By Don N.
Are instances of child violence on the rise? To tell the truth, I don’t really know, but I’ll go out on a limb and say it sometimes seems like it. There are good reasons why this could be true. Regardless, child violence is a problem worth solving whether the rates are increasing, decreasing, or static. To really start solving this problem, whatever its size, we MUST address the incentives and motivations for kids killing each other. Bullying is an obvious motivation. Bullying is a common feature of any population of the human animal. For kids, bullying used to be somewhat escape-able . . .
A child could seek refuge at home. A parent could move the child to another school. Now the bullying follows the child persistently wherever they go. It comes into their lives through their social media and cell phones. Frankly, I can’t imagine having that level of exposure to bullying as a kid, feeling that level of persistent threat with no refuge. When an animal is threatened it first tries to retreat. If it can’t retreat it fights.
Before we address the incentives and motivations we must cease being naively fixated on whatever the current locally popular means of killing is and maybe for the first time seriously acknowledge that incentives and motivations exist. There are two psychological roadblocks in our way:
First, our naive reliance on symbolic reasoning. The use of symbolic reasoning allows the attentive to compactly represent and deal with complex ideas, but often too easily lures the inattentive into the fallacy of mistaking the simplicity of the symbol itself for the complexity of reality.
Second, to look at incentives and motivation for violence we would have to acknowledge that violence follows from incentives and motivations, and therefore has a logic to it. We prefer to delude ourselves that violence is irrational because that abdicates any possible responsibility we have for providing incentives and motivations for it ourselves. The idea that violence follows logically from incentives and motivations we supply is far more terrifying a prospect to us than irrationality and randomness.
What if we can’t overcome these roadblocks? If we don’t acknowledge and vigorously shift the child violence debate to the logic of their violence, something really bad will happen. The violent solution will solve the problem for us, at the cost of human life. Eventually enough kids who are cornered by technology-enabled tormentors will be driven into a hopelessness and will make the only choice they think they have left. They will inevitably fight. They will shoot their tormentors with guns, if not, slash them with knives, if not, ignite roomfuls of them with water bottles filled with flammable liquids. Eventually it will be “common knowledge” that bullying people is extremely dangerous. We DO NOT want this to occur because then the violent response has solved the problem where an intellectual process could have instead. The violent response becomes validated.
Instead we need to quit worrying about HOW and put as much effort, money, activism, and debate into WHY. That way our deliberative and intellectual processes may deliver the solution to the problem, and these non-violent solution techniques become validated instead of the old-fashioned, primal, but tried and true violent ones.
Kids today seem to be more crafty, sneaky, ruthless, cunning and hateful than 20 + yrs ago. Combine that with twitter, facebook and the results can be terrible.
Kids today are also, IMHO, softer, less likely to stand toe-to-toe and work it out, one way or another (no guns), more sensitive and have less confidence.
Schools, teachers, and school administrators mostly suck, main drivers are budgets, media and state test results.
Parents too suck, many are dumb as shit and should NEVER have sex with another human, EVER.
Problem is, if the bullied stands up to the bully, both get punished equally. In the case of a fight, both are suspended, as if both are equally punished, as if being bullied were as bad as bullying. School officials steadfastly refuse to make a simple value judgement, as if it were somehow “unfair” to treat the bully more severely than the kid he bullied.
The kids know this; they’ve seen it before, and it pushes them further toward an ultimate solution. If schools would but make fair-minded, blame-assigning decisions, the ultimate solution would usually have been avoided.
So yes, I’m laying the blame squarely where it belongs: on the school officials. Parents, too, are put at an impasse, when there seems to be no way to get the schools to act to stop bullying.
My grandson’s elementary school has a “bully box”, where the bullied child can leave a note, outlining the bullying. My grandson left a note yesterday. A kid is repeatedly tripping him on the playground; there are adult supervisors there. I cannot believe they never see these actions. I very much doubt the school will take any action. I hope I’m wrong.
This,this,this sir you have hit the nail on the head
At the lousy private schools I attended I was punished for standing up to people trying to rob/bully me.
