15
   

Do you know how to handle bullying?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 12:28 pm
Prompted by another post and in considering the upcoming bullying bill in Massachusetts, I am curious as to how you all would handle a bullying situation if it happened to your child? What do you think would work best? Bringing it up to the school, with the bully’s parents, working with your child (ie sucking it up/ignore it/fight back)?

Fortunately for me, I had only one small incident so far and it was handled quickly and without much fanfare. However, anticipating even at the best equipped schools, this could happen at any time, please share your suggestions and maybe examples on how best to handle.
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 12:31 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

Prompted by another post and in considering the upcoming bullying bill in Massachusetts, I am curious as to how you all would handle a bullying situation if it happened to your child? What do you think would work best? Bringing it up to the school, with the bully’s parents, working with your child (ie sucking it up/ignore it/fight back)?

Fortunately for me, I had only one small incident so far and it was handled quickly and without much fanfare. However, anticipating even at the best equipped schools, this could happen at any time, please share your suggestions and maybe examples on how best to handle.


I experienced periodic bullying as a child and solved the problem in the 7th grade by splitting an asshole's skull open with a padlock in the hall one day.

Earned a 3-day vacation from school and a life vacation from being picked on. Totally worth it. My mom was pissed, my dad was secretly happy behind her back.

If kids can't stand up for themselves - in whatever fashion works for them - nothing that parents or teachers do will work either.

Cycloptichorn
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 12:52 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
And most likely your mom was secretly happy as well - just she will never tell you.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  3  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 12:55 pm
Yah, I tend to agree with Cyclo.

I was brought up in a household where I was taught that fighting was wrong, turn the other cheek, etc. etc. etc. At the risk of being called all sorts of names, I'm a-gonna say this -- that's just about the worst kind of nonsensical bullshit you can instill in any child. It's criminal to tell a mkid he shouldn't try to defend him/herself because it's somehow "wrong" or because you could get hurt if you fight.

After numerous experiences of being picked on by school bullies because they knew I probably wouldn't fight, I discovered something that's been useful to me the rest of my life -- if you stand up to a bully immediately and forcefully, he will always back right down. No exceptions. I've never seen it fail. Most of the time you won't even need to fight. The bully will avoid having to prove himself. The reason he's a bully is because he's scared to begin with and has to show off somehow.

Teach your kid(s) never to back down, in the schoolyard or in later life.

Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 12:57 pm
@Linkat,
My brother was picked on by neighborhood kids. One day he finally had enough and walked up to his nemesis, grabbed hold of his nose and gave it a hard twist that broke his nose. When asked why he did it, my brother told everyone he was tired of it and just tried to change the channel. That seemed to settle things in the neighborhood for him.

Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 12:57 pm
@Merry Andrew,
I agree andy.

and teach them to how make the crazy eyes...
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 12:59 pm
@Rockhead,
Rockhead wrote:

I agree andy.

and teach them to how make the crazy eyes...


Yeah I'm good at those lol

I've actually been about to fight a guy who had the crazy eye before, did a double-take, and thought to myself 'Man, this may not be such a good idea.' So I can report from experience that it works.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 01:23 pm
I get where you all are coming from and actually I was more physical in that sense even being a girl. My older brother was bullied - pretty much because he would not fight back. I even would go and hit the older boys to protect him. I would never allow some one to push me around.

But is there a situation where teachers or adults should get involved? How about as girls get older and it isn't physical - more mental type of abuse as "mean girls" tend to do...like excluding, name calling and worse - as we are seeing more of - reputation slandering...
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 01:51 pm
@Linkat,
Quote:
But is there a situation where teachers or adults should get involved? ...


sure, as soon as they are aware the adults should be telling the victim to not put up with this treatment, and should be telling the bullies that if the victim gets physically hurt then they will be punished...the bullies need to be reminded of limits and that they are being watched. Within reason the victim gets a free pass to hurt the bullies.

Obviously our legal system will not support doing this, liability being what it is.

Quote:
How about as girls get older and it isn't physical - more mental type of abuse as "mean girls" tend to do...like excluding, name calling and worse - as we are seeing more of - reputation slandering...
Same pulling the bullies into the office for an official talk, and then a adult female needs to take the victim under her wing and start looking after her, start teaching her how to deal with bullies, showing by example that someone cares and that she is not alone.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 01:53 pm
@Rockhead,
Rockhead wrote:

I agree andy.

and teach them to how make the crazy eyes...


We call 'em stink eyes in Hawaii.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 01:55 pm
@hawkeye10,
One other thing - what if it is a group of bullies - one person may not be able to physically confront them.
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 01:57 pm
@Linkat,
Quote:
One other thing - what if it is a group of bullies - one person may not be able to physically confront them.


the group nature, and the size of the group are not a factor. You take on the leader of the group, or one of the leaders. All the rest will follow after the leader has been put down.

