The modern world has been fighting a losing battle against bullying. Despite the massive attempts to get everyone involved in protecting kids from bullies and to teach kids to stop being bullies, bullying continues unabated, and the greatest tragedy is when bullied children, after years of despair and hopelessness, decide to end their lives.
Because the intensive anti-bullying efforts aren't working, researchers and anti-bullying activists conclude is that the solution is to intensify the efforts that aren't working. They can't imagine that their efforts may be counterproductive and that the solution may be much simpler than what they're advocating for.
Following the Columbine shooting, when I realized that the anti-bullying campaign the world was embarking on was bound to fail, I spent months creating my website and wrote two free manuals: one that teaches kids how to stop being bullied, and one that teaches teachers and parents how to quickly and easily reduce aggression between kids. Thousands of people have been benefiting from these manuals completely for free, and I welcome you to use them, too. There is nothing new in these manuals. I have simly repackaged basic psychology and universal wisdom.
Someone identifying him/herself as Parent of a Bullied Child recently wrote a comment to one of my recent blog entries, and I am featuring the comment here because it is important enough for everyone to read. This comment shows not only that schools’ typical anti-bully interventions make matters worse, but that the solution is so simple. Thanks, Parent of a Bullied Child.
The original blog entry to which Parent responded is: http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-bully-witch-hunt/200902/biased...
Here is the Comment:
"I was astonished to see the story about the boy labeled a "bully," for it added to my worries about my own son's problems at school with being bullied. What if, to top it all off, he finally loses his temper and starts pushing back and he's the one tagged a bully? Good lord.
“My son is in middle school and was bullied--teased, isolated, made the subject of rumors, mocked openly in class--for the entire first semester of this year. I had no idea until he finally announced to me that he couldn't go to school any more. He couldn't take it. I took him to a therapist who wanted to do an intervention session at the school but my son wanted nothing more to do with it, for he had been bullied some the year before, and the teachers had intervened, and done a terrible job: so bad, in fact, that it immensely escalated the problems and it made him afraid to tell me that they had escalated, for that would have set off another dreaded intervention.
“I began doing massive amounts of research on bullying, and came to the same conclusion, independently, that [Mr.] Kalman long before me had: any form of school intervention backfires badly. And I had real life experience to add to the research. (I do believe that a whole-school, philosophical, Quaker approach works pretty well, but it doesn't prepare you for the rest of the world, or at least it didn't prepare my son for it when he moved to this very good public middle school.)
“Anyway, in my research I happened upon the bullies2buddies site and read it with interest. I asked my son to read it and we agreed that he would try it for a few weeks while we figured out what to do. Here's the breathtaking thing: after what was really 1.5 years of bullying, it stopped in one week. In fact, it stopped the first day my son tried the technique. Two kids started making fun of his chapped lips, blocking my son from getting to his locker. My son just looked at them casually and said, "yeah, my lips get chapped this time of year; I hate it." They said nothing more and let him pass. It has now been four weeks without any bullying. He said he has been teased a few times, but no more than any of the other kids.
“The therapist has recommended that I keep a close eye on the situation, that my son may not be telling the truth out of fear that we will intervene. I don't have the sense that this is the case, but I will definitely keep you posted.”
Thanks again, Parent of Bullied Child, for presenting us with your experience. I look forward to hearing from you again.
So, reader, please don’t think I only spend my time criticizing. And please use my website to save other kids from bullying, too.