If I was hit and I hit back, the attacker wasn’t punished because “you extracted your own justice”. Basically boy attacks me when I refuse to be robbed, I stomp a mud hole in him then stomp it dry, I get suspended and threats of expulsion. Basically schools encouraging victimization and dependency on “authority”. O and what’s LOVELY, is if I didn’t fight back, and reported it, the teachers couldn’t be bothered or they’d just say don’t do that and walk off.
During my thirteen short years of school, I was repeatedly bullied. and fought back. back then, the playground monitors turned a blind eye to one on one confrontations unless the kids were of different ages.
What is odd to me is that I could go hunting and fishing with the very kids with whom I fought because outside of school, there was no one to impress, I guess.
We never grow up either, as adults we have idiots like bloomy bullying others to not drink big gulp sodas, not smoke, not own guns. Its human nature. When we attempt to alter human nature, that is to deny kids the right to fight back, that’s when we have serious problems. That’s when the cup over flows.
Kids, at least in school, are penalized more severely for standing up to bullies than letting the bully bully, ratting them out, and then getting bullied worse because of it.
That’s a symptom of always being connected to the internet where people are unfortunately being taught to speak before thinking.
Before the internet, the world was a lot smaller and you cultivated your personality from the people around you and you had to communicate well to make friends. Now that you can reach out to anyone at anytime, it’s easy to form flimsy relationships with people without ever meeting them because there’s no risk or much effort involved — everyone is available to you.
I don’t think bullying or child violence is necessarily worse, I think it just seems worse because that’s what is being reported. Granted, it’s much easier to bully people online so that’s probably not helping matters.
Bender from futurama said it best “have you ever tried turning off the tv, sitting down with your children and hitting them” I can’t believe most od these parents now saying please to their children. I’m only 29 and all I ever heard was if you don’t listen youre going to feel and it kept me out of trouble.
Dude! Yes! What f*cking parent says please to their child all the time!? If it’s something trivial then ok, but all the time? Hell no! I got spanked more than a few times for acting up, and guess what? My poor behavior suddenly, mysteriously vanished! Sadly, this style of parenting is a thing of the past for the most part.
I’m 24 and physical punishment is all that works. That style of parenting isn’t gone. It’s just hushed up because of how pussified the great US of A has become.
All i needed was to hear “Go get a switch”.
+1. Gotta love Bender.
I’m 20 myself, I think I was one of the ladt groups to get smacked when I deserved it.
There are a LOT of kids these days who deserve it.
And my personal fav. ” Boy, I brought you into this world I can and will take you out of it if you don’t straighten up.”
how did you know what my mother said to me 😀
Because my mom said the same thing to me after the hand, belt, or wooden spoon of enlightenment and knowledge showed me the light.
“hand, belt, or wooden spoon of enlightenment and knowledge showed”
Threats of violence only gets you so far, some parents end up with children who take it as the ONLY solution to conflict. My mom used the belt on me when I was young and when I turned nine if I couldn’t reason with her I’d use the curtain rod on her.
“I brought you into this world, I can take you out.”
“I’ll make sure to take you with me then.”
If I ever heard ‘please’ from my parents it meant i was 2 seconds from an ass kicking…the request might have even included my full legal name which means shits about to get real.
Robert Farago we need a freaking like feature on this biotch.
Lets all not forget the end all be all you ain’t sitting right for a week if you hear it “that’s it I’m calling your father” after hearing that you miraculously managed to be in your roon doing homework, writing an apology and cleaning the house all at the same time.
There is no easy solution to this problem and it is most definitely part of a downward spiral of society. As such, any solution will not be in a vacuum and will be part of broader societal change. You cannot compartmentalize the kind of change necessary to turn this thing around. There is no substitute for giving a rip!
I’m calling BS on the bullying argument. When the prior generation (like me) were bullied, our fathers’ told us to punch the bully in the nose as hard as we could and the bullying would stop. So that’s what we did. And the bullying stopped. And many times, said bully and said bullied would make their peace and be fine. Try that today and the bullied kid would get expelled.
