3 posts categorized "Bullying" Feed

Bullying, What can I do when it is someone else being bullied?

There are a host of websites online that deal with what bullying is. Wikipedia has an excellent summary of what it is and the negative effects of bullying. They even have a section that talks about how some people think there is a few potential benefits to being bullied.

There are even websites that talk about bullying from teachers to students, students to students and workplace bullying. 

One scary statistic that seemed to come up again and again was the idea that even though most people believe bullying is wrong, they will not get involved in a situation where they see bullying occuring.

Bullying and our children:

It is our responsibility to teach our children what to do in many situations. Statistics that I have read recently would cause me to believe that most parents are actually teaching their child what do to when it is the child that is being bullied.

But what about when it's someone else's kid?

Not so much.

It's time to change that. It's time we teach our children what to do when someone else is being bullied. I know, I know, we're setting them up to be bullied or maybe even get in trouble in school if the situtation turns really ugly

We may also be setting them to stop bullying at least in their circle of influence. Some practical ideas to teach our children are:

  1. Ignore the bully by pulling the one being bullied away from the situation. In my experience this rarely works but it's still worth the effort.
  2. Stand up to the bully in a non-threatening way. This may involve walking over to the person being bullied and standing between them and the bully.  It may also involve telling the bully to stop which will probably cause them to target your child for a little while.
  3. Take the bully aside and have a private conversation with them. If your child knows the bully personally, this might work.
  4. Involve the school officials. Sometimes, talking to school officials can help in a tremendous way.
  5. Involve the authorities. Sometimes, we need to be the one's who involve the authorities even if it isn't our child being bullied.

There is no honor in simply sitting aside and letting someone else being bullied. What thoughts do you have? Add to the list by commenting below.


Bullying: should your child have to play with mine?

Yesterday I asked for people to define bullying. I had a few people offer definitions in private communication, a few on my facebook wall and one here on my blog. Steve, very poignantly stated,

"The more I think about it, the less sure I become of what my definition is."

Thanks for the honesty Steve. This actually made me stop and wonder if bullying isn't a little bit like theology. I know that probably sounds weird. In theology there are boundaries where you can only say what something is or is not but you can't state both. In other words, is bullying one of those things that has a slippery definition because no matter what definition you use it can be twisted by people who want to manipulate the words? I think it might be.

This is important because it will cause some people to want to minimize bullying. The truth is though that almost all of the time, when we see bullying we know what it is. But that brings me back to our friends who might be claiming to be bullied simply because they are not getting their way.

Steve actually gave a great definition yesterday. He said:

So ultimately I think that they key with bullying is that the motivation is harming or belittling others, or otherwise causing unnecessary pain.

He went to the heart of the action. The government actually does the same thing. The webpage, stopbullying.gov actually gives a threefold definition. It says,

  • Imbalance of Power: people who bully use their power to control or harm and the people being bullied may have a hard time defending themselves
  • Intent to Cause Harm: actions done by accident are not bullying; the person bullying has a goal to cause harm
  • Repetition: incidents of bullying happen to the same the person over and over by the same person or group

Notice the second part, the bully has a goal to cause harm. This is what makes bullying so insidious.Their goal is to actually harm the other person. I agree with both Steve and the government. It is important to teach our children to recognize that the person is intentionally trying to harm them. Intent has to be there for bullying to occur.

This opens up all sorts of questions. Why would someone do that? What makes someone want to hurt someone else? The answers to those questions are obviously deep and beyond the space I have here but over the next few days I want to delve into them a little more.

I googled a few different search terms in preparation for this series. I found some silly sites that simply seemed interesting in harvesting my email address and creating campaigns that would make us feel like we've done something when in reality we probably did not. I found some great sites with really valuable resources and I found a few that were somewhere in between.

One of the consistent themes that I saw was the idea that leaving a child out of a game is bullying. In fact, one webpage said this,

Being left out is a major form of bullying. Exclusion should be clearly against the rules at school. A child can practice persisting in asking to join a game. (emphasis mine) Online source.

What do you think? Is that a form of bullying? If your child doesn't like playing with my child, should your child be forced to play with mine just because they are in the same school?


What is bullying?

October is  bully awareness month. Now, I will admit that I am a touch cynical and at first, I was wondering why we need to be aware of bullies. I mean, hasn’t it always been preached that we should just ignore bullies? Now, they get their own month?

All joking aside, bullying is a very real issue. Today it seems to be one of the hottest issues being discussed. My daughter’s schools both have posters telling them what to do if they feel bullied at all.   I wrote about someone we know being bullied a while back.  I thought I might take some time this month to talk a little bit more about bullying.

I have a serious question for you. What is bullying? How would you define it? I readily admit that it exists. I readily admit that it is wrong. It should be stopped. But what it is it?

You see, I have heard things called bullying that seemed to be just people disagreeing to me. I have heard people say that they were bullied simply because they were told they were wrong.
I worry for people who really are being bullied because as this movement catches momentum more people, who are not actually being bullied are going to claim it because it will help them “win” their position.

I will share my definition later but for now I’d love to know how you define it. What does it mean for someone to be bullied? Please share your definition in the comments.