If there is no group, if it is pervasive but not organized, then you confront the worst bully.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 02:05 pm
Here is my one situation -

This is with 3rd graders - two girls in a bathroom - one says I want to show you my underwear and you show me yours. Other girl says no. First girl forces her pants down to see her underwear.

My daughter tells me about this. I wasn't sure whether to be one of those complaining parents and tell. But something didn't sit right with me - I told my daughter I was going to tell the principal - my daughter (surprisingly) did not seem to mind and seemed to want me to tell. I also told my daughter, if you do not want someone to do something to them - do not let them/defend yourself/stand up for yourself.

I sent an email to the principal with the re: minor incident afterschool program
I explained I felt it was a minor incident but wanted her to be aware of it. I also mentioned that I spoke with my daughter and let her know that she needs to stand up for herself.

Principal wrote back that it was NOT a minor incident and she would handle it. Never had an issue again. (and this is the type of girl that is potentially a future (if not then) a bully. She no longer attends the school - thank goodness. And this principal does not allow any crap going on - she runs a tight ship.
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 02:06 pm
It's tough but true. If a child is being picked on, they're going to have to fight back or it will continue and grow a lot worse. Fighting fire with fire in bullying situations is the only way.

When I was a kid, the parents' mantra to a bullied child was "either you kick their ass or I'm gonna kick yours." It sounds extreme but you have to make your children stand up for themselves in this world any way you can.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 02:12 pm
@eoe,
Quote:
When I was a kid, the parents' mantra to a bullied child was "either you kick their ass or I'm gonna kick yours." It sounds extreme but you have to make your children stand up for themselves in this world any way you can
you realize that the anti-bulling laws go the other way, they take the position
that the weak among us must be left alone, which means that they will stay weak.

This is not good for us over the long haul. Bullying and hazing serve critical societal functions, a fact that we moderns ignore to our detriment.
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 02:37 pm
Like others have said; I'd teach my kid to fight back, even if that included, like Cyclops demonstrated, using weapons (legal one's to bring in school...like a padlock in a long sock, or a rolled up magazine that fuctions much like a billy club).

I would teach him not to confront the bully, but just be more than prepared to deal with them when they arise, and to deal with them quickly.

When my child turns 18 I will buy them a shotgun for the same reason, and when 21, a handgun. Nobody should be forced to be in a weaker when position than the bully.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 04:05 pm
@Butrflynet,
Change the channel... good phrase.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 04:15 pm
@Linkat,
Sounds like you handled that well.

A lot of you know I've been dealing with this at a very low level, but one thing I've become convinced of in dealing with it is that this is the level that needs to be taken a bit more seriously, in terms of prevention. I think that too often it's not addressed until behaviors have really taken root and/ or the kids involved are less willing to listen to authority figures.

I think having some sort of knowledge of how to strike back if necessary is good. My kid knows how to punch, hard, and while she never has, she knows that I am fine with self-defense, and I think that gives her a measure of confidence.

One of the things that has seemed most helpful to me is for a kid to have a wide circle of friends, so that it's easy to move on to someone else if a given kid is being obnoxious or worse. I read something somewhere (sorry, can try to track it down if need be) that small, intense groups are more susceptible to social bullying, as the bullied kids feel like they have nowhere else to go and so they put up with it. I think that parents can help with that at the earliest stages, when we're still the ones who have a lot to do with our kids' social lives. I know some parents who try to identify the "popular" kids and pursue social stuff with them, while shunning the more "unpopular" kids. (I'm talking about kindergarten/ first grade level.) The parents who were much more freeform -- if the kids got along, then they got together outside of school too -- seem to now (third grade) have kids who are more socially adept.

Freeform is huge in general, another article (dammit, same disclaimer) was talking about ... oh, playground coaches! An op-ed in the NYT. It drew a connection between the lack of unstructured playtime for kids and the rise of bullying, I think he had a point. (I think he hated on playdates too much though, they definitely can be freeform and if they're scheduled in a freeform way, too -- c'mon over, you too -- I think they serve many of the same purposes as just hanging out with neighborhood kids.)

Anyway, if kids have too much supervision early on then they don't learn enough kid-code stuff to protect themselves when supervision is no longer happening.

edit: but sometimes it's not a matter of being able to protect themselves in that way. The kids who haven't experienced negative consequences for bullying from when they were little (3rd grade say) will keep bullying and keep getting worse. They're gonna find someone to bully, and it's not always possible to keep them at bay. Too much risk of circumstances intervening in some way, just dumb luck. So parents/ teachers do need to take this stuff seriously and do what they can to prevent it.
NickFun
 
  3  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 04:17 pm
I was bullied as a child. When I was 13 I started running, lifting weights and took karate. By the time I was 15 I started beating up the bullies. I became an anti-bully. Schools need more anti-bullies!
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 04:20 pm
@NickFun,
That's actually a huge element I think, the kids who sit there on the sidelines and don't do anything because they don't want to incur bully-wrath. More anti-bullies is good.
0 Replies
 
 

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