Or do you think that modern leftists only want to prevent adults from defending themselves?
We are raising a generation of victims, courtesy of teachers and administrators who want boys to wear frilly panties. Victims can only take so much until they explode.
Kids didn’t create the bullying problem. Schools did. But childhood violence — apart from the reaction to bullying — is hardly new. Ever heard of Leopold and Loeb?
Not just that, but the mother of the bully would demand action against the bullied kid and parade their “angel” around as some kind of martyr.
Exactly. We’re raising a nation of little *********** because of the way fighting is handled in schools. An ass-kicking is a perfectly acceptable way to solve a problem. A bloody nose was typically all it took to shut them up. Now, we’re coddling the bullies, “Oh, he might have problems at home…”
If your kid won’t stand up to his schoolyard tormentor, what makes you think he’ll stand up to anything else?
And when will they understand that when you force legal actions against bullies on a regular basis, you get diminished results each time?
Beat me to it Ralph. “Proper” conflict resolution in today’s schools means the bullied kid takes the verbal and emotional abuse without recourse.
It’s called gender neutral parenting. Boys are allowed to cross dress, play with dolls, and basically act like girls in fact they are encouraged to do so… Girls aren’t encouraged to be like boys though. My ex wife is a big believer in this style of parenting needless to say I have had tons of problems out of my son when he comes back from his mom’s.
I’m right with you on that.
The whole bullying meme is a way to squash independent thought and action. If you can’t use certain words or do certain actions, you lose the ability to express or act in certain ways and that’s what’s desireable.
No one cares about bullying; what many folks in power want is a pliant population that does what their told and sits down and shuts up otherwise.
So, cornering another person and yelling at them and calling them things like faggot and cunt should be tolerated? WTF?
Yes, we restrict certain actions. In the adult world, it is NOT appropriate to shoot someone for irritating you. If I cussed out a coworker I’d lose my job.
Kids shouldn’t get a pass on similar behavior to other kids. I don’t want definition creep of buylling (OMG, my kid wasn’t invited to a party! BULLY) but I damn sure feel school administrators need to stop *actual* bullying, be it physical or verbal.
This is a great argument for why bullying could indeed be worse now days than it used to be.
My father always told me that you don’t have win the fight, just make it painful enough so the bully picks on someone else.
Leopold and Loeb were more like Adam Lanza than your typical school yard bully.
That doesn’t nearly always work. It’s a silly answer and assumes that A: every or most bullies will back off if someone tries to fight and that B: everyone has the physical ability to fight effectively.
It did for me; I was a 200 lb, 6′ sophmore in H S and more than able to inflict real pain. I finally had enough, held a guy that was harassing my GF and me down and pulled out all his piercings and kicked him a few times for good measure. That made a point. But not everyone has the physical ability to really pull that off, and I saw more than one smaller weaker kid try to fight back against the same guy without it stopping it.
The kind of bullying that has lead to kid suicides lately was non-physical. In many cases the bully’s parents are partaking in the bullying. I think the “fight back” response makes sense for a physical altercation, and a kid may even be able to get away with it in today’s pathetically ignorant world of zero tolerance… but is the kid punching the bully’s bully mom or dad in the face for texting him “fag” all day going to free him from his hell?
Where did you get this intellectual drivel? You don’t stop bullying by changing society. Society already abhors bullying. Bullying is not caused by some societal problem. It is caused by problem individuals, the bullies.
The way to stop bullying is to stop the bully. You find out who is doing it, and you stop him/her. If confrontation with the child and his parents doesn’t stop the bullying, then formal criminal charges will. First you tell the child and the parents that the bullying is happening and it must stop. If it continues, call the police and file formal assault charges against the child. Believe me; when the police get involved the bullying will stop.
I don’t think “Get the police involved” is a very popular opinion on this site.
In all seriousness, I’ve seen that happen numerous times, and it just seems to escalate the situation.
