I write fiction that revolves around bullying, and models anti-bullying behaviors. Both my girls were bullied through Jr. Hi. and H School. Anyone else out there dealing with bullying? or writing about it?
Any success stories?
...as far as writing about it goes, this is all I've got:
Your supper Mommy blog was very interesting. I commented on it, FYI. Because of my books anti-bullying aspects I have been reading a lot about bullying. It does seem that kids who verbally stand up for themselves are less likely to be bullied. So teaching your kids when and how to do that could protect your kids. I would teach mine now, starting early, to reply with spirit, when being teased, and if the teasing keeps up, to loudly speak back to the teaser. Also they need to tell, tell, tell. Tell their teacher, and you. and you should immediately meet with the teacher to discuss how to stop it.
One positive way to help is to "do" a class activity/project. Working toward a group goal creates bonds between the kids. Social bonds make the other kids more likely to stand up for the bullied child.
It is also very good to help your child beginning in 1 grade to develop friends. Find out who your child would like to be friends with and call them to come play. Develop numerous kids, and arrange group activities. As kids get older, help them develop friend making skills, reaching out to others, ask them to sit with them at lunch, make cards for them, call them. Also teach your kid how to begin conversations with others. Compliment them on something they are wearing, ask what their favorite music group is, ask to see their cool new ... ask what they did over the weekend. Kids who know how to talk to others make friends, Kids with friends don't usually get bullied.
Also you are right, if a bully wants to bully someone, they will find or make up an excuse for doing it.
From SuperMommy's blog:
A mother of a bully was stated as declaring, "She's begun making all sorts of excuses, saying that bullying is really a result of a very confident child trying to contrast their own success against obvious failure. That bullies are more popular, that they are more successful in life. "
Yes, well tell that to Hailee Steinfeld, who was bullied mercilessly from 3rd to 6th grade, and was just nominated for an Academy Award for her role in True Grit. She's 14. I'd say that's pretty darn successful.
My son was bullied in Middle School (we moved to a new school and the kids were cruel!). My son wouldn't tell me everything, but once I realized the depth of the cruelty to my sweet sensitive son, we dealt with it. Actually, he dealt with it. He stood up to the kids, became a hero and went for some therapy...
I have not dealt with bullying -although I do have one blog about kids dealing with violence - I'd love your opinion and comments: www.departingthetext.blogspot.com It was written in January and it is called "Helping Kids Deal with Violence"
If you would like, we can talk about your guest blogging or I could link to your blog and discuss this as it is such an important topic!
I finished Myla Goldberg's The False Friend. It was such a good book and it addressed the bully aspects. Girls can be vicious, let me tell you. But it can be on a subtle level to outright. Sometimes the subtlety makes the victim feel slightly crazy, because nothing's overt enough to point out. It can all be explained away.
I have 4 daughters and live in fear that any of them will be bullied. My six year old tells me the boys on her bus call her names. I tell her to give it to them back. I don't care if she gets in trouble. I need her to learn how to stand up for herself and not rely on her big sister to get her out of her scrapes.
I think you are right. Have you tried role playing with her. Have her tell you what the boys are saying, then have your daughter act their (the boy's) part and you model responses. Then switch roles. After some serious role playing, if you can, make the role playing funny. This should give her a positive place to be when she tries responding on her own. Keep doing this, either with real situations or pretend ones, and she will get more comfortable with standing up for herself.
Thanks for the book referral. I would love to know how things go with your daughter. If this works, I could include it in my school talks. I never use names or places so there would be no break in confidentiality. contact me through firstname.lastname@example.org
I hate bullies! I was lucky that I was too oblivious to notice if anyone ever tried to bully me when I was a kid, but I am more keenly aware of kids' behavior now as a parent. Our ten-year-old boy is a confident, out-spoken, athletic kid. The bullying he has experienced has been from boys on his own hockey team. Both this year and last he has had one teammate insistent upon picking on my son. Last year it was about a t-shirt he liked to wear before games. We encouraged him to continue to wear it and to explain it was his "lucky" shirt. He navigated some more teasing, but eventually the comments stopped because it hadn't worked. This year the bully would say things under his breath and out of earshot of the coaches. He was working to get under my son's skin, and it was working. Our solution to this situation was to invite the kid to our house for a full day of hanging out. The boys played video games, watched a movie and things vastly improved after some monitored one-on-one time.
I think this is such a HUGE area of concern for parents and I commend you for tackling this issue. One bully at a time, right?!?
My daughter is only 7, but we've already got some interesting situations developing.
I wrote about it recently for BabyCenter's MOMformation blog: http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/first-grade-hazing/
Very good article, Jamie. I am so impressed with your ability to face the possibilities. One of my threads, ( I can't remember if it this one or not) a mother shared that she was watching a friend change. She used to be against bullying, but is now excusing it because her son is bullying. It now seems that her son is just being successful, it is not his fault that the other kids can't hold their ground.
It is a very valuable message but a more valuable example, one I hope other parents will read and see that it is ok for a child to need to be taught both sides of behavior. All kids need that so they can be well adjusted, successful, and not bullied.
I am going to see if I can follow your blog on FB, and share the article on my wall. Thanks so much for sharing this.
I would like to recommend my book REVENGE OF THE DORKOIDS as a read aloud. It is 3-6 grade school kids fiction story revolving around bullying. See it at dorkoids.com and recommendations for the book. There are discussion questions in the back to help explore this issue.
Thanks for the compliment and the empathy, Holly.
You can follow my MOMformation posts from here: http://blogs.babycenter.com/author/jlee19/ anad the BabyCenter Facebook page is here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_199684983378008¬if...!/BabyCenter
TKS for the link to your book. I will definitely check that out. I have a feeling I'm going to need all the help I can get!