A couple of days ago, we had a guest post by Catherine DePino. She wrote a novel about a boy who's been bullied at school. An interesting topic, especially when you are a teacher and come into contact with bullying on a daily basis.
In my long career as a teacher - and I make excuses in advance if anyone thinks differently - I've often noticed that kids who are bullied often have parents who make their child more vulnerable than it should be. Parents want to protect their children, I understand that, but you don't do it by making your kid afraid to come to school.
In my opinion, there is only one way to prevent bullying. You have to make your kid aware of what he or she is worth. Self-consciousness is the key to getting respect of others.
I can take myself and my sister as examples. I have an eye that despite an operation (by the best doctor available at that time) still isn't quite right. My sister, on the other hand, is quite sturdy. So there were reasons galore to be bullied - only we never were.
Our parents and grandparents taught us from a very young age (I guess we were not older than 1,5) that we were what we thought of ourselves. We learned what our strenghts and weaknesses were. Somehow that radiates out to others. Nobody at primary school ever said anything bad about my eye as they were well aware I would not let them. The same with my sister.
As a teacher, I only once had a student who made a remark (because he was mad because he had a bad test). I never said anything in class, but later on I took him aside and asked him if he would like to be called Rabbit every time I addressed him - he had the biggest rabbits teeth I've ever seen. Of course he said no, and I told him if he did not like that, he could restrain of calling me names. He made his excuses immediately, and that was it.
Because you must know that everyone has a fault. It's obvious, or less obvious. It can be in looks, but also in character, or behavior.
Those who bully are very unsure of themselves. They bully because they don't want to be bullied. Most of the times you can make them shrink away when they see they can't hurt you.
What's your take on this?