Sorry. I come from a time when the police actually got involved. They did much more than interview both parties, write up the paperwork, and leave (while grumbling about being called out for such petty crap). The police used to tell the bully that either it will stop, or you are going to Juvy for a while. And they would straighten out the parents that allowed their kid to act like that. The bullying always did stop, either because the kid changed his actions, or because he wasn’t around anymore (when he went to Juvenile Hall).
Those were the days, my friend….
And society now is much worse off due to the abandonment of such sane, and obviously effective, policies.
OR the bullying rises to the point the bullied is severely harmed… Bullies hate narcs… that makes them madder. If they feel they’re going down, what’s it to them to take out the narc as they do so?
When the bully’s parents are also bullys it isn’t as easy to stop. Not even with police or lawyers. Many adults are as obsessively abusive as kids.
If parents would parent like back in the old days and beat their kids this wouldn’t be a big issue.
A hundred to freaking one the bullies ARE getting beaten at home! They can’t take it out on the drunk old man, so they take it to school and “even the score” by beating up on some other kid. Did you ever even go to school?
I think he is speaking figuratively. A tongue in cheek way to mean corrective discipline in the home.
I am assuming he means a spanking and not full on child abuse. Back when I was a kid, we were more afraid of what our parents would say than what the cops would say.
Burk putting your continuous trollish rants and flaming’s aside, im speaking as Ethan and Brian implied. When I was young I got my ass beat brutally for forgetting a text book, failing a math test, or spilling milk. But it kept me from being a little piece of shit. I don’t think we need to beat the living hell out of kids with their own arms like an unfortunate amount actually go through but using belt, or a quick light smack in the back of the head, or at least a damn spanking would do wonders for kids these days because clearly saying please a million times doesn’t work. And yes I went to school, and its fairly plane to see what a push over parent can create.
you got beat for spilling a glass of milk?
kid, you WERE abused and not disciplined….
there is no way that corporal punishment is justifiable for trivial matters like forgetting a textbook or spilling a glass of milk, CP is for matters like repeated defiance or chronic issues of disrespect, I was subject to corporal punishment as a child, it was very rare and always deserved when it was used. spilling a glass of milk is never acceptable grounds for CP.
A parent who beats a child for spilling a glass of milk is a parent totally unhinged. As well as an unfit parent.
You’ll never shut me up, bully.
The combination of highly invasive social media and the pussification of America’s youth as a result of sub-standard parenting is a recipe for disaster. The idea of being tough and shrugging off the negativity, or dealing with it man-to-man (kid-to-kid?) has evaporated, as parents seek to protect their perfect little snowflakes with little thought of potential lessons learned, or long term ramifications.
My stepson is involved in high school athletics, and as with virtually every male high school team, there is a certain amount of ribbing and name-calling that takes place. Some of this was directed at my stepson and went beyond what he felt was the acceptable limit, so he spoke with the teammate who was directing the comments at him, hoping to settle things. The name-calling didn’t stop, even after several discussions, so one day my stepson had enough and let his teammate know physically that his behavior wasn’t appreciated. It didn’t escalate beyond that, his point was made, and that line hasn’t been crossed since. The two of them get along well now that it has been settled. I believe this is how most situations should be dealt with, and I think that by removing the middle area where kids settle things physically and move on, we are paving the way for much more severe reactions to bullying. This is by no means a blanket solution to every child’s interpersonal conflict, but its a way that would solve a large number of issues without making the situation worse. As a society we are trying to hide the fact that sometimes people just don’t get along, and that sometimes one must stand up for one’s self and differences must be (and can be) settled without causing irreparable harm. It drives me crazy.
“Neow, neow. That’s not how we settle their little differences in the North Buttleborough Exalted School District!”
“REALLY? Then how ARE you “settling” them? Because I can’t see you’re doing SQUAT to “settle” this! You just shove it under the rug and pretend everything is rosey-wosey!”
Is it me, or us that the same kid twice?
Geez, the amount of calls I went on where a kid would call 9-1-1 to report their parent smacking them. After hearing both sides, 99% of the time I’d look at the kid and let him or her know they deserved it.
