Bullies are an ugly but very real part of childhood. There's not much we can do to protect our children from these cruel and brutal kids except teach them how to defend themselves from an otherwise unprovoked attack of the bullying kind.
Bullies are kids who have tremendous low self-esteem. They feel better about themselves by tormenting another, usually smaller or weaker child. If a bully decides to pick on someone that is not smaller in size but otherwise imagined as weak, they will usually have a gang around to further ensure the unfairness of the battle. They do not fight fair, nor do they understand compassion, dignity or basic integrity. Gee, wonder where they learned these lovely qualities?
A larger, stronger individual has most likely bullied a child who feels the need to bully another smaller or weaker child. Parents or caretakers who regularly torment or abuse their children are teaching these children to torment and abuse others who are not able to stand up to their size, strength or perceived power. These parents or caretakers are bullies themselves. Adult bullies are spouse beaters, verbal abusers, child abusers and the type of person we see personified in fiction as the menace to weaker, gentler people everywhere. They are the ones we love to hate in movies and books. Sadly, they are merely carrying on the tradition of their upbringing.
All we can do is teach our children to stand up for themselves in this situation ... to avoid kids who have nothing better to do than torture other children and how to defend themselves if they ever do become the target of a bully.
We do not regularly teach our children to kick someone's teeth down their throat or fill their ears with a vicious verbal attack but I do believe that, under extenuating circumstances, children should be taught to fight back, to do whatever it takes to stop their attacker. Children might ignore a name caller or walk away from an instigator, but to do nothing when physically hurt by another child (or adult) leaves them defenseless. I have told my daughters to never start a fight but to always finish one, if possible. They have my total approval in defending themselves, whatever it takes. As much as we don't want to tell our kids to hurt another, do we really want to see our kids get hurt themselves? Of course not.
My older daughter was tormented last year for the first few months of school by a group of boys who clearly had no idea how to relate to a cute girl. ;-) She was pretty freaked out ... at first. Then she fought back, giving them a dose of their own medicine. She stood up for herself with dignity and more smarts than the boys were capable of responding to. They are now all very good friends. These boys would fight to the death for her if she were threatened. They huddled around and comforted her when she didn't make the cheer leading team. They STILL apologize for having tortured her! Yes, she is a strong-minded kid. A lot of kids aren't. Those are the little darlings who need to learn to defend themselves the most.
Sometimes, enrolling a child, especially a boy, in a self-defense class works wonders for their self-esteem. They are instructed from the first day that they are not to use their newfound talent on another human being, however, the inner strength and physical control they learn can do wonders for their shy and reserved natures. Other good avenues for a child in need of a boost are sport lessons, gymnastics or possibly acting or dance classes for a child who expresses a desire to learn the arts. The better kids feel about themselves, the less likely they are to become victims or bullies in life. A good heart to heart conversation, where the child is heard and understood, can also work miracles in healing a wounded spirit. A child who bullies other children needs to be stopped. They are in desperate need of instruction on caring for and nurturing others. Sometimes, a simple "How would YOU feel ...?" can jar a recessed nerve in their brain to awaken compassion and respect. Naturally, these lessons are best learned at home but a child who is on his way to becoming a sociopath needs help wherever he can get it.
Approaching the parents of a bully is probably one of the most unrewarding encounters you might have. They most likely have taught their child to be a bully, albeit unconsciously through a variety of abusive behaviors. I think it is imperative that these parents be made aware of their child's antisocial problem, whether from the school or another parent whose kid has become a victim of the bully. In so doing, we might indirectly encourage some of these parents and caretakers to reevaluate their family values and environment.
Copyright - 2000-2005- Rexanne Mancini
Rexanne Mancini is the mother of two daughters, Justice and Liberty. She is a novelist, freelance writer and maintains an extensive yet informal parenting and family web site, Rexanne.com - http://www.rexanne.com -Visit her site for good advice, award-winning Internet holiday pages and some humor to help you cope. Subscribe to her free newsletter, Rexanne's Web Review, for a monthly dose of Rexanne: http://www.rexanne.com/rwr-archives.html
Parenting Your Adolescent: 3 Powerful Steps to Being an In-Charge Parent
Q. How do I overcome the 16-year-old who does things only on his time frame.
Teaching Your Children with Coupons
Coupons can be a great tool in educating your child about saving money, being frugal, and shopping smart. Who doesn't want their children to grow up knowing how to save easily on every purchase? With coupon clipping you'll show them money saving skills they can use throughout their life!Teaching your child with coupons can start at an early age.
