Were you bullied as a child? I was, in elementary school, and then in high school I would say I was more of a bystander with one episode of participating in bullying which I still remember somewhat with shame. A group of us sent a note to a girl detailing what was “wrong” with her. The school’s response still kind of floors me: The guidance counsellor did speak with us about not sending notes like that, but also let us know he would be coaching the girl on these life skills…which gave me, anyway, the impression that we were right. Which was not the right one.
I also have had some minor experience dealing with bullying issues as a parent. This is one of those times I feel it’s important to preserve my son’s privacy but I will say that boy, that saying that when you have kids you take your heart out of your body and let it walk around? Proved so true in that case. I really felt like I was somewhat helpless in a situation that was having an ill effect on my child.
I also have observed that for me, the take-home lesson about bullying and raising my kids is to watch my own behaviour and comments. I work hard not to comment on people’s appearance or to be unkind. Sometimes as moms I think we can go through phases where we are insecure and our mom get togethers can have a bit of a cliquey feel. So if I’m going to do that – I make sure my child is at least asleep! It’s a start.
Here are the top three things I’ve found about bullying on the web for you, but if you have a couple of minutes to share your thoughts I would love to hear them!
1. Emily Bazelon discusses bullying and calls Stephen Colbert a bully
What I love about this is not just that the clip shows her new book, which I have not yet read but intend to, but that when he asks if he’s a bully, she answers directly.
2. Barbara Coloroso’s handouts
I’ll admit I’m a Barbara Coloroso fan from way back, but I think her idea that bullying is not about conflict between children, but about power, is really insightful. The link is to her homepage, but the handouts should be at the top.
This site from British Columbia’s Ministry of Education is clear and easy to navigate.