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#31 of 55 Old 10-15-2011, 07:55 PM
 
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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.


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#32 of 55 Old 10-16-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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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.
 

 

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#33 of 55 Old 10-16-2011, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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."

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#34 of 55 Old 10-16-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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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.

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#35 of 55 Old 10-17-2011, 06:46 AM
 
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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.

 


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#36 of 55 Old 10-17-2011, 07:54 AM
 
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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.


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#37 of 55 Old 10-17-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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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.

 

  

 

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#38 of 55 Old 10-17-2011, 09:37 AM
 
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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#39 of 55 Old 10-17-2011, 10:07 AM
 
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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.

 


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#40 of 55 Old 10-17-2011, 10:24 AM
 
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#41 of 55 Old 10-17-2011, 10:30 AM
 
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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.

 

 



I am not sure I understand.

 

I was absolutely a victim of bullying as a child and teen.

 

I have not been a victim as an adult as I have not chosen to surround myself with people who are bullies. 

 

Trying to tell a child that is a victim of bullying that they are not a victim of bullying seems...off.

 

I think it is fine to say someone is a victim of xyz without that person being a victim overall.  

 

Example - a person can be a victim of a crime without taking on a victim role in general.

 

It was and is important for me to own the fact that I was a victim of bullying.  I did not do anything to deserve it and I was the injured party.  To deny that would do me more harm than good, I think.  

 

 

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#42 of 55 Old 10-17-2011, 10:46 AM
 
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I am not sure I understand.

 

I was absolutely a victim of bullying as a child and teen.

 

I have not been a victim as an adult as I have not chosen to surround myself with people who are bullies. 

 

Trying to tell a child that is a victim of bullying that they are not a victim of bullying seems...off.

 

I think it is fine to say someone is a victim of xyz without that person being a victim overall.  

 

Example - a person can be a victim of a crime without taking on a victim role in general.

 

It was and is important for me to own the fact that I was a victim of bullying.  I did not do anything to deserve it and I was the injured party.  To deny that would do me more harm than good, I think.  

 

 


First, Kathy, I am sorry for your experience.

 

There are times when some aspects of a child's behavior or skill set, or something along those lines, can make them a target of kids who are abusive to other children.  Not always, but it does happen, so schools are taking a more proactive approach, and I think parents are somewhat more aware as well.  I know that my sister who has a child on the spectrum, worries terribly about this, and they try very hard to give their child some skills to "bully proof" him.  It's clearly not the only reason bullying occurs-believe me, I have seen some junior high drama to attest to this.

 

FWIW, if my child was engaging in bullying behavior, the message would be STOP, the end.  I wouldn't want a parent asking their child to look into all of the reasons my child might be acting aggressively against another child.  It's unacceptable, period.  Again, we talk about this with the middle schooler here because it's not uncommon for kids to text around mean stuff, for example,--absolutely not OK.

 

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#43 of 55 Old 10-17-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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First, Kathy, I am sorry for your experience.

 

smile.gif

 

There are times when some aspects of a child's behavior or skill set, or something along those lines, can make them a target of kids who are abusive to other children.  Not always, but it does happen, so schools are taking a more proactive approach, and I think parents are somewhat more aware as well.  I know that my sister who has a child on the spectrum, worries terribly about this, and they try very hard to give their child some skills to "bully proof" him.  It's clearly not the only reason bullying occurs-believe me, I have seen some junior high drama to attest to this.

 

Bolding mine.  I do know some kids are targeted partly because of the way they react.  Freaking out, lashing out, etc...It does not change the fact that the bullies should not bully, none-the-less a person might not be the chosen target if they respond in a way that does not give the bullier what he wants.  

 

A large part of me (well over 1/2) thinks kids should be taught the kind of social skills that  will make them less likely to be a target.  If it lowers a chance a child will be bullied - well, that is the bottom line.  

 

Where I get somewhat befuddled is around the message asking kids to change sends to the bullied.

 

Example - kids that are bullied are told to hold the anger, walk away, respond in jest, etc.  What if these are not your normal reactions?   Why should you have to change your behaviour because a bully is being , well, a bully?

 

What if it is deeper - what if you are gay or nerdy and are told not to act "gay or nerdy" so as to avoid bullying?  Why does the victim have to do the changing?

 

Further advice to avoid bullying, such as travel with a buddy or avoid known bully hangouts (such as specific halls, etc) make me a little ragey.  The bully then does have all the power - and the person who is doing nothing wrong has to change their behaviour because of it.  