Then I’d give advice to the parent. Never hit in anger, don’t use a closed fist, and try not to draw blood. And I’d tell them that in front of the kid. Hardly ever went back to the same house twice.
Physical discipline (ie spanking) increases the chance the child will be aggressive and is likely to create a bully. Also disrespectful and ignorant. It is unnecessary. These are facts from studies of thousands of families. Aka better than the inevitable anecdotal evidence people will respond to be with.
Want to stop child violence? Teach them it is only to be used in defense or consensual sport. Let them retreat or fight back from bullies (neither are allowed in schools). Use physical force only when necessary ie to physically restrain the from hurting another or keep them from danger.
Kids don’t walk home from school anymore (although I sometimes am called upon to pick my grandson up, and I walk him home from school. Most of them are picked up by their parents.
Where is the score supposed to be “settled”, then? School is the only option.
I’m not disagreeing with that. Just saying that schools force kids to stay together and punish self-defense.
… so say the studies of childless “intellectuals” who know jack about real world parenting.
THE ironic thing is, those parents that don’t discipline their kids (spanking or otherwise) seem to have the rudest most disrespectful kids who feel entitled you meet.
You’re just incorrect. I have nothing else to say. Childless? I can also say the oppisite. Kids who are hit seem to be more disrespectful, aggressive and nasty to me.
Sometimes. Oftimes, maybe. Not sure I’d generalize to that degree.
It blows my mind that after thousands of years of parenting, we still have not figured it out and have people spouting this drivel. A child brain cannot be reasoned with (at first), they are essentially wild animals. Violence (small amounts proportional to their size) is the ONLY thing they can understand.
Teach children all you want. Children must have discipline which involves force and even violence — or at least implied violence. That is what a parent demonstrates to a child in a timeout. Does the parent sit around for hours begging and pleading with the child to please go sit down for timeout? No. The parent physically overpowers the child with force, picks them up, and promptly sits them down for timeout. And guess what happens if the child decides to get up and leave before the timeout is over? The parent physically overpowers them again with force, picks them up, and puts them back in the timeout spot. The whole thing is a show of force, of who is the “boss” — from the stern voice, cross look on your face, even to a firm grip and prompt (e.g. not gentle) relocation to the timeout spot. The key is for the parent or school staff to do this in response to known rules of behavior and not use excessive violence. In that environment force and the threat of violence fosters confident, respectful, balanced, and well behaved children.
Children need boundaries and limits. And they need parents and school staff that will enforce boundaries and limits. And they need to know that parents and school staff will use force and violence if necessary to enforce those boundaries and limits. Think about it: in theory that is what the police are all about. They simply do it on a community level rather than within a family or school.
Nevertheless, there will still be bullies. And students need to be empowered to respond swiftly and violently to defend themselves. And school staff need to care enough to identify the bully and deal swiftly and decisively with the bully.
I was picked on nearly every day in the 5th grade by the same kid. His mother was on the board of trustees and because she was such a valuable asset to the school this little brat never got the expulsion or suspension he deserved. At an end of the year pool party he decided to pick on me. I gave him a right hook to the head so hard he was almost knocked out. Guess what happened. He stopped bullying me and I could finish my middle school years in peace. We’ve been excellent friends for about six years now and look back on those times with fond laughter.
For god’s sake let the poor bullied kids take a few swings at the bullies. It blows off steam and will teach kids to be self-reliant. But I might as well be preaching to the choir thanks to all the numb nuts who drank the pacifistic “every child is special” Kool Aid of the 90’s.
That kool-aid started out much earlier in life. One such proponent of the “hands off” child raising was one Dr. Spock and this goes all the way back into the late 1920s (works published in 1946)
Kids now a days need a dose of physical and mental toughness along with self reliance. The only way to do that is let em fight it out amongst themselves like a lot of us did when we were youngsters. My parents told me I might take an ass whippin but I had damn well better stand up for myself. I tell my son the same thing if he has to then throw down you might lose but it’s better than not trying. Yall may think I’m a dick but if his soccer team don’t win the championship he don’t get a trophy I don’t agree with the everyone wins participation trophy I wasn’t raised that way.
