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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

 
Bullies, Bystanders, and Really Kind Kids

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

 
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