October Is A Very Important Month

Brittany - posted on 09/29/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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October is National Anti-Bullying Month. This has always been a major issue and will continue to be one.

So how do you teach your kids not to be a bully? Or what to do if they or someone they know is being bullied?

Do you think that sometimes the kid being bullied is just as big of a bully?

In the last 10 years about 400 children (under age 18) committed suicide because, of being bullied at school.

Do any of you think the bully should be held responsible for his or her actions? Possibly an Involuntary Manslaughter charge?

Looking forward to some good answers ladies!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Kate - posted on 09/30/2011

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To me, bullying is such a complex issue - from bullies usually perpetuating a behaviour learnt at home, to kids who are bullied usually having a lack of self-confidence due to whatever reason.
My own son was bullied at school and the process was hard to watch and manage - he is a sensitive child and was having trouble at school, then the bullying started... it turned into a vicious circle of the more he was bullied, the more withdrawn and sensitive he became, the more he attracted the bullying! I also saw how he then started to bully his younger sister at home.
So I started with building his self-confidence and addressing all the areas I saw he needed building up in! The times he bullied his sister we dealt with very firmly and nipped in the bud.
With regards holding a child responsible for bullying through the law - it's a difficult one - are the parents not ultimately responsible for it?
I 100% believe that bullying - from both sides - is ALL about self-confidence - address that and there's no need to be a bully or to be bullied...

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Donna - posted on 10/03/2011

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thats a good question. with all the awareness these days i believe there are other ways of handeling bullying besides committing suicide.

Brittany - posted on 09/30/2011

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Kate,

In the example you gave about your son's bully's

"The children who bullied my son (in both cases one bully and his 'gang') were both from unfortunate situations - the first a non-divorced family where the mother was 'absent' due to a very demanding job and a father who thought his son being 'a tough guy' was cool, if not amusing... and the second a broken home and a (criminally) abusive mother"

The mother in the first case was absent in the child's life because, of work. She was not around to provide him with a loving mother environment that holds a discipline. The boys father was feeding in to it obviously, not discipline his child for his actions at school. The second child came from a home where his mother had little self-control ( or so it sounds.). He saw his mother acting this way and so he felt it ok to act this way.

Marina,

You are correct, not ALL bully's come from broken homes or unstable homes. They often come from homes with loving parents. There are many reasons why children bully. They can come from a loving home but, fell as if they are not getting as much attention as they deserve. When they bully at school (or other places) it gives them attention, negative attention but, none the less attention.

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My son was bullied for 4 years in school he went through hell and i honestly think that bullying is not taken seriously enough, i believe you should be allowed to prosecute the school and the childs parents. This may sound harsh but my sons childhood was ruined and no one can ever give that back to him yet the bully got away scot free is still bullying other kids. The only reason he isnt bullying my son now is because i took my son out of the school.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/30/2011

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You sound like a wonderful caring mother, whose priorities are set straight. Truly good luck, and let us know what happens.

Kate - posted on 09/30/2011

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Absolutely! It makes me sad how scary the world is - especially for this generation - but agree that the place to start with teaching our children to love and care for one another is home and definitely schools need to support that attitude. So, I do happen to have some time on my hands... so will start compiling something - who knows where this may go?!!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/30/2011

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That is a fantastic idea Kate. Our government sucks with help in schools also.....but I am glad with the policies that have been implemented in some schools, especially public. Our school system also suffers greatly, and bully does and will continue to happen. It is a shame to say it is a part of growing up. It shouldn't be, but kids go about dealing with their own social interactions in appalling ways. This is NOT an excuse for behavior like bullying, but I am not sure there will ever be an end to it. A good start is definitely getting rid of it in schools. That would make a huge impact, but then we have to worry about things like Facebook, and myspace. It is a scary world out there, and teaching our children to love and care for one another is a start also.

Kate - posted on 09/30/2011

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I'm not in the States so we're not really equipped with all the checks and balances you guys have over there. I am not one who usually gives up on stuff but seriously a case of who to go to and would they listen / action 'in time' for my child! Answer is no, so I pulled him from both 'offending' schools! Months and months of reporting, following up, going higher, threatening - and each time being told that it has been dealt with... what a load of crap actually! At the second school again - months and months of them bullsh*tting me - and my son just isn't a 'hit back' kinda child - so, I'm ashamed to say, I snapped and had a 'word' with the offending boy myself. He never said another word to my son again but the relationship with the school was over, and I did my son's self-confidence no good jumping in like a deranged tiger...
He's at a really awesome school now - it also meets his other needs (he has ADHD) so all round he's doing really well there - self confidence also back to where it used to be - but that's also to do with how well he's coping in his school work.
I guess I could go all the way with this and really sit down, write up a full on proposal and present it to our education department and to the private schools and see if we could roll something out with regards putting those checks and balances in place - a type of monitoring system - interactive with teachers and parents for each child? Unfortunately it isn't a priority here - with thousands of children not even in schools - education itself is our government's focus! A little in the dark ages here, I know! But I feel inspired by this so maybe there is a way to put something together for private schools at least...?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/30/2011

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I am shocked the school was not intervening. Most schools now use a zero tolerance policy. I would have taken it to the board of directors, newspapers, media...I would do whatever I had to do to get heard. These days bullying leads to much worse offenses, and it is scary how detrimental bullying can be to ones self esteem. hell, you were seeing first hand the results when your son was starting to act differently in your home. I am in no way saying you did not do enough, I am just saying if it happens again, push the envelope. Be a bully to the entire district right back until you are heard and consequences are made!

