Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to stop bullying... forever.

New Jersey is passing some pretty aggressive anti-bullying laws in an attempt to make schools more accountable for bullying.

My opinion? It's yet another attempt on the part of government to get schools to do a job that parents should be doing.

Job #1: We need to do everything we can to bully-proof our kids. Build their self esteem and their confidence. Teach them to communicate effectively with bullies, teachers and friends.

Job #2: We need to identify our own children as bullies. Teach them compassion, respect - and most importantly empathy.

But what will stop bullying forever?

Most kids don't fit in Job #1 or Job #2 - but this doesn't mean parents are off the hook. Job #3 seldom gets any attention at all - and yet it's probably the most important.

Job #3: Teach kids who are not bullied or bullies not to tolerate other kids being bullied. Teach them that they can (and should) stick up for the weaker kids. Teach them to identify bullying and how to report it to teachers and parents.

If everyone does their part we can make life much easier and more enjoyable for bullied kids... and for bullies.


Unknown said...

I have had this conversation with my girls more times than I can count. The biggest problem my girls face is feeling like a tattle-tale. Making sure they know the difference between telling on someone just to get them in trouble (tattle-tale) and telling because it could keep someone safe, is a big thing! This is a hard thing for some to kids to understand.
These horrible situations are a wake-up call to EVERYONE who comes in contact with kids on a daily basis.
As a parent my #1 focus in my children. Not my job, or classes, or even church. I have a job to provide for my children. I have classes to learn more to pass on knowledge to my children. I go to church to learn and worship to live by example for my children. Our job is to be parents and not let the school or anyone else do our job.
That being said, The teacher (school) is with my child as much as I am. The regularly see extra curricular teachers outside of school weekly. Knowing what is going on in our country we have an obligation to keep our eyes open. Ok that was more a soap box talk than a comment! LOL

mtokes said...

I have been saying exactly this same thing to ALL of the teachers at my boys' school. All I hear is how they are "not going to tolerate bullying", but I seldom hear any concrete steps as to who they are going to do that. I also hear a lot of focus on teachers and administrators identifying the bullies and the victims and stopping it whenever they see it. Guess what, adults are not going to see 90% of it. These kids are not stupid. They do it in mean subtle ways, in the hallways, in the bathrooms, when the teacher is looking the other way.....

Every single one of these kids KNOWS that it's wrong to bully, but the bullies still exist. Why? Because this school has NOT taught them that the innocent bystanders who do nothing are just as guilty as the ones doing the bullying. It's up to the kids witnessing it to simply make a comment "Boy ____, that was really mean. You didn't have to do that". Empowering the KIDS to do something about the bullying will go a LONG way

Moderator: Master Vigil said...

Great comment "mtokes"! Thank you.