 

To be honest, I do not think focusing on child behaviour is the way to lower bullying.  I think the messages are too complicated, the stakes are too high, and it is too much of a burden for children (teens might be a different matter).

 

I think adults and the schools need to act firmly, and:

 

1. supervise children properly, at least at school (which is the forum we are on).  Many bullying incidents happen on the playground and on the bus where supervision is low.  I don't mind if more of my taxpayer dollars go towards more staffing for adequate supervision.  

 

2.  Take a firmer line with the bullies.  If the bullies cannot stop their actions, they should go to a school for kids with support for behaviour issues.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

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#44 of 55 Old 10-17-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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Kathy, can't figure out how to quote your post, but you raise excellent points, esp. with regard to the messages about kids changing-the student who is gay, who is not into sports, who appears different from their peers, has a significant disability, etc.  There is much talk of new anti bullying legislation, and so much in the news recently about absolutely tragic situations.

 

What I see with older kids is that kids tend to find their "groups", and for many kids, having a social group provides an insulating factor.  Peer relationships matter a lot at the ms/hs level.  I think that if there were a child in my dd's middle school who was socially isolated, ostracized, teachers would take note, and their would be efforts to help.

 

At the elem level we saw over and over again a blind eye toward the bullying some of the girls were engaging in.  The parents were replicating it on their adult level (or maybe it was the kids replicating it), and it was put down to girls being girls.  This was a private school.

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#45 of 55 Old 10-17-2011, 07:06 PM
 
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In regard to the onus being on the victimized to change their behavior not being fair - I agree, and I've been there, myself as a child.  However, when it comes to how the normal reaction for a victimized person may not be holding anger, walking away or making a jest, this may be true, but the normal reaction can be pretty dangerous.  Growing up in a school situation with little supervision or care for monitoring or for educating about bullying, I'll tell you what my (pretty normal for me at the time) reaction was: I went after the bully with fists and made an example of them, beating them to a pulp and smashing them repeatedly into the school bathroom mirror.  And I had more than one incident like that.  I can't say that I look back with any feelings of empowerment over this (even though I suppose I could say I survived), I would say that it's actually a pretty sick feeling realizing you can be more nasty and violent than the person who mistreated you.  I don't think I want any of my children, no matter how bullied they were, to ever have to have this sort of conflicting feeling about themselves.  I agree that the most important thing is supervision and being firm with the bullies, but I don't think that going back to the world of not educating or understanding about social issues is the way to do it.  The old world had the eye for an eye attitude that can lead to a victim becoming something they don't want to be.

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#46 of 55 Old 10-17-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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Kathy, I'm sorry for your experiences at the pain they caused you.

 

What I've seen isn't advice to "not be yourself" but rather coaching on social skills -- how to tell when others are joking, how to tell who is open to conversation/friendship with you, the give and take of conversation, etc.  It's not "you have to change," but rather, "if you want to have more positive interactions, these are things you can try." Skills that are helpful for kids who feel left out, friendless, etc as well as those being bullied.

 

It absolutely takes the adults to make schools and other environments safe for kids. I think you and I agree on that.

 

The only point we seem to differ on is that I'm fine with explicitly teaching social skills to kids who don't catch on on their own, but I've been privileged to see it done really, really well.

 

I have no idea what YOU could have done differently in the situation you were in. I'm not saying that what happened was your fault, or that you could have made it different. You should have been safe, you were a kid and the adults should have seen to it that you were safe. They failed you.

 

I see adults stepping in as a PRIMARY thing to do, I see dealing with the bully and helping them learn empathy as a PRIMARY thing to do.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#47 of 55 Old 10-17-2011, 09:33 PM
 
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The only point we seem to differ on is that I'm fine with explicitly teaching social skills to kids who don't catch on on their own, but I've been privileged to see it done really, really well.

 

 


I don't entirely disagree with you.  I just think people have to be very careful in the delivery of such programs so as not to come across as blaming the victim.    It is hard to get across the message of "you are not at all to blame"  while simultaneously saying  "this is what you should do differently" as they can be perceived as contradictory.  

 

However, at the end of the day if social skills training helps a child be less bullied and is delivered carefully, then I have no issues with it as long as adequate supervision and  a firm stance against bullying are also incorporated. I do not expect it (social skills training) to be a magic bullet, however.  

