Bullying: When it happens at school
Recent conversations with some of the other parents revolve around instances of bullying at our school - on the playground, in the classroom, and beyond. The bullying seems to be recurring, and cycles of exclusion continue to hurt other children's feelings.
In the classrooms, teachers lead talks with the students to help differentiate "bullying" from poor behavior, say, from having a bad day. Bullying of intentional intimidating is different from when a child may unintentionally hurt the feelings of another, maybe when he is insensitive as he rushes past (or pushes) a child to make his way out of the classroom.
I have an awful story of when I was a bully to a schoolmate. My mother made me invite her to my slumber party in the fifth grade, even if I wasn't too chummy with her. The whole evening, I ridculed her for her size (she was overweight). Later that evening, her presence irritated me so much that I asked her to leave my party, and it was the middle of the night! I walked her to the door, pushed her out, and locked the door with her outside. To this day, I am remorseful for my behavior. It was inexcusable. I have other stories of being bullied (including being physically injured) and being the bully, but this experience was a pretty poignant memory.
Bullying is real. Has your child encountered a bully at his or her school? Has your child exhibited characteristics of being a bully? Do you have books or resources to recommend to learn more about and about how to handle bullying? If you talk about, what is part of that conversation?