You should also let him know that if he does fight, he’s going to treated as if he’s at least as bad as the bully he whipped (or not), if not worse.
I agree with you, but something is missing from the equation now that your generation enjoyed: true justice, and the assurance by his elders (including at the school) that he did the right thing.
You and I know he did, but he’s not going to find any support outside of home, and if you don’t tell him, he’ll find out.
Just my 2 cents on this:
Cent 1: When I was a kid, I got the once-standard “hit ’em hard and they won’t come back” advice from my father, and it did indeed work…. but it already was in today’s environment enough that everybody got punished for the fight equally. I remember thinking even back then that “who started it”, or “he hit me first” really DOES matter. The right to self-defense is a human right— endowed by our creator. It is too often ignored with children. ‘Nuff said on that one.
Cent 2: This one has been bothering me a lot, ever since the rise of the modern anti-bullying movement— any of you guys remember when “bullying” meant PHYSICALLY doing something to the bullied person? Every single story I’ve heard about poor-kid-driven-to-suicide by bullying, it comes out in the first paragraph or so that it’s so-called “internet bullying” that was most of the action. As in, with words. What?
Don’t get me wrong— I do understand the inescapable hell of the teasing, insults, or what-have-you never being “off” in the internet age… but on the other hand, they’re WORDS. Ever noticed how flame wars and comment-thread arguments just seem to magically disappear from your life if you don’t READ them?
Even when shouted all day, every day at school, if such a thing is going on, in my day a “bully” was someone who pushed you down, punched you, or forcibly took away your lunch money. Teasing, insults, and being excluded DID NOT COUNT. When I encountered a bully, it was a kid who physically assaulted me— and that was what the “punch ’em in the nose” advice applied to…
I will never be okay with kids calling one another names being referred to as “bullying”. It is not, except in Britian, and never will be. Kids who are harrassed into their graves with words are being teased to death, not bullied. Words matter, as these kids can testify, and it begins with using them correctly.
Psychological torture techniques and brainwashing techniques are effective forms of assault, coercion, domination, even though it’s just words. It nearly always takes more energy to resist than it does to conduct, so it’s always just a matter of time before the techniques work.
Wrong. Words can inflict far more permanent harm than the best-aimed punch or kick ever can.
My son is homeschooled now, but for the year he was in public school (kindergarten) he rode the bus with a boy who was what I would call unhinged. The kid was…weird. And as more details about him came out, it made sense. His parents were divorced, his dad let him do things and watch things that he was nowhere near mature enough for, he was just from a disfunctional home. He old my son that he was going to bring him home, tie him up, and hang him upside down in his closet, among other awful things. Apparently he spent many nights cuddled with Daddy watching Dexter. I am not making this up. He thought that was funny.
Anyways, that ended up working itself out within the confines of the school system, but I told my son that if anyone ever messed with him and adult intervention was not possible, he had every right to stop bullying or threatening behavior IN THAT MOMENT with violence if he needed to. I told him he might get in trouble at school, but that it is more important to stand up for yourself. He was not to take it day after day if he was being physically harmed, or if (as I phrased it) he felt like his soul was being hurt. Hard to explain depression or anxiety to a 5 year old…but if someone is driving my happy, outgoing, friendly, and mature beyond his years son to be anything but the best he can be, that little pissant is going to get rocked in the face if the adults in the room do not do their job.
Oh, and the same rules apply to defending his younger brother, who was born with Pierre Robin syndrome and has a false eye. Most kids are just curious and generally nice, but every now and then some rude little puke says something like “What’s wrong with you?” and may tease. My son always stands up for his brother, first with love and an explanation of why his brother is a little different. But if any kind of teasing ensues, my son knows that it is time to make that kid back off. As always, first the adults are told that something is going on. That’s worked fine so far…but a small part of me is just itching to see my son drop a little punk defending his brother. Maybe that’s wrong, but I’d be proud 🙂
Your approach is theoretically sound; but the child that physically defends himself opens the door wide to child and parents both being dragged into mandatory “violence counseling” where toxic social workers get to set their hooks into you. And once they’ve got you in this cycle, the toxic “counselor(s): never relinquish control voluntarily. I got out of a situation like this by simply outsmarting the “counselor”, but most will never be so lucky.
