why we need to listen to children’s perceptions of bullying

Bullies' words are not like water. They don't always bounce off a child. It is up to the adults to listen to how the child perceived the bullying, and help the child find a safe way to understand it.

“Sometimes,” my child said to me, “it is easier to think of the other person as a jerk.” He had been excited about a summer day camp that promised kayaking and archery, but after a day and a half the toll of dealing with bullies was too much. His head was hurting all the time and he was angry and confused. As an extremely thoughtful, sensitive child the bullying raised questions for him about what his place in the world was, how to balance his desire not to see others in pain with his need to protect himself, and whether Continue reading

a big muddle of things that come together, sort of, at the end

Lots of things have crossed my facebook feed the last few days that feed somehow into questions I tend to dwell on. These are questions about how we know what we know, whether we can trust our own ideas, and whether telling someone they are wrong is inherently being mean. Thing one: a math fail My confidence in homeschoolers and homeschooling took a strange shake the other day when I saw a woman online offering some pizza pictures for parents to use to teach fractions. The problem was her pizzas were all cut into eighths in thin lines and then Continue reading

fed up with public bullying

Sometimes the internet sucks. I was thinking about this the other day when I noticed a letter to the editor in my local newspaper had garnered what seemed to me unnecessarily nasty comments. The letter was about a local election issue (deregulation of store hours) and in the comment section people were saying that the letter-writer should move to a different country, that she was a selfish little do gooder and should crawl under the prehistoric rock she came from. People named where the letter writer worked. I that her business doesn’t suffer as a result or that she’s not Continue reading

The Prince Iggy Books

Prince Iggy and the Kingdom of Naysayers

It’s been a while since I’ve accepted the gift of a book in exchange for a review. I’ve been hesitant to for fear of being stuck with books that I can’t really enjoy, but recently I decided to try out the Prince Iggy series by Aldo Fynn, and really enjoyed sharing it with my kids. Prince Iggy grew up in the Kingdom of Naysayers, in a boarding school my nine year old described as “the Hogwarts out of Hell.” The kids are served porridge three times every day (more gruel anyone?) and encouraged to behave unethically. There Iggy is belittled Continue reading

Do not re-post if you are against bullying. (Link to this if you agree.)

Here's a screen cap of one of the variations of the meme about why you shouldn't bully.

How we talk about bullying matters and so I want to comment about something I keep seeing on facebook. It’s a status update people are copying-pasting because they are “against bullying.” The meme goes like this: “That girl you called a slut in class today? She’s a virgin. The “gay boy” you punched in the hall today? He committed suicide a few minutes ago. The boy you called poor? He has to work every night to support his family. The girl you pushed down the other day? She’s already being abused at home. That girl you called fat? She’s starving herself. The old Continue reading

Relational bullying, aggression and being nice

Before I wrote the post on bullying (almost a month ago) I had borrowed from the library two books about bullying, but then because life got busy, I didn’t start reading them until a few days ago. Now I’m partly through both books. One makes me feel very uncomfortable, and one inspired. The book that makes me feel uncomfortable is called Little girls can be mean : four steps to bully-proof girls in the early grades by Michelle Anthony and Reyna Lindert. Directed at parents and teachers the book outlines how to observe a situation, connect with the child, guide a child Continue reading