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Friday, August 24, 2012

BULLYING, the GOOD the BAD and the UGLY


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. 

THE GOOD

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.

THE BAD

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

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.   

7 comments:

  1. Excellent post. Your section titled "The Good" is sadly true. The sad part is that parents don't do their jobs. They let the kids get away with such whiny behavior. "Spineless" is an apt description.

    S

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  2. Oops...Kelly is still signed in. The above is from Lowandslow.

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  3. In my observation, "good" bullying doesn't happen often. School is the great leveler, and not on the playground.

    Teachers are not parents and are trained not to put up with crap. As if they had time for twenty tantrum throwers.

    Children, like the vast majority of people in the world, rise to expectations, and teachers have really high expectations.

    Kids may continue to be arrogant little fools in the presence of the parents who satisfy every whim, and that's the problem. The world fell apart long ago; parents who are not smart enough to work on what their teacher sent home to them are the source of bullies. I don't know how teachers put up with them.

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  4. But isn't it the case that if parents discipline their bratty offspring in, let's say, a shopping mall...they will immediately be accused of child abuse and carted off to the nearest lock-up?

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  5. Much truth here. Some kids need to be smartened up. That's all there is to it. The hope, of course, is that those who are just different, in some way that shouldn't be anyone else's business, will not suffer the fools.

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  6. There was no such thing as bully awareness when I was growing up. When I was tormented by a bully my mother strapped gloves on me and taught me how to box. I remember her bloodying my nose, but one punch in the face to the guy bullying me and i was left alone, Still, this is a terrible problem for some kids.

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  7. The world you present in your "good" scenario doesn't exist in reality.

    Those brats you speak of ARE THE BULLIES. There is no such thing as "group bully therapy" because these kids will present a completely different behaviour to their peers as they would to their parents. I saw it, and experienced it, more often than I could stand and still see it today.

    You may see a type of acceptable bullying/teasing in groups of siblings occasionally and perhaps in close-knit groups of friends in a light-hearted way that does no harm at all but not in the situation to which you are referring.

    There is no "good" bullying.

    It wasn't "good" when I was at school 17 years ago and it's certainly not "good" now.

    It's still the same type of people bullying, only now they have access to their victims 24/7 via social media.

    One thing I definitely agree with you over, however; parents (particularly parents of my generation's age) have a LOT to answer for.

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