Thread: Break The Bully
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Old November 21 2012, 07:41 PM   #10
Deranged Nasat
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Re: Break The Bully

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
And what about trying to help yourself, when you're being tormented?
Obviously, that would be considered telling, not tattling. The person who needs help can be oneself. The distinction between tattling and telling is part of teaching children to mediate and resolve conflicts on their own, while also recognizing when adult intervention is necessary, and learning to understand their own motivations. There is a lot of work that goes into it, but it mostly comes down to teaching the kids to ask themselves a few simple questions: Is the behavior of the person you are telling about hurting themselves, you, or someone else, physically or emotionally? Could it? Is this something I can solve by myself or with my friends or do I need a grown-up?
I certainly acknowledge the reasoning behind this, but part of the problem as I see it is that the children who embrace the "negotiate-among-ourselves" strategy are probably the ones who most need help with bullying. After all, if your preferred approach to conflict resolution is peaceable negotiation, you're just an easy target for those who feel the need to dominate. I myself didn't do a very good job of asking for help when the opportunity arose because my immediate reaction to adult attention was to put on a fake smile, pretend everything was okay and insist that could sort it out ourselves. I was in fact praised for being very mature, so I know that went down well with the teachers. But the other children weren't interested in negotiating or coming to fair arrangements or listening to reason; they were interested in asserting dominance and ganging up on each other, etc. I wasn't one to rush to adults to fix my problems, but in a sense that was exactly the reason why I needed them most, because I had trained myself to brush aside the one source of power I had.
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