The Des Moines Register has an interesting series going right now about the persistent problem of bullying in Iowa, partially stemming from the documentary "Bully" that came out this spring and featured the story of one Iowa boy who was repeatedly bullied while his school seemed to do little to stop it.
Iowa is, of course, not alone in struggling to figure out how to stop bullying in our schools. I grew up outside of Iowa and can vividly recall how much I hate junior high, mostly because of how mean the other girls were to me (and to each other. I don't think there was anyone who survived my junior high without being a target of a mean girl at some point).
As a parent, I worry about bullying, especially now that it can happen online. I plan to talk to my kids about not being bullies themselves, to limit their access to Facebook and sites like that until they are mature (read: not in junior high!) enough to make good decisions and to try to keep the communication lines open so they feel comfortable talking to me if they are being bullied. I hope that it will be enough.
Have you or your child ever been bullied? How do you talk to your kids about bullying?
I did encounter some bullying when I was in the 1st grade. At that age, I didnt know how to respond to it or how to tell my family about it. Once my parents became aware of it, which wasnt very long after, they had a conference at the school with the principal, the teacher, the other kid and their parents. Back then, nothing was really confidential. After that meeting, the bullying stopped.
Now, I have made sure my kids have to the tools to deal with a bully should they encounter one. Luckily for us, they have not had to.
by Mom2Just1October 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM
My son has a kid that was bothering him. We just talk to our son and he stood up to the bully and it was stopped. This kid just messed with the wrong kid. Our son does not really care what other people think anyways.
I had kids bother me in school...yea, it bothered me, but I came home to a house of siblings which I could vent. And, they were good to give me pep talks on how to avoid and deal with it.
I really really love my girls' school for this matter. All the kids are so nice, and since it is such a small school, they really keep tabs on the kids. My oldest wears her heart on her sleeve, and there have been a couple instances (daycare/play group) where older kids have bothered her (I think bullying is too strong of a word). She would cry when we got home or in the car which broke my heart. However, she has never had any issues at all with her school which I love love love!
by NykyriaOctober 10, 2012 at 10:32 AM
We as parents are not bullies to each other or our children. We don't tolerate it or teach it. We have open communication about it and how bullying negatively affects people for their whole life. When one of my girls was a target by another girl in 2nd grade we stepped up and had meetings with the educators at the school. We taught her how to respond or how to ignore particular situations with this other girl. Everyone was on the same page and it stopped.