In addition, I was lucky enough, through more or less accidental circumstances, to find I had an ally where I never would have expected one: the counselor’s wife. Once I recognized that, the path out of the control matrix was clear, and I took full advantage of it.
Too long a story for here; and many folks in similar circumstances find themselves utterly without an ally in the world. For an alleged “issue” involving alcohol, I found myself tossed into a “counseling” class full of crackheads! I knew I had to get out of that, and I was fortunate enough that my strategy was successful.
Enough with the psycho-babble. Violence among children is increasing (if it is) because of the breakdown in two parent families. Divorce and especially single motherhood will inevitably lead to social dysfunction. The traditional family, an institution under attack by both Progressives and Libertarians, is the foundation of civil society. As civil society breaks down so do the self-imposed constraints on behavior. We are recreating the pathologies of the ghetto in the rest of society. Herds of young fatherless males will wreak havoc on the rest of us who wish to lead safe and productive lives.
Well, in real life, the child may find himself in a situation where the second parent (usually stereotyped as the “father”) is actually worse than if he had no second parent in his life at all.
Individual results may very but often the abusive parent has step in front of their gender designation.
three links that are relevant…
“Eventually it will be ‘common knowledge’ that bullying people is extremely dangerous. We DO NOT want this to occur because then the violent response has solved the problem where an intellectual process could have instead.”
Wrong! The only thing that stops a bully is a good a$$ kicking — whether at the hands of a student victim or a school staff member. You cannot sit down and reason with a bully any more than you can sit down and reason with a violent criminal. Bullies and violent criminals are one and the same. The only thing that immediately changes their behavior is immediate violence with the bully/criminal on the losing end. It would indeed be wonderful if it became common knowledge that being a bully is dangerous. But it isn’t dangerous, and that is the problem!
For example many schools have enacted “zero tolerance” policies for fighting (immediate expulsion regardless of “who started it”). These policies are a disaster because it creates a “win win” scenario for the bully. Either the victim takes it and is harmed — so the bully “wins”. Or the victim fights back, gets expelled, and is still harmed — so the bully “wins” again. This is asinine. Not only does that environment lack danger for a bully, it actually guarantees success for the bully! And guess what, even the “zero tolerance” policy is backed with an “immediate violence” policy. What happens if an expelled student shows up to school and refuses to leave? The police will show up and violently remove the expelled student!
Victims must always have the option to immediately fight back violently without a threat of “discipline” … it doesn’t matter whether they are an adult in a park or a minor in school. If someone wants to minimize bullying, empower the victims to fight back HARD, promptly identify and remove bullies from schools, and do something about disintegrating families and moral decay in our nation.
Keep in mind that bullying now days is largely non-physical, rather it is psychological torture committed by kids. Upping the ante, as we see in most of the suicide cases, often the bully’s parents are also involved in the bullying.
For non-physical bullying, I see two simple responses that should be wildly effective.
First, as someone else posted earlier, instruct your children to ignore as much of that as possible. I learned at an early age that verbally abusive kids are looking for a reaction from you. If they see that their words did not rattle you, they get no reward and move on.
Second, send a registered letter to the home of the abusive child. Tell them succinctly and in no uncertain terms that, unless their child stops all harassment immediately, you will immediately contact law enforcement and file stalking charges. If the bullies are stupid enough to use social media to harass you, you have concrete records of their activity which makes a criminal case easy to prosecute. If the bullies only use words in face-to-face exchanges, a simple audio recorder can create a record of those events also making a criminal case easy to prosecute.
If those courses of action fail to be productive, then some of the more physical suggestions on this topic should do the trick.