 

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In regard to the onus being on the victimized to change their behavior not being fair - I agree, and I've been there, myself as a child.  However, when it comes to how the normal reaction for a victimized person may not be holding anger, walking away or making a jest, this may be true, but the normal reaction can be pretty dangerous.  Growing up in a school situation with little supervision or care for monitoring or for educating about bullying, I'll tell you what my (pretty normal for me at the time) reaction was: I went after the bully with fists and made an example of them, beating them to a pulp and smashing them repeatedly into the school bathroom mirror.  And I had more than one incident like that.  I can't say that I look back with any feelings of empowerment over this (even though I suppose I could say I survived), I would say that it's actually a pretty sick feeling realizing you can be more nasty and violent than the person who mistreated you.  I don't think I want any of my children, no matter how bullied they were, to ever have to have this sort of conflicting feeling about themselves.  I agree that the most important thing is supervision and being firm with the bullies, but I don't think that going back to the world of not educating or understanding about social issues is the way to do it.  The old world had the eye for an eye attitude that can lead to a victim becoming something they don't want to be.

Bolding mine.  If by "educating or understanding about social issues"  you mean social skills training - a child understanding that bursting into tears if someone bumps into you may make you a target for bullies - fine.

 

If by "educating or understanding about social issues" you mean a child should understand that Johnny hits people/circulates rumours, etc, etc because he has a rough home life or poor impulse control we might have to agree to disagree.    It is too much to expect a child who has been tormented by a person or group to show their tormenters sympathy or empathy.  What a burden!  Moreover, I can imagine (very easily) a child who is bullied being told their tormenter has a rough life feeling quite guilty over their legitimate anger.  

 

FarmerBeth...do you really think education around social issues (what does that mean?)  would have helped you not smash someones head into a mirror or not be bullied? Or do you think that better supervision and taking bullying seriously might have helped?  (or both?)
 

 

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#49 of 55 Old 10-18-2011, 10:03 AM
 
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I have no issues with it as long as adequate supervision and  a firm stance against bullying are also incorporated. I do not expect it (social skills training) to be a magic bullet, however.  

 


I agree.

 

We've been very fortunate with schools. At the public middle school my kids attended, bullying was taken extremely seriously. The school had a history of kids being bullied during lunch, partly by not being allowed to sit down because "this seat is saved."  The school made it against the rules to save seats, and the principal spent the entire lunch period in the lunch room sitting at a table. Any child who wanted to could sit with him and talk. It created a safe space for students.

 

My DD said that is was often the special needs kids with social problems who ended up there, and he sat there and ate his lunch and chatted with them. But that other kids who had a complaint or were annoyed with the usually lunch group would sometimes sit with him. I had a lot of respect for him. I'm sure just his physical presence in the room made a difference.

 

This was a regular public school, where the adults truly cared that the students felt safe. It's possible. But it does start with the adults in charge having the attitude that every single student should feel safe, and then getting real about what they can to do make that happen.

 


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#50 of 55 Old 10-18-2011, 12:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Bolding mine.  If by "educating or understanding about social issues"  you mean social skills training - a child understanding that bursting into tears if someone bumps into you may make you a target for bullies - fine.

 

If by "educating or understanding about social issues" you mean a child should understand that Johnny hits people/circulates rumours, etc, etc because he has a rough home life or poor impulse control we might have to agree to disagree.    It is too much to expect a child who has been tormented by a person or group to show their tormenters sympathy or empathy.  What a burden!  Moreover, I can imagine (very easily) a child who is bullied being told their tormenter has a rough life feeling quite guilty over their legitimate anger.  

 

FarmerBeth...do you really think education around social issues (what does that mean?)  would have helped you not smash someones head into a mirror or not be bullied? Or do you think that better supervision and taking bullying seriously might have helped?  (or both?) 

