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Old November 24 2012, 07:19 PM   #76
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Break The Bully

^ I disagree. Being verbally tormented for years in not "kids being kids." Kids can commit suicides after being verbally bullied. That hardly can be ignored and treated as a normal part of growing up!

As for whining, carrying pain and other matters: sure it is a part of us and who we are now, but it should not define us.
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Old November 24 2012, 07:34 PM   #77
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Re: Break The Bully

you certainly have a point, Sonak, but I think one must draw a line between mere occasional teasing and long-term verbal abuse.
The first is - there I agree with you - something that children ought to learn to solve themselves. But if it goes beyond teasing or the occasional insult and becomes a daily harrassing, adults ought to step in. It would, of course, be best if the other children would step in. That's the point of the "break the bully" initiative ( see my starting post). But until the children have the guts to stand up against unfair treatment of others, we adults must fill the gap.
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Old November 24 2012, 08:59 PM   #78
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Break The Bully

And the only way children will feel like they can stand up to bullies is if they are SURE that the adults will actually back the victim rather than the bully.

And I agree, being tormented for years is absolutely NOT normal or just kids being kids. That's the exact mindset I'm referring to when I talk about adults backing the bullies and blaming the victims...or it can easily become that mindset.
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Old November 24 2012, 09:18 PM   #79
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Re: Break The Bully

That was beautiful, Macleod, and yes, Kes made a good point. In short, we must not dwell on it as it leads to anger, and anger leads to... why, it almost sounds like Yoda That little fellow was quite right.

But I think, and I hope, that all of us can see it objectively from a distance and learn from it. But as mentioned, everyone deals with it in their own way.
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Old November 24 2012, 09:21 PM   #80
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Re: Break The Bully

if the Force is with us
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Old November 24 2012, 11:22 PM   #81
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Re: Break The Bully

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
^ I disagree. Being verbally tormented for years in not "kids being kids." Kids can commit suicides after being verbally bullied. That hardly can be ignored and treated as a normal part of growing up!

As for whining, carrying pain and other matters: sure it is a part of us and who we are now, but it should not define us.
Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
you certainly have a point, Sonak, but I think one must draw a line between mere occasional teasing and long-term verbal abuse.
The first is - there I agree with you - something that children ought to learn to solve themselves. But if it goes beyond teasing or the occasional insult and becomes a daily harrassing, adults ought to step in. It would, of course, be best if the other children would step in. That's the point of the "break the bully" initiative ( see my starting post). But until the children have the guts to stand up against unfair treatment of others, we adults must fill the gap.

it's hard to argue about instances of verbal bullying in the abstract, but usually in cases where bullying has led to suicides, there's a lot more going on there, both in terms of the bullying behavior, or psychologically, with the victim. And to clarify: if a student is getting verbally abused by a classmate and a teacher is there, of course it's the teacher's responsibility to put a stop to it, or if it's happening somewhere else in the school.

But I don't really see how someone can argue that verbally teasing/making fun of others is not a natural part of kids being kids. I was the victim of it, and I participated in it. I'm sure many here can say the same, as can most people from the beginnings of organized schooling. So if it's a common behavior that almost all kids do, then how is it anything other than kids being kids?

I'd rather teach a kid to either not let it get to him/her, or to stand up for themselves rather than teach them that they should expect that their peers will always be nice to them. That's a pretty unrealistic and unhealthy expectation.

(this does NOT apply if the child has a behavioral or learning disability obviously, since they likely won't have the skills to cope with the teasing or respond to it in an appropriate way.)
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Old November 25 2012, 01:56 AM   #82
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Re: Break The Bully

So if I child suffers years of being verbally bullied day in day out, that's just kids being kids?

I think not, being verbally bullied should be treated in the same manner as physical bullying. With a zero tolerance approach.

Bullies tend NEVER to be nice to their victim. And why should the victim learn not to let it get to them? They are after all the victim.
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Old November 25 2012, 02:54 AM   #83
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Re: Break The Bully

MacLeod wrote: View Post
So if I child suffers years of being verbally bullied day in day out, that's just kids being kids?

I think not, being verbally bullied should be treated in the same manner as physical bullying. With a zero tolerance approach.

Bullies tend NEVER to be nice to their victim. And why should the victim learn not to let it get to them? They are after all the victim.

I'm not blaming the victim here, I'm saying that bullying is a natural childhood behavior. Heck, it's a natural Human behavior, as it certainly doesn't end with school, just look into "workplace bullying." Social animals in the wild do it too. I'm not suggesting that it's GOOD just because it's a natural behavior, but I've seen a lot of stuff on bullying that argues that bullying is somehow not a normal part of kids interacting, when that's pretty clearly preposterous.

And again, if bullying is occurring where a teacher can observe it, the teacher should put a stop to it. As for why a victim should learn not to let it get to them? I don't understand the question. Are you suggesting that when little Susie is told that she's fat and stupid that she SHOULD let it get to her?


To me, it's just a matter of teaching kids to deal with the inevitable scenario of encountering kids who will be mean to them. Sure, hopefully they won't have to put up with verbal bullying, but that's not a realistic possibility without radically trying to control kids' behavior. When adults are away, kids will bully. That's just the way it is.
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Old November 25 2012, 02:58 AM   #84
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Re: Break The Bully

instead of letting the victims get used to dealing with it, how about we punish the bullies til they learn not to do it? just because its natural doesnt mean its right. easier said than done i know.
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Old November 25 2012, 05:14 AM   #85
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Break The Bully

^Exactly.

