It seems that there isn't a day that goes by that I don't hear about anti-bullying. Usually it's on the news, something about new rules in a school district, new legislation, or a new case that has to do with someone being bullied to the extreme. We say we won't tolerate it. Teachers do what they can, parents have new programs on their computers to track what their kids are doing. We know their passwords and we check their phones. We want to make sure our kids aren't being bullied. We ask them about their day, we want to know if someone is hurting them verbally or otherwise.
But this doesn't address a key factor. Maybe I missed it somewhere, but in all the stories I've heard about parents checking on their kids, it's always about making sure they are the ones not being bullied. What if my child IS the bully?
Now, to be honest, as I'm sure most parents would say, I would be dumbfounded if I was told Caleb did something unkind to another student (or my other two kids, too, but let's stick with him since he's the only one in elementary right now). I'm not talking about not sharing (which we still have to work on) or cutting in line. I'm talking about malicious behavior, calling someone names, tripping them on the playground, those kinds of things. But I do think we need to be mindful of what causes a child to do these things. What about programs or material that tells parents what to look for at home that might mean their child is developing bully mentality?
What can I do to PREVENT bullying, not just sit by and waiting for my child to be bullied? We all think it will be someone else's kid. The truth is, it's going to be someone's kid...whose will it be?
And when teachers notice a child with these tendencies, I realize we should not tolerate it, but what can we do to rehabilitate their mind-set at an early age? Is it possible for the school to even help in this manner if the parent is in denial? Like I said, I can't imagine my children behaving in a bully-like fashion, but if it happens, not matter how minor, I would want to immediately figure out what to do - not shake my head and say, "Boys will be boys," or "Girls and their drama." That's denial.
What do you think causes bullying-tendencies?
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