Thursday, November 5, 2009

The infamous bully

I have a question for you.

There are a lot of things that we would agree on regarding kids and bullying, but I'm looking for something else. I don't even know what I'm looking for, but just thought I'd ask and see if someone knew something that I did not.

We all know that bullying is out there. It's alive on every age level. And, bullying doesn't necessarily mean pushing someone down or shoving them in the chest. Bullying can look different between boys and girls. Bullying can be with words or it can be with action.

I want info on boys.

Does it mean something is happening at home? Does it mean something is happening at school?
Does it mean a child is crying out? Does it mean they are hurting for something? What about the victims? They are being destroyed at the same time.

What on earth do we do?

We pray.....A LOT!

Anybody got anything they can add?

We MUST teach our children to love wisely.

Ok, that's all. I'm done. Thank you in advance.

Just start sharing your thoughts.


Hugs and blessings~


Lindsey Nobles said...

I went through a bully phase. I talk about it some here:

I think it is really just a very negative expression of our insecurities and our fear. The kids who are bullying probably feel out of control and need to feel loved but also need to be disciplined. If handled properly most bullies learn as they age how to harness these emotions better.

3girlsmom said...

Ok. First, disclaimer. I don't have boys and I have young girls. So MS boy bullying is a little foreign to me. However, I did have to deal with boy bullying when I taught school. And I think bullies are 2 types of kids.

1. Kids who have NO POWER at home. They are so controlled that they can't breathe. They are usually strong kids who want power but the consequences of asserting that power at home aren't worth it. So they control other kids - through bullying. I think these kids are the most dangerous - they are usually the recluse kids who "snap" one day.

2. Kids who have ALL THE POWER at home. These are kids who feel so entitled that their own feelings, opinions, thoughts, and emotions trump anything dealing with anyone else. They are usually wealthy, or spoiled (even if parents aren't wealthy). They are never told No. They have no respect for authority and even less respect for people that they can control. I think these kids are the most "destructive" - they are usually popular and EXTREMELY manipulative. They enjoy watching their "friends" hurt. But these are STRONG KIDS.

Most of the "bullies" that I taught were girls. I had a few boys, but as 3rd graders, the boys were a little too young for the hard core bullying stuff. However, the personalities are still the same - any gender - any age.

Yes, we need to teach our kids to love. LOVE. Love wisely and love wholly.

And this mama is gonna spend a little more time on her knees....

Fran said...

Wow...that was good Robyn! Thank you!

Mary Beth said...

I do some work for a great community psychologist in California who does a lot of work with bullying. Here's a link to some of her articles.

Holly said...

I was thinking, "power play," as you asked. Then I read Robyn's response. Yes.

I think to deal with it, we pray and we ask God for a way to diffuse the power the bully is feeling.

My boys are not bullies and so far I have only seen their sister bully them. But what I do with the boys is ask them, "Is what she is saying true?" When they answer no, then I say, don't give her the power to call it truth then. And for our daughter, I begin to pray with her and talk with her about the Word and her heart. The best example for her has been feeding the good dog or bad dog. She wants to feed the good dog. And I have encouraged all of them to be in the Word every day.

In my own experience, I have avoided bullies. And I think Jesus did the same in His own hometown when they were about to abuse Him, He responded with an apt reply and then He left.

Teri~Facedown said...

Hey there friend! So sorry you are having to deal with this truly stinks--no matter which side of bullying your kids is on.

While I do believe what's happening at home is a factor, even kids who have a great home life will still bully.

Unfortunately, I've had to deal with it on both ends. More times than not, hurt people hurt people. That goes for young people too. It could be that a kid is being bullied by someone else who thinks he has more power, and it causes the victim to bully someone else "less" powerful than him.

When my boys felt the need to bully it was mostly because they were feeling insecure about themselves. (Insecurity is a huge reason for name calling...which is a form of bullying.)

We just try to communicate openly and build our kids up in the Faith--it's hard Fran. As you know, my kids have had to learn many lessons the hard way--I think the most important thing is, they are learning.

As far as being on the receiving end of bullying-we've just told our kids to walk away. We remind our kids of the truth of who they are and cancel the lies that are spoken while being bullied. And we continually ask about the situation until it's resolved. We step in when it is necessary. (Sometimes kids stop bullying when they realize they aren't affecting their intended victim any longer--but sometimes they are relentless. We step in before it reaches the relentless stage.)