 



I think both.  Certainly, if we had better supervision, and if adults had listened when I first went for help, I would have felt and actually been safer and would not have felt like taking matters into my own hands.  I was literally in situations of stoning ( a group of kids got together on multiple occasions to gather around me and pitch stones at me) and really believed the only available route was to make an example of the ring leader.  However, I also didn't have the social smarts or education to know simple things like the real terminology for my treatment, what my rights were as a student and what I should expect from the teachers (I really didn't even know that I had the right to expect action from them, my children, today, do); proper procedures for getting help, including when not heard; what things can make a bully's behavior escalate or become dangerous, and appropriate ways to stand up for myself verbally before the situation escalated (rather than just aggressively throwing back insults).  And while I don't think any differences in my social demeanor excused the bullies for their behavior, nor should I have been made to feel responsible for it, some awareness of why I was annoying others (interrupting, rowdy behavior compared to other girls, getting nitpicky or technical with people, not being reciprocal about others' interests) may have made me less of a target.  Outside of this situation, it just would have been better to learn these things for daily life at an earlier age, rather than later through therapy and communications classes studying in the human service and nursing fields (which oddly, I was attracted to despite very much not being a natural with social skills).  I'm seeing all the children in my kid's school taking social skills as part of language arts and health units, and bullying awareness as part of health, not just kids with identified problems, and overall the kids are more aware because of it, and are better able to communicate clearly and respectfully, and to follow appropriate steps to get help if bullied or witnessing bullying.  It doesn't solve everything, and some people may have knowledge and skills of respectful and socially appropriate behavior and still choose not to follow it.  However, those that want to change their lives, help their friends, or just form healthier relationships and don't know how are gaining some knowledge and skills to help.

 

None of the children's classes on bullying awareness told them why "Johnny" hits or circulates rumors except to say that "Johnny's" behavior needs to be addressed by adults, not ignored, so that he can be taught appropriate, safe behavior (which is actually another way of saying "appropriately disciplined", in the real, not necessarily the punitive, sense).  Educating about bullying is not about excusing, it's about being aware of the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved in the situation.

 


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#51 of 55 Old 10-19-2011, 01:45 AM
 
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so are we using bullying as a measure to see if kids have gotten nicer or not? 

 

in my experience schools have better controls these days - in a lot of cases - not all. 

 

if my dd went to the neighborhood school - then using bullying - i would say no things have not changed. 

 

i look around at neighborhood bullies. and in my experience things are not that different now than was when i was a kid. 


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#52 of 55 Old 10-20-2011, 07:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by meemee View Post

so are we using bullying as a measure to see if kids have gotten nicer or not? 

 

in my experience schools have better controls these days - in a lot of cases - not all. 

 

if my dd went to the neighborhood school - then using bullying - i would say no things have not changed. 

 

i look around at neighborhood bullies. and in my experience things are not that different now than was when i was a kid. 


I think that is an interesting observation.  I wonder if there is a difference in how people see this issue in areas where kids tend to run around with the free reign they had when I was a child versus the people who live where kids are very scheduled and don't get the chance for freedom from parental ears until they are much older and have certain behaviors really ingrained into them.  IME children are meet with playdates and they are only free in the yard so I don't see the neighborhood bully aspect like I did as a child because it is a more controlled situation.   

 

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#53 of 55 Old 10-20-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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I think that is an interesting observation.  I wonder if there is a difference in how people see this issue in areas where kids tend to run around with the free reign they had when I was a child versus the people who live where kids are very scheduled and don't get the chance for freedom from parental ears until they are much older and have certain behaviors really ingrained into them.  IME children are meet with playdates and they are only free in the yard so I don't see the neighborhood bully aspect like I did as a child because it is a more controlled situation.   

 



I have to say that while I still overall feel like kids seem nicer, I do notice the contrast more in school where there is supervision.  Our school bus still has a lot of bullying, and the boys around here will sometimes "finish matters" getting into an after school fight rather than at school (although these fights are often not bullying but fights between peers of equal footing).  One thing I've noticed outside of the bullying issue, at school and home, is that kids as a whole are more tolerant of differences in others and can see different as being a positive or interesting thing.  In the local neighbourhood, I still have hear people of my generation speaking in a discriminatory manner of people of other colours, cultures, abilities and religions, and we live in an area that has been multicultural for generations, so ignorance is not an excuse, here.  Even overhearing kids and teens amongst themselves, I don't hear as much discriminatory talk, and I also hear teens calling other teens on discriminatory behavior.  I think this generation has more awareness of the importance of egalitarian treatment.

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#55 of 55 Old 10-20-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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 Even overhearing kids and teens amongst themselves, I don't hear as much discriminatory talk, and I also hear teens calling other teens on discriminatory behavior.  I think this generation has more awareness of the importance of egalitarian treatment.


 

I see that too, but sometimes I wonder if I live in a happy little bubble and have lost sight of what the outside world is like.

 

 


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