Those who call little Susie names should be taught that they shouldn't do that.

Besides, sonak, I'm not sure you're aware that bullying can be really tormenting. I don't think we're talking here about occasional calling names. We're talking here about regular, every day or nearly every day, verbal abuse that can last for years. If you think that's not a problem or that it's "natural" then I don't have any questions.

And if it the way it is, it's about time something should be done with it!
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Old November 25 2012, 05:54 AM   #86
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Re: Break The Bully

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
^Exactly.

Those who call little Susie names should be taught that they shouldn't do that.

Besides, sonak, I'm not sure you're aware that bullying can be really tormenting. I don't think we're talking here about occasional calling names. We're talking here about regular, every day or nearly every day, verbal abuse that can last for years. If you think that's not a problem or that it's "natural" then I don't have any questions.

And if it the way it is, it's about time something should be done with it!

Well as I wrote, it's hard to look at it in the abstract. Of course daily verbal abuse can be traumatic. And again, "natural" doesn't mean I'm defending it, just pointing out that it will happen. I'm not sure that those who bully do so because they haven't been taught that they shouldn't do that.

Children, especially adolescents, are very interested in showing off for peers, hiding their insecurities, or just displaying social dominance. I don't think they're under the illusion that when they're verbally harassing the student that's not fitting in, that they're not doing something wrong. Maybe I'm just cynical, but I don't think that mean behavior is always the result of ignorance.

As for the way the victim responds to it, my approach isn't an either/or. As I've written, if it's near a teacher, bullying should be stopped. But, and I think this is important, victims of bullying should also be given the psychological tools to deal with it while maintaining self-esteem. You can't just say "well, we should put a stop to bullying, and we will, that's that." You can't monitor or control all social interactions where kids are on their own nor should you want to. You have to include strategies that aren't just "have an adult put a stop to it." Teaching kids not to let it get to them is one part of that.
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Old November 25 2012, 06:22 AM   #87
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Re: Break The Bully

I don't think there is any reason that you can't work on both sides of it. People who bully should be taught that that's wrong and has consequences. Victims of bullying should be provided with support and the tools to help cope with the bullying.

Or on a broader level, everyone should be instructed about both sides of it. It's wrong, but if it happens, here are some things you can do or people that can support you.
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Old November 25 2012, 06:23 AM   #88
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Re: Break The Bully

One of the most important psychological is to know that there are rules and that they WILL be enforced--and on the correct person, not the victim. Otherwise, all talk about fixing the problem is empty. Self-esteem is important, too, but if a lot of talk about how bullying is wrong isn't backed with action, the only message taken away will be that those in power (adults, bosses, etc.) are hypocrites whose words count for nothing.
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Old November 25 2012, 06:46 AM   #89
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Re: Break The Bully

Exactly, Kes. Sounds like a good compromise. Unfortunately I don't think society will ever get rid of bullying.

As for teasing, the way I see it, there are two types of teasing. There's the playful type that doesn't do any harm, but then there's the type with malicious intent. If a person gets enough of the second kind, and they feel they have enough, they will in fact feel bullied, especially if the one doing the teasing keeps pushing on, which would then cross the threshold into bullying. Sometimes this is due to the bully not knowing their limits, and they cross the line. I've delt with it before, where the one doing the teasing didn't understand why his teasing touched a nerve. My answer to that is that you never know what's going on inside a person's head or their history, and to tease like this with someone you don't know is often a risk. Unfortunately for them, they had crossed the threshold.
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Old November 25 2012, 09:08 AM   #90
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Re: Break The Bully

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
One of the most important psychological is to know that there are rules and that they WILL be enforced--and on the correct person, not the victim. Otherwise, all talk about fixing the problem is empty. Self-esteem is important, too, but if a lot of talk about how bullying is wrong isn't backed with action, the only message taken away will be that those in power (adults, bosses, etc.) are hypocrites whose words count for nothing.
Owain Taggart wrote: View Post
Exactly, Kes. Sounds like a good compromise. Unfortunately I don't think society will ever get rid of bullying.

As for teasing, the way I see it, there are two types of teasing. There's the playful type that doesn't do any harm, but then there's the type with malicious intent. If a person gets enough of the second kind, and they feel they have enough, they will in fact feel bullied, especially if the one doing the teasing keeps pushing on, which would then cross the threshold into bullying. Sometimes this is due to the bully not knowing their limits, and they cross the line. I've delt with it before, where the one doing the teasing didn't understand why his teasing touched a nerve. My answer to that is that you never know what's going on inside a person's head or their history, and to tease like this with someone you don't know is often a risk. Unfortunately for them, they had crossed the threshold.
I think that one of the things being put forth upthread was that there will always be malicious people out there and there won't always be an authority figure to handle it for you so you need to learn to deal with it. Because that's life. I understand where that point comes from but I also understand why that sounds harsh.

Bullying certainly doesn't end with school, so yes, coping skills need to be learned. On the other hand, I don't expect kids or teenagers to have the same skills as adults in that area. You don't have the same self-confidence or reasoning skills so it doesn't make sense to say that's life, learn to deal with it. But I do agree that there won't always be someone to enforce a rule that will stop the bullying, so it's a good idea to learn a multitude of ways to deal with bullies, or mean people in general.
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