not be tolerated, and I don't think it's appropriate to ask kids to think about the reasons why their abuser might be acting the way they are.
 

 

post #33 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by karne View Post

 

Abuse should not be tolerated, and I don't think it's appropriate to ask kids to think about the reasons why their abuser might be acting the way they are. 

 


 

I think it liberates them from victim status to think about the person who is abusing them.  Abuse from a stranger is not the same as abuse from a family member.  If a person who has a mental disability is rude or mean to you it is easy to let it go because you understand that that person is not able to think as clearly as a typical person.  As an adult, if another adult out in society acts in an abusive way toward us, we can try to understand why they are so aggressive while also maintaining a distance between us.  This conversation makes me think of this quote from Sun Tzu: "It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle."

post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by OliveJewel View Post

 

I think it liberates them from victim status to think about the person who is abusing them.  Abuse from a stranger is not the same as abuse from a family member.  If a person who has a mental disability is rude or mean to you it is easy to let it go because you understand that that person is not able to think as clearly as a typical person.  As an adult, if another adult out in society acts in an abusive way toward us, we can try to understand why they are so aggressive while also maintaining a distance between us.  This conversation makes me think of this quote from Sun Tzu: "It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle."



I'm not really clear about what you're saying, so it may have some merit, but I'm not sure.  I think a child is "liberated from victim status" when the kids doing the bullying are forced to stop, adults are VERY clear about having no tolerance for the behavior, and when issues that may have been a part of the situation are addressed-as I noted before, social issues, self esteem issues, etc., other issues that in general may create a place for a child to be vulnerable.  That's a complex picture.

post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post

 

There was a serious amount of bullying going on in my dd's elem classes-grades 1-2.  My dd wasn't being bullied, but it was terrible to watch what was going on, and wasn't attended to.  I don't think it made any difference to try and "understand" the bullies.  It was a social dynamic, and it was mirrored by the parent's behavior.  It's also not really correct to say that it's not about the behavior of the kid being treated poorly-sometimes it is, sometimes there is something going on that makes a child more vulnerable in social situations, and it's really important to understand that.

 

This is where I find the schools starting to step it up a bit.  It's not enough to just have a zero tolerance for bullying behavior.  There needs to be a way to support kids who might be vulnerable as well.  In a situation where there was clear cut bullying, as a parent I would come down HARD on my child's behalf.  Abuse should not be tolerated, and I don't think it's appropriate to ask kids to think about the reasons why their abuser might be acting the way they are. 

 


So, in the bolded above, are you trying to say that bullied kids are themselves to blame for their treatment.

 

Are you also saying that the kids themselves shouldn't have a role in understanding the dynamics that lead to bullying, or that they should be encouraged to think that the bullying is a result of something that is soley wrong with themselves. Because, I have to disagree.

 

And I think talking over what is going on with the bully is an important step to letting my son know that no matter what his quirks may be he still deserves to be treated with respect. The bullying behavior is about the bully and not about the bullied. We do stress that while it helps to understand the bullies motivations it does not in any way excuse the behavior or make it something that should be tolerated.

 

I also think that bullying is, to a certain degree, the result of looking at others as something other than people with feelings and emotions. When we view others only through our own lens and our own feelings it's easier to forget that they are people too. I want my son to understand that even someone who acts out aggressively has insecurities and feelings that play into it. I don't want the bully to see my child as less than a full person because they have quirks, I don't want my children to view a child who is aggressive as less than a full person because of their quirks either. I guess I not only want to make sure that my child isn't bullied, I want to make sure they aren't a bully either. That means talking about other people and practicing empathy, while at the same time being able to understand why a behavior is completely unacceptable.

 

post #36 of 55

I think teaching the dynamics of bullying is different from excusing bullying.  Our school steps in very quickly to help a bullied child, and bullying is not tolerated.  Understanding the dynamics of bullying is also actually taught in the health curriculum out here.  So yes, the students are taught about what leads some people to bully or what makes some people more likely to be victims.  They are also taught the best, evidence proven ways to deal with bullies.  My 10 year old daughter actually used her teaching to recommend to me what to do this year when my 7 year old son was bullied on the bus.  My husband was all for contacting the parents directly, and I was unsure as I was dealing with a large (and rowdy) extended family to the child all living around me.  My daughter told us she was taught that personalizing the situation by directly calling the bully's family tends to escalate the behavior, and that there was usually more success when an outside authority figure (like the principal, or if appropriate, the police) does the contacting, sometimes without even using the victim's names but just directly discussing the behavior.  It helped me make my decision.  It's great that they are educated to know how not to talk like a victim or that the parents of bullies are now encouraged to find help for their child.  In no way have I heard "poor bully" or seen a victimized child expected to be sympathetic as a part of this increased education.  And the victims aren't being told they are responsible, just how to decrease their risk.  Knowledge and education are giving today's kids the vocabulary and skills to better protect themselves.  Olive Jewel's lovely quote from Sun Tzu discusses this, in that understanding yourself and the enemy (in this case the bully) gives you knowledge to see a "battle" coming, to know what motivational triggers entice your "enemy" to action, and to understand how to present yourself in such a way that the bully is more hesitant to pick you as a target.

post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

So, in the bolded above, are you trying to say that bullied kids are themselves to blame for their treatment.

