In Response to Single Dad Laughing's Post on Bullying ~Mom Blog~ | Mom Blog: written by a teacher-mom, but not just for moms- a blog for everyone

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In Response to Single Dad Laughing's Post on Bullying ~Mom Blog~

Blog Title from Single Dad Laughing:  Click to read the article, Are we all talk, or are we going to fix this? Less Talk, More Walk

You also need to understand that A LOT is being done in order to speak out against bullying.  I have been an elementary educator for nearly 20 years. The majority of my years have been in third-fourth grades, the years when you will actually see some 'teasing' start to take place.  Of course, this simple childish teasing is what could eventually turn into the bullying you are making reference to.

Bullying is nothing to make light of.
Bullying is not childish teasing.
Bullying should not be tolerated!

You are right when you say that "WE", parents/adults/teachers, etc. should reach out to the bullies. They are in need of something, and we should be there to help them. The teachers I know do speak up. The counselors in schools do reach out. The parents I know do want change. Character education is being taught. I have sat in on many lessons dealing with the topic of bullying. The focus is on the bully and the one being bullied.

You make many good points in your blog, but do not lose sight that it is also absolutely necessary to build strength in the one being bullied. Remember, these are the ones that are choosing to end their lives. One group though has been left out.

One particular group you have not made reference to is the 'audience'... AKA... the people that witness or watch the bullying take place.  This group of kids also falls victim to the bully.  They need to be taught to stand up and speak out. You see, the kids that become the audience are not typically kids that would bully on their own. They would typically never start a bullying act. They need to be taught to recognize the act of bullying  and then taught the skills needed to stand up and speak out. They need to feel comfortable going to a teacher, going to a parent, or quite frankly speak up to the bully himself. Kids can do this, I have seen it, and it can work.

The problem with bullying is that it is like a game. No, I am not referring to a child's board game, and I am not making light of bullying when I say a game.  But the reality is, it is like a game of the mind.  A bully tends to seek out the vulnerable kid, the one who is least likely to stand up for themselves.  The quiet kid. The one that is a tad different. In order to make the bully feel the power, acceptance, or whatever it is that a bully seeks, he thrives when he has an audience.

A bully is indeed seeking something, as you say.  They are in need of something, yes, I agree. They are looking for power, acceptance, control, or something else. The reasons a bully bullies are different, but if a bully does not feel that 'satisfaction' they are seeking, or if they do not gain the 'acceptance' they are looking for, the game is lost. If the bully does not get the laughs from his audience or the quiet acceptance of just having the audience watch, the game is lost.

A child being bullied often times does not speak up, they don't use their voice. They don't go to a teacher, they don't tell a parent, and therefore the problem is compounded. Day after day. The weak become weaker, and the bully becomes stronger, or so he thinks he does. After all, remember, the bully sought out the weak to begin with. The weak are less inclined to speak up.

There are many aspects to the topic of bullying, and you have made many valid points in your promotion of reaching out to the bully himself.  In the end though, the game is not going to be won if you simply place focus on the bully himself.  Bullying is a team sport. Remember, it is like a game. There is no "I" in team. Every person  involved plays a role in this problem and in winning this terrible game called bullying.... the bully, the bullied, and the audience.


freemom said...

Thanks so much for posting this! It's good to hear from voices from the 'inside' and to know how much our educators are trying to make a difference.

~Elizabeth aka Lacquered Lizard said...

Thank you for so eloquently saying what I've been trying to say for the last few posts over there at SDL.
"Breaking Free from the Victim Trap" is an old book, but it explains, in detail the "game" you refer to. It's played at home, at school, at work, in government and nationally.
Making people aware of the game, and how to rise above it IS key. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Marina DelVecchio said...

You have a beautiful site, but with a deep point and intent. I just Rt'd and FB'd your bullying post. It was fantastic. Thanks for writing about it.

Marina @