All I have to say is middle school is HARD. Our guys are going through so many changes that are hard enough to deal with...add in bullying and it's that much more difficult.

I'll be praying for you and yours my friend.

ocean mommy said...

Hey girl. Wow.

I loved Robyn's response. Amen.

One day, I'll tell you Emma's response to the bully in her Awana Group. It's funny and this is probably not the place to post it. :)

Love you girl..

connorcolesmom said...

I love Robyn's and Terri's responses and I have a slightly different solution
When a boy was bullying Connor in Kindergarten I got to know his mom and realized this boy felt completely left out and awkward

He was much bigger than everyone else but was the youngest in the class.

I decided to set up playdates for Connor and J so they could have a chance to get to know one another better.

I also called a few other mom's of boys in the class and asked them to have playdates with J as well
Within a few weeks J was feeling better about himself and ended up being one of the nicest boys in the class.

J just needed friends and had been acting out of his own hurt and feelings of rejection
He is now one of the best friends we have :)
Much love

Shelly said...

This was an interesting read for me :) I love that I get to learn from you ladies!

The one final thing I could think of (with surely no validity and no worth) was the power displayed in bullying. Those young little boys and men who bully are using it for evil, but our little boys and men are meant to use their power for defeating for the Kingdom of God. So that's what I kept thinking about. It's being steward with a negative root in these cases, but it still protects (the bully) and defends. Our young warriors are called by God to eventually protect their wives, families, and His Kingdom. So...I'm musing over how it can be transformed into a pure power in a man for the Kingdom.

Warren Baldwin said...

Hi Fran. We're connected on FB and then when I saw you on someone else's blog I linked over.

This is a good question! You have had some excellent responses here, and I don't know that I will add much.

As a boy I was bullied and I bullied a little, but not much. I felt powerless in some situations when bigger or older boys tormented me. I generally didn't bully other little kids, because I knew how badly that felt. Instead, I bullied my own brothers at times!

My dad, a Christian, still thought children needed to defend themselves and taught us to do so. On ocassion, when I was tired of the harassment, I fought back. Almost always after that the bullies left me alone. They don't want someone who will stand up for themselves! They want kids who will be scared.

I think these 5 things are true of bullies:
1) They are scared inside.
2) They want to look big and tough, so they pick on others, usually someone smaller or younger.
3) They don't know how to make friends, or don't know how to have a genuine friendship.
4) They can be made to back down or back away by standing up to them. It doesn't have to be by fighting; it can be simply by not running or cowering down.
5) Their parents often don't care, or they think the other children their own kids are bullying are sissies and need to toughen up.

How do you win a bully over?
1) Punch him sqarely in the nose. I'm not recommending this one, but I've seen it work. I've done it, and the bully always backed down and left me alone.
2) Try to befriend him. Here is where parents can help. Have the bully over and let the dad talk to him as a friend to friend. Connecting with an older male may give the bully some security and sense of esteem so that he won't need to bully others. In time the dad can even address the issue of bullying with the bully.

This has been a long term problem. I hope your situation can work out!

llandtmom said...

I just happened to come upon your blog today. I have loved reading it and taking in some of what you had to share. I am curious about the bullying thing because my 9 year old son has experienced quite a bit of this in his christian circles as well as others. I have been at a loss at how to deal with it. I will be checking back to see what people have to say.

I am excited to be one of your new readers.

Joanne@ Blessed... said...


I feel like I haven't been by in ages. I wish I'd known what you were going through with your church. We have been at our "new" church one year now, and only recently have I felt like stepping back into ministry, a teeny bit.

The greatest hurt I've ever been through was from the body of Christ. I like to say, Sheep Bite, and the Body has Body Odor. It was such a tough time for me. It had been home to my family for almost nine years. We were family. What makes me saddest is that there are some who treat us as if we did something wrong. We didn't. The worst thing we did was have the courage to discuss some things we weren't in agreement with. Well, I could go on and on. But I won't.

Time heals. And God created time. He knows what He's doing. I can't wait to hear what he is going to do with your precious family.

Fran, I don't envy this valley time you are in, but the view from your mountaintop is gonna be GORGEOUS!

Love you friend!

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

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