Just About Everyone Has a Bullying Story. So Do I! Mine happened when I was eleven years old. Every day after school, children of all ages played on my block on Long Island, New York. The house we grew up in was close to the next house and it was up to me to make […]
Copyright: iakovenko/123RF Stock Photo This post may seem a little harsh, but we all must keep in mind the words that come out of our mouths. There are plenty of “threats” parents use without even thinking about it, because they obviously don’t mean what they’ve said. When most parents say, “I’m gonna kill you!” of […]
Copyright: ryujikawano/ 123RF Stock Photo We are all involved in the bullying problem to some degree We rarely think about ourselves as having anything to do with bullying, especially as adults. We think it happens to someone else. But the reality is that we are all involved in the bullying problem to some degree, some of […]
Analyzing how parents can break the bullying cycle, we find that bullies and targets often grow up in the same sorts of households.
Sorry, Mom and Dad, but your words of praise just don’t mean as much anymore as the child’s peers’ words do. As a child gets older, he begins to understand that the parent pretty much has to say nice things (you’re biased!) and that what you say doesn’t always match the way the rest of the world sees it.
If they need the stylish clothes and the hairspray and the contact lenses to feel okay about themselves for now, so be it. It’s not about wimping out; it’s about your child’s self-esteem and emotional survival in some very difficult years, where fitting in (and therefore “blending” in) is of primary importance.
True victory is achieved when the child feels friend-eligible and confident enough to know that no matter what a bully says, the child is still okay.
Once the crisis is resolved, we move to the third stage, which I refer to as the bullyproofing preservation phase.
Dealing with gossip and rumors can be maddening because kids want so badly to set the record straight and defend themselves against the allegations. But mostly, protesting backfires and keeps the gossip alive.
When someone hurts your feelings by bullying, sensitive kids expect the bully to be sensitive. When they’re not, often the sensitive kid wants to tell the bully how she feels, particularly when they’re young and the bullying is verbal.