Greater Good Live


Bullies, Bystanders, and Really Kind Kids

October 2012 | TRT 11:58

Is your kid a bully? Even if you’ve taught your children right from wrong, sometimes the kids of kind and compassionate parents can still be…mean. Rona and I discuss strategies for raising children who don’t bully others.

Listen Now:
Tracker Pixel for Entry

You gave great tips for dealing with bullies, but you
left out one element of your title, bystanders, and
it seems to me to be the most important one,
especially in middle school.  My son is, to my
knowledge, not a bully.  He’s very kind and
empathetic in general, and I hear this from his
teachers and other adults who are with him when
I’m not.  He saw the film “Bully” at school and was
very upset by it.  So this is not my concern.
But he’s also very socially sensitive.  Now, in middle
school, he’s worried (out loud, to me) about
“standing up” for his friends if they are bullied. 
He’s afraid that this is a good way to get bullied
himself.  He’s also afraid that standing up for an
“outsider” type of kid, or running to get help (i.e.
tattling), would lose him his friends.  This would
break his heart, so he’s pretty reluctant to even
consider it.  He may not be entirely wrong about
this last thing—kids this age are pretty quick to
judge and take sides.
So, it’s all very well to tell kids they should help the
underdog, or tell an adult—but how do we ask
them to risk their friends?  How do we ask them to
put themselves at risk for bullying?  And/or how do
we help them figure out the right thing to do,
without putting themselves at risk for more than
they are able to handle?
Perhaps another podcast?  ☺

Karen | 12:10 pm, October 25, 2012 | Link


There is no doubt that it takes a lot of courage to
stand up to bullies! This is a great topic for discussion -
- Rona and I will discuss it in a future podcast. Thank
you for the question and suggestion!

Christine Carter | 11:11 am, October 30, 2012 | Link

blog comments powered by Disqus


Is she flirting with you? Take the quiz and find out.

Greater Good Live


The Evolutionary Roots of Compassion

The Evolutionary Roots of Compassion

Dacher Keltner explains why Darwin thought compassion is humans’ strongest instinct.


The Greater Good Guide to Mindfulness

The Greater Good Guide to Mindfulness

This invaluable resource, a special benefit for GGSC members, offers insight into what mindfulness is, why it’s important, and how to teach it.

Get the Guide

Mindfulness and Well-Being at Work

Friday: Zellerbach Playhouse, UC Berkeley Saturday: DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina
November 13-14, 2015
Mindfulness and Well-Being at Work

» All Events


Greater Good Sections

thnx advertisement