Originally Posted by OliveJewel
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