 

Are you also saying that the kids themselves shouldn't have a role in understanding the dynamics that lead to bullying, or that they should be encouraged to think that the bullying is a result of something that is soley wrong with themselves. Because, I have to disagree.

 

And I think talking over what is going on with the bully is an important step to letting my son know that no matter what his quirks may be he still deserves to be treated with respect. The bullying behavior is about the bully and not about the bullied. We do stress that while it helps to understand the bullies motivations it does not in any way excuse the behavior or make it something that should be tolerated.

 

I also think that bullying is, to a certain degree, the result of looking at others as something other than people with feelings and emotions. When we view others only through our own lens and our own feelings it's easier to forget that they are people too. I want my son to understand that even someone who acts out aggressively has insecurities and feelings that play into it. I don't want the bully to see my child as less than a full person because they have quirks, I don't want my children to view a child who is aggressive as less than a full person because of their quirks either. I guess I not only want to make sure that my child isn't bullied, I want to make sure they aren't a bully either. That means talking about other people and practicing empathy, while at the same time being able to understand why a behavior is completely unacceptable.

 


So, if you read my first response on the subject, I said that the dynamics are very complex, and that, for some kids, they have vulnerabilities that can create a situation that exposes them to the attentions of those who are bullying.  I said that the best programs encompass not only zero tolerance for bullying behavior, but support for those children who need it, include addressing social and emotional needs. The person to blame is the one doing the bullying, and intervention and appropriate resources need to be utilized if that child is acting out because of their own social/emotional issues.  Those being bullied are never to be blamed, but there are times when a child can be supported to make themselves more "bully-proof".  There are excellent books/articles relating to this, and any guidance counselor could provide further information.

 

I can re-quote the post for clarification if needed.

 

FWIW, there is no research to bear out that all bullies have emotional or social problems.  Sometimes here on MDC you will read a post from a parent, horrified that their child is acting in a bullying, aggressive or exclusionary manner. It happens.  Having one child in middle school, I can attest to the fact that social dynamics can turn very quickly, and be very disturbing.  The dynamic of a group is strong.  I haven't seen it often, and my kids haven't experienced it first hand, but it is a hot button issue in the schools.

 

  

 

post #38 of 55


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OliveJewel View Post

 

I think it liberates them from victim status to think about the person who is abusing them.  Abuse from a stranger is not the same as abuse from a family member.  If a person who has a mental disability is rude or mean to you it is easy to let it go because you understand that that person is not able to think as clearly as a typical person.  As an adult, if another adult out in society acts in an abusive way toward us, we can try to understand why they are so aggressive while also maintaining a distance between us.  



I disagree with so much of this.

 

I do not think it liberates someone from victim status to think about the person abusing them.If anything - it engrains their victum status even more.  What, exactly, is the goal in thinking about the bully for a bullied child?  Sympathy for them?  Understanding and perhaps rationalising why the bullies do things?  No....just no.  Bullying is wrong - it does not matter why someone bullies to the bullied.  All that matters is that it stops.  That is how someone is no longer a victim.   The school can and should care about the bully - as should the bullies parents, but putting caring or understanding on the bullied shoulders is so inappropriate.  

 

 

I do think your statement holds up to a small degree when we are talking about true stranger  - but kids at school are not strangers.  They are people our children spend hours with every day.  At some grades peers are extremely important to kids.  

 

I was a bullied child and teen and I remember it well.  If, after months of verbal bullying, someone had tried to explain to me that Johnny was going through a rough spot at home, and that is why he was bullying me, I would have thought:

 

1.  Why the hell are you telling me?  He torments me - do you expect me to care?

 

2.  Oh, you want me to know it is him - not me.  Well, that is not true.  There are other kids he does not bully, so obviously there is something about me.  Oh - I know!  I am shy and wear yucky clothes and Johnny is an UAV who picks on people he deems weaker - that is why.  Moreover, Johnny has a bunch of minions who are not going through a rough time - what is their excuse?  Am I supposed to feel sympathy for them, too?  A lot of this "let's explain to them that the bully has a hard life" is not relevant as bullying is often in groups, or by ring leaders with bystanders - they don't all have it bad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by purslaine - 10/17/11 at 9:55am
post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post

The person to blame is the one doing the bullying, and intervention and appropriate resources need to be utilized if that child is acting out because of their own social/emotional issues.  Those being bullied are never to be blamed, but there are times when a child can be supported to make themselves more "bully-proof".

 


I absolutely agree with this, and I think it is an extremely important thing for moms of kids who've been bullied to understand so they can help their child change roles. A kid who is a victim who sees themselves as a victim will end up finding more people through out their life to victimize them. This isn't blaming them for what happened, it's about how to move forward to a better future.

 

It also has little to do with how to deal with a child who is a bully - who is totally responsible for their behavior and needs helps and guidance to learn more positive ways to interact. They aren't absolved of anything by saying that victims can learn new ways of interacting, too.

 

post #40 of 55

nm

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