I agree that those two simple responses, call them parental interventions, should be wildly effective. So the problem is either that these simple responses aren’t happening (not so simple or the parents suck?) or that they aren’t effective. I’d lean toward believing that when these parental interventions aren’t happening (and you can’t count on the adults working at the school to do anything themselves) violence remains the available solution to the kid.
My parents stayed out of the fight as long as it was fair — usually defined as 1 on 1 and roughtly the same age. When I was about seven and 12 or 13 year old beat me up my father immediately took action. He tracked the kid down and put him arm lock and marched him to his father with a warning. The warning wasn’t needed because the bully’s father added additional punishment. Today, the kids parents would have filed charges against my dad instead of thanking him for helping show their son the error of his ways.
“Eventually it will be ‘common knowledge’ that bullying people is extremely dangerous. We DO NOT want this to occur because then the violent response has solved the problem where an intellectual process could have instead.”
Except for the ones where the “intellectual process” is wholly ineffectual!
Teaching kids to NOT defend themselves is probably the reason they eventually go ballistic and shoot up a school or off themselves because there is no release. I for one, tell my 6 year old grand-daughter every time i see her to fight back physically if bullied. I’m not telling her to bully others, but to defend herself or others if needed from bullies and you know what she tells me…”but if i do i will get a frownie face for the day” Kids are being taught to be victims in their schools and it infuriates me. Once a bully sees that he/she cannot intimidate someone, they will not attempt bullying that person again, but if there is no recourse they will continue. Sometimes violence IS the answer.
“Bullying” is such a PC BS term. There will always be Alphas in social groups. You cannot out think or legislate away nature. If we could there would be no teenage pregnancy, no substance abuse, and no physical and psychological domination.
The alpha “boys will be boys” altercations are not the instances that cause problems. It’s all of the technology-empowered betas and psychological cyber-bullying which is causing kids to kill themselves and each other.
+10. And a half.
Um, I disagree that bullies are simply “Alphas” asserting their natural tendencies. At best bullies are selfish brats that take what they want from whoever they want and at worst bullies derive sadistic pleasure from inflicting pain on other people.
I do not consider either of those characteristics to be “Alpha” traits. “Alphas” want to win negotiations when something is uncertain, like what game to play at recess. They try to win with clever words, more words, even loud words. They don’t clobber people.
My bullying experiences mostly revolved around the fact that as a child, according to the school, I had no rights, one of my principals actually flat out told this to me. Although I was teased, and regularly told teachers about it I usually found myself treated as the guilty one just by being associated with any “disruption” to the schools “perfect utopia.” I often felt that it was easier for them to just punish me than actually deal with the problem.
I had numerous bullies, and tried to physically fight back on multiple occasions, but the big reason I didn’t was so that I could actually stay in the school as my grades were very important to me. It didn’t help that I was, and still am, not a very big guy, so I was often forced to not fight back because I knew I couldn’t stop them that way. Make no mistake, I really wanted to beat the living shit out of them.
I don’t even know anymore how many times I was threatened with expulsion, and somehow I still managed to get through just a smidgen under the A honor roll. It honestly bothers me when someone tries to pass off bullying as some sort of natural dominance thing, or even as a BS excuse, there are too many factors to make such sweeping generalizations.
If you wanna change bullying, your gonna be disappointed, cause it would take a miracle from on high to get everything necessary to happen. The school system is almost completely inept, filled with junk policies and system that I could see were bullshit when I was still eight years old, but the few good people that are still left legally have their hands tied and can’t do anything about it.
Then there are the parents, the products of an ever increasing selfish and rude society, the same type of people who will take legal action over spilled hot coffee. Practically still children themselves, they now either choose to not discipline their kids, or simply don’t care and are too distracted by their “busy” lives to remember they have miniature versions of themselves running around.
I could go on, but my post is long enough as it is, but defeating bullying is more likely to come as a result to defeating our degrading society, and I don’t foresee that happening very soon.
Well said. Why I wasn’t bullied, I’ll never really know. Except that maybe, in the time and place I grew up, kids were taught values and weren’t mean little weasels. I never even saw anyone bullied. Not once.