Kate - posted on 09/30/2011

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I get what you're saying Marina. It's a nasty thing. I was one of those kids nobody picked on but my sister was always bullied - and one day watched as she reached the end of her rope and whacked the bully! All the teachers were watching from the staff room and all cheered! I was proud of her too because I knew that was the last time she'd be picked on but sad that she had to be pushed to that point of violence...
Wish there was a universal way to identify and deal with bullying!
I even got to the point with my son where the school was doing nothing, I wasn't allowed to intervene so I told him "if nothing else works, hit him" - not really okay but what else does a parent do?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/30/2011

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I really also don't think bullies can be pigeon holed. You can also take a look at the children that they are bullying. Sometimes the weakest child is picked out to be bullied, or the different child, or the child they know will get angry and fight back. I just truly think you need to look at each bully individually, and same for the child on the receiving end. I think that is the fastest way to determine the "why" factor.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/30/2011

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On the other hand, I have seen kids that are extremely over confident, already popular, good grades and standing in the community, and they may do it BECAUSE they feel like they are more important than others....not to try and make them feel like a bigger person...because they already think they are better than the people they are bullying.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/30/2011

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Kate, I have seen bullies the way you both have discribed...with extremely low self esteem, no confidence, and it seems they choose to bully to make them feel better about themselves. Also, it can turn others against that particular child...so not only does it make them feel good that they have power, but sometimes even popular for doing it.

Kate - posted on 09/30/2011

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Marina - agree with you that bullies come from mixed demographic but what are your thoughts on the self-confidence issue? Do you think that plays a part in being a bully? I believe too that rich, snobby kids can bully from a stance of "I'm better than you and entitled" but is that not also due to a lack of self-confidence? I think any 'power-weilding' comes from a place of 'emptiness'.

Kate - posted on 09/30/2011

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Brittany - I'm also not a pro on the law here and glad if it is recognised that the parents are ultimately accountable. But not sure it's so much a lack of discipline that's the cause - agree totally that once bullying (or any other inappropriate behaviour) is noted discipline should be very present but what causes it?
The children who bullied my son (in both cases one bully and his 'gang') were both from unfortunate situations - the first a non-divorced family where the mother was 'absent' due to a very demanding job and a father who thought his son being 'a tough guy' was cool, if not amusing... and the second a broken home and a (criminally) abusive mother - my heart bled for that little boy for his trauma but still could not abide his persecution of my son! From what I have seen bullies are usually bullied (even saw this behaviour sneaking into my son) and it's their way of having some kind of control in their lives - they perceive a 'stronger', power-weilding person doing "this and that" to them and then feel ?justified? or their own bullying of someone 'weaker' than them as a way of regaining control? I don't know - just such a horrible cycle - but having had the experience with Cu, the thing that stood out most for me was the all-round lack of self-confidence in all these kids - 'perpetrators' and 'victims'. The most worrying thing about bullying is, if unchecked, what do bullies grow up to be...? Murderers, psychopaths? Who breaks the cycle? And what role do schools play? They've all got 'anti-bullying' policies but they don't seem to enforce them!!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/30/2011

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While I do not necessarily disagree with you on everything you said Brittany, I do not fully agree either. Many bullies are from intact homes, with plenty of discipline and love. Some kids are just wired that way, and they need to take full responsibility for their own actions. I don't think it can always be blamed on the parents parenting style, or lack there of. I have also met bullies that are from loving homes. Or are from a rich and snobby homes leading them to feel like they have the right to do whatever they want because they come from such a privileged place.

Brittany - posted on 09/30/2011

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"With regards holding a child responsible for bullying through the law - it's a difficult one - are the parents not ultimately responsible for it?"

I am no pro on bullying but, by law the parents are responsible for their children until the child is 18. One thing I have noticed, through volunteering, is bullying stems from a lack of discipline.
This lack could be due to many things. The parents could be drug addicts, alcoholics, in the process of a messy divorce. More and more I have noticed many bullies come from "broken homes". They live mom or dad and the other parent is absent. Many times mom or dad is working two or three jobs to keep the lights on and food in the fridge. The child often becomes the adult to younger siblings or is by themselves most of the day. This does not mean the parent is a bad parent but, there is a lack of discipline, even in those situations.
Teaching the child discipline, and no I do not mean spanking them, will give them the positive attention they seek.
My oldest is 5 and he has not experienced any bullying at school. Caoleb is also very "loud". If Rauri is acting like a little brat (he is 3) Caoleb will come and tell me so. He is not "ratting out" his brother as much as he saying "Hey Mama Rauri is being mean."

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