Are You Too Busy for Your Kids?
In his recent newsletter "Happy Kids", parenting expert Michael Grose (yes he is an expert with three kids of his own) said:Australian parents currently rate achieving work-family balance as their greatest parenting challenge. Currently, 71% of Australian parents say they have difficulty finding time to do the things they enjoy with their children.
Working Moms vs. Stay-at-Home Moms, Lets Stop Debating Each Other and Debate the System Instead!
I could nearly fund my children's future education if I received money every time I've heard a woman say, "I wish I could afford to stay at home full time." Sometimes you can recognize a few working women making this statement to avoid judgment from the stay-at-home parenting world (and they shouldn't feel this way).
Top 10 Ways to Motivate Your Student
As the new school year begins, parents play a pivotal role in their child's success. Here are 10 tips for motivating your student from GoalSettingforStudents.
Back to School; Time to Recharge
The back-to-school shopping is done. Brand new pencils, colored markers, and notebooks fill my daughter's back pack.
10 keys to Developing Your Childs Genius
Would you like your child to be the best that he can be - to achieve his maximum potential? Imagine how successful your child can be with a brilliant mind, lightening fast learning skills, an accurate, lasting memory, creativity and problem solving skills of a genius. Here are 10 keys to developing your child's genius.
Puberty - Get Ready to Play the Puberty Game
Puberty can be a difficult time for children. Not quite kids anymore and not really adolescents they are caught in the middle in type of limbo.
Thirteen Values You Can Teach Through Homework
Are you a parent concerned about passing values on to your kids? Do you worry that you can't find the time, or don't know how? You don't need thirty-minute multi-media presentations! You can do it with homework. In those precious moments you spend supervising your child's homework, here are thirteen values you can subtly pass on:1) Responsibility: It's their homework, not yours, and it's them being assessed, not you.
Parenting Your Teenager: What to Do When Your Teen Feels Left Out
On a recent Saturday evening, I noticed a young teen-age girl crying alone. My first impulse was to go over and check on her.
Winning The Whining War
Jason Meridith's two-year old son whines when he wants more juice. Brenda Kreuger's eight-year old daughter whines about having to take piano lessons.
Lets Protect Our Children
There are software programs that you can purchase to keep your children from accessing undesirable websites. There are two good ones, Cyber Patrol and Net Nanny.
Teach Your Kids to Cook Well, Eliminating Excessive Health Care Needs in the Future
We are all aware of the child obesity epidemic that has not only attacked the United States, but internationally as well. To keep our children healthy and keep health care costs down, we must examine even the simplest angles to prevent this problem.
Time Out for Adults
"Get down from the table top right now! What are you doing? Floors are for standing on, tables are for eating. You need a time out, young lady.
Are You Addicted to Your Children?
Is it possible to be using our children addictively?Anything that we use to get love, avoid pain, and fill up inner emptiness can become an addiction - even our children! If your children are your whole life - if you don't have a strong spiritual connection with a personal source of love and guidance, as well as other relationships and interests that you are passionate about, you might be using your children to fill an empty place within you.If you don't have a partner or your relationship with your partner is not fulfilling to you, and you don't have deeply connected and meaningful friendships, then you might be using your kids as your major emotional connection.
The POWER of Your Words
Words are truly powerful things. They are something that becomes a part of us, our history, and our legacy.
Is My Child Lazy?
Is there a difference between lazy and unmotivated? Why do some children move as if in slow motion? Is this normal or are they just trying to irritate you? You may be surprised to learn that a great many factors come into play when a child appears to be lazy; stage of growth, hormones, hunger, motivation, lack of clear directions and maybe even sleep deprivation.I have never taught my workshop of "Kids, Chores & More" when there hasn't been at least two parents of 11 year old boys lamenting that their sons are so lazy.
Child Discipline - Be Consistent With Your Child
The biggest complaint you hear from parents about their children is "they don't listen to me and I have tried everything"Then when you start talking, you find out that parents give in at the end because it is just too exhausting to be consistent.For example--you want your child to go to bed at a certain time.
Books Around the House Make A Difference in Literacy Rates
We need a grass roots campaign targeted towards parents to have books around the house. Reading times where TV is turned off and kids are reading.
Children's Birthday Party Planning: When and When Not to Have a Big Party
Age 1: Invite only family members and close friends only because this birthday is more for the parents than for the child. At age 1, a child doesn't understand the concept of "Birthday Party.
|home | site map|