BULLYING, the GOOD the BAD and the UGLY
Warning: The following opinions are from someone with absolutely no experience in bullying or a degree in psychology…but I play a councilor on my blog.
Bullying has been in the news a lot lately. There is nothing new about bullying, it has been around forever. The advent of the internet has allowed bullying to be a much larger problem than in the past.
Cranky, how can anything good come from bullying?
Let me explain.
Have you seen how many little spoiled 4-5 year old brats there are in this world? Check any mall or grocery store and you will find countless number of brats hanging onto their spineless parents, whining for stuff which they invariably get. Parents are not doing their job of putting these brats in their place. They let the child run the show. How will these children ever learn to stop whining and socialize with the rest of the world?
This is where bullying comes to play. In school, kids will not put up with whiny, pouty brats. Throwing a tantrum in third grade does not work. Parents may give in to it, eight year olds will not. They will pick on and bully the whiner until he learns how to socialize properly. The group, through bullying, teaches the spoiled brat how to behave when the parents could not.
Unfortunately when the whiny or “different child” has issues not subject to socializing through “group bully therapy” then the process becomes counterproductive. A child with Tourette’s, a child with learning disabilities, a child with different sexual orientation, these are the children who can only be harmed by bullying.
Children are rough, they don’t like other children to be different, but as mean as they can be, when they recognize the difference is inherent and not subject to being normalized through bullying they often will let up. Children mock behavior they don’t understand. When the behavior is explained to them, the bullying ends….sometime. I see this today in the peer treatment of children with autism, hyperactivity and retardation. Children are beginning to recognize these differences and respond to them with compassion.
This bullying of inherently “different” children still exists, but the good is I see signs of it changing.
This is obvious; some kids are still bullied because they are weak. Some are bullied because they like to play the violin some have freckles, and some are bullied for being smart. Bullying against children that are “different” is still going strong. Bullying unsocial behavior of a spoiled brat can be productive. Bullying different behavior or traits that are not acceptable to the majority simply because they are different is counter-productive and needs to be stopped.
The ugly in bullying is when it is taken to such extremes that the target can just not cope. Bullying through Facebook, Twitter and other social networks has driven children to suicide. Growing up I knew many kids that were unfairly bullied. I probably played a minor part in some of it (sorry Danny Plotkin.) But these kids pressed on and succeeded in life. I wonder if they could have handled the intense 24/7 bullying provided by social networking.
Children, innocently being children, doing what generations have done before them but with technology, picking on “different” children and causing them to die…That is the UGLY.