Bullies & Time Bombs
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It's time we stand together for both the victims and the bullies
More than half a century ago the most common problems with children at school were chewing gum and cutting in line. Today, children are not what they used to be and parents are not what they used to be either. Children are growing up under different circumstances. Today, children contend with two working parents, daycare, parental guilt, drugs at school, mass communication at their fingertips, bullies and time bombs.
Where do bullies and time bombs come from? They were born as sweet as any of us but their view of the world became one of scarcity. Bullies came to believe that regard, if not love and security, could only be created by dominance. They probably watched a similar ethic take place in their home. Time bombs are children and adults who spent their childhoods feeling weak, shamed and dejected. Most were also victims of bullies. For them, their trigger is rejection and the only solution may be revenge.
Behavior is imprinted. Bullies treat others the way that they have been treated at least one painful time. They have learned that it’s “Dominate or be dominated. Humiliate or be humiliated." Time bombs have been so neglected in the early years of life that they lack social skills, which provokes bullying and tremendous jealousy.
The truth is bullies are actually fragile inside. Many children who are being dominated are less fragile internally than the bullies, however that does not mean that bullying should be tolerated. Bullies and time bombs need therapy, probably family therapy. Victims need help.
PaRC is involved in an outreach to local schools in the San Fernando Valley. We are proposing a series of interventions in each school to curtail the problem with bullying and to identify time bombs before they explode.
We recommend the following protocols to both schools and to parents. We work with schools formally as well as privately with parents and their children involved.
Call a General Assembly and address the issue.
Remind the bullies that they were once bullied. Remind bullies that time bombs explode.
Tell bystanders what they can do to deter bullying.
- Stand beside the one being attacked.
- Take a video with their cellphone of the incident.
- Show it to the administration.
- Post it on Facebook.
- Find a teacher or administrator to intervene.
- Talk to students about character and what side of the aisle they want to be on. Enlist celebrities, like rappers, live or on video.
Hold meetings with the staff
- Teach the teachers and staff how to respond.
- Create an arsenal of consequences and rewards.
- Keep a record of each child’s involvement and administrative responses.
- Rather than expel a bully, give their parents a choice, which can be escalated. They can come to PaRC and learn relationship skills with their children.
- Praise students who take a stand and notify their parents of their children’s heroism.
- Remember that these rewarded students may become targets if bullies do not learn to fear the consequences.
- Create a support group for students who are being bullied.
- Teach them ways to respond to bullies that will reduce the threat.
- Let them have a venue for expressing their feelings to others who know how they feel.
Parents can hold regular support and brainstorming meetings.
- PaRC can also provide this venue, if the school wants to make a referral.
- Parents of children who are being bullied may also form an alliance and hold regular meetings at their school.
- PaRC is also available to facilitate this, as well.
- We have group facilities and comfortable seating.
- Our offices are available 24 hours daily by appointment, but we can respond quickly to emergencies.
Parents of children who bully should be referred to agencies, such as ours, that can help them turn their child around.