Bullies and Mama Bears

There’s a bully in our preschool. All the kids are afraid of him. He hits, kicks, screams, throws toys at them. He’s younger than all the other kids, but they couldn’t handle him in the toddler room so they put him in the preschool room with the older kids. Logan has come home with bumps and bruises and it is almost always because of this little boy. The teachers do what they can, but he beats on them too. I’ve never seen a more difficult child, and it has been hard for me as a mother to have my little … Continue reading

Bystanders to Bullying

I have written a number of blogs on the topic of bullying but a recent “Dateline” special got me thinking about another aspect of bullying…the role of a bystander. As one expert on the show said, “Bystanders are absolutely the most critical part of stopping bullying.” She said that most bystanders tend to think they are doing the right thing, by not participating. They think they are in a neutral position. However by refusing to intervene and stop the bullying, they are really siding with the bully. I had never given much thought to that. I have talked to my … Continue reading

Bullying Leads to a Suicide Pact

Suicide is such a devastating way to go. Recently two 8th grade girls (who were also best friends), Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz, made a suicide pact. The reason? They were being ostracized and bullied by others. Both girls left behind a note for their families. Bullying continues to be a huge problem today. Although bullying has always existed, it seems to have reached new levels…in some part, no thanks to technology. There are some who believe that bullying is just a part of childhood and that those who are victims need to somehow suck it up and deal with … Continue reading

The Bullying Has to Stop

The bullying has to stop. It has gotten out of hand and seems to be reaching new levels. I was on Facebook the other morning, checking everyone’s statuses. One of my Facebook friends had something in her status about her son sending her frantic text messages that he was being bullied at school. I don’t know what she ended up doing but if my child was sending me frantic text messages from school, I would be there in a heartbeat. I still don’t think that bullying is being taken as seriously as it needs to be. Bullying has gone to … Continue reading

Resources for Responding to Racism

As a thirty-something raised in the Pacific Northwest, I have always known about racism, but seldom witnessed it. I lived a very sheltered childhood, and thirty-some years later still feel a bit of shock whenever I hear of a racist incident: “That happened here? Nowadays? Really?” My daughter’s Camp Fire group had a member who was adopted from Ethiopia. The mother and I began comparing adoption experiences. I was shocked when she told me her daughter had been experiencing blatant racism at school. Fellow second graders had been taunting her on the playground, “You don’t belong here. Go back where … Continue reading

Bullying: Do You Know Your Child’s Classmates?

Wednesday when I was getting ready for a Halloween extravaganza at my house, the phone rang. “Mrs. Crow? This is Kyle’s teacher. I’m calling because I need to let you know about something that happened to him last week during school.” Immediately I knew this wasn’t going to be pleasant conversation. She continued: “Last Thursday I had to leave the classroom for a while, and meanwhile my aide was dealing with a behavioral problem with one of the students in the hallway. So while there was nobody in the room…um…well, a couple of boys started picking on Kyle, calling him … Continue reading

Diagnostic Criteria for Conduct Disorder

In previous articles on Conduct Disorder, we looked at some of the genetic and environmental elements which contribute to the development of this condition. Today we look at the diagnostic requisites for a formal diagnosis if conduct disorder. A. A persistent pattern of ignoring the basic rights of others. Age-appropriate rules are repeatedly violated. The presence of three of the following behaviors in the past 12 months, and at least one in the last six months is required. Bullies, threatens or intimidates others Initiates physical fights Uses weapons to facilitate fighting (such as knives, bats, broken bottles, etc) Is physically … Continue reading

Teaching Kids About Spreading Rumors

Now that school is back in session that means that many children’s social lives shift into high gear. One of the major developmental opportunities that comes from school is that children can learn how to interact with different people, make friends, resolve conflicts, and also learn how to get along in social situations. Many of those lessons (like so many of life’s lessons) are learned the hard way—through painful and bumpy experience. Learning about the perils of gossip and rumors is just one of the lessons of childhood socialization. Children need to be taught that spreading rumors is unacceptable. Spreading … Continue reading

Bullying Can Affect Health Later In Life

A study from Finland has found that boys who bully and boys who are victims of bullies are at higher risk for mental health disorders in their late teens and early twenties. More than 2500 Finnish boys participated in the study. At the age of eight, the boys were asked questions about bullying: if they were bullied, if they bullied others, how often it happened, and more. Parents and teachers also answered questions about the boys. A decade later, the information was compared with psychiatric information from medical exams taken between the ages of 18 and 23 in preparation for … Continue reading

Mom Sues School Over Bullying

A Coral Springs, Florida mom recently sued her son’s school board because she says her 12-year-old son was bullied this past year. This bullying, she said, caused her son “pain, fear, humiliation and social isolation.” But the twist is the mother is not seeking monetary compensation. Instead, she wants the school board ordered to segregate bullies at her son’s school and to conduct behavioral intervention programs aimed at reducing or eliminating bullying. She also wants the school to provide a better means of security so that her son can attend school in a safer environment. When it comes to the … Continue reading