TalkBack To Vicki Jardine

A TalkBack on Parenting Issues

Let’s talk about ‘Bullying’. February 26, 2009


What do you think constitutes ‘bullying’?  Everyone gets picked on at one time or another in their young lives.   How can a parent know if their child is being bullied?  Does bullying imply continued and frequent events, or can a single event be identified as ‘bullying’?  How harmful is bullying to the ‘victim’ child?  Is bullying harmful to the children doing the bullying?

How can a parent truly re-establish their child’s confidence after they have been bullied?

These questions are all important to consider if you are a parent, caregiver or educator.  Bullying is an unhealthy manifestation of low self-esteem on the part of the bully/s.  When a person (sadly some adults are bullies too), bullies someone, they feel they are elevating themselves and showing that they are more powerful than the victim.  Bullies often appeal to the crowd who are also lacking in sufficient self-esteem to ‘go along’ with behaviours they know are not acceptable.  The ‘peer pressure’ that is created by a bully is almost ‘tangible’.  Children who would otherwise not behave in a cruel manner side with the bully rather than become a target of the bully themselves. 

In times past, some degree of ‘bullying’ was actually acceptable in as much as it was thought that it allowed the development of some ‘life skills’ in which children could learn to defend themselves and stick up for themselves.  Most cases of bullying were never identified as bullying and many times the victim was told to ‘toughen up’.

So what we have is a society in which some parents were themselves ‘schoolyard bullies’ and no one really thought anything much about it. 

Add into the equation that most parents will feel defensive of their child if he/she is accused of bullying at school. 

So the stage is set.  But these days we know that bullying can have serious consequences, not the least of which is that of the ‘suicide’ of the victim. 

So I would like to see adults address this issue as the serious issue that it is.  I would like to have some input from parents whose child has been bullied.  I would like to give them this space to say what they saw as the ‘real problem’ and what they feel the ‘best solution’ would be.  I would like these parents to describe for other parents what they wrestled with in order to restore their child’s confidence.

I also want to hear from parents of children who have been accused of bullying.  I believe these parents too may be struggling to ‘help’ their child to interact more positively.  I believe that since ‘bullying’ has become a recognized issue, there are some children all too ready to accuse others of bullying, which is not really a desirable outcome of addressing the problem.

I would like to hear from educators for whom the whole issue of bullying has dominated large portions of ‘teaching time’ and who have also had to ‘deal’ with both sets of parents (the victims and the bully’s).

Talk back to me, people. 

Share your experiences and let’s try to make the way we do things for kids more relevant to the ‘real world’.

Here’s to your child’s success!

Vicki Jardine


5 Responses to “Let’s talk about ‘Bullying’.”

  1. Chad Simpson Says:

    Greetings Vicki! Kudos for addressing this very important topic. Bullying is (and probably always has been) a HUGE problem for our youth. I truly believe it is a major contributor to childhood stress and can be a carryover to stress in college (and perhaps beyond) as well.

    I believe bullying can be a single isolated episode or a chain of recurring events. In the USA (and most other countries as well) we have laws on record to prevent this type of behavior between adults; however, when it comes to our children we abandon such legal terms as harassment, assault, and battery (etc…) in lieu of “bullying.”

    Identifying the root cause of each instance of bullying would be an interesting study. My guess is that in its simplest form every instance of bullying comes down to picking on or making fun of our differences.

    Perhaps one solution (or it could be very likely that it’s only part of the solution) would be to begin very early on teaching our children to embrace and love one another and all of our differences.

    I’m likely being overly simplistic in my thinking, but why complicate things? Children who are taught to love, love. Children who are taught to hate, hate.

    Let’s have stress-free kiddos by teaching and empowering our youth to simply love others, forgive others, and accept others.

    Chad Simpson

  2. David Says:

    As a father of 3 children netween the ages of 6 and 11 the information you have here is awesome.

    At some stage all kids will come across the schoolyard bully so having our kids better equiped to deal with these challenges is a wonderful gift.

    Vicki, thanks for choosing to be in this space. your insights are great


    David Rose
    Generation Health

  3. David Says:

    Hey Vicki,

    I think one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids at a young age is to teach them about how to deal with bullying.

    We did it with our girls and the school also do it and they are able to deal with those situations when they arise.

    As sad as it is and I relly don’t think young kids understand the impact they can have on the people they pick on and they are doing it from pre school on.

    So kudos to you Vicki


    David Rose
    Generation Health

  4. M. Davis Says:

    Bullying is actual a sign of low self esteem. The school of thought is that you must be small so I can be BIG. Teaching children that there is enough room in this world for everyone to look good or be BIG will be a great investment.

  5. tutu Says:

    What about bullying in the workplace?

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