Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bully or Bullied?

I saw a poll the other day on Parents.com, asking “Would you rather have your child be bullied or be a bully?”

Interesting question.

It's a forced choice between two things, neither of which a parent would wish for their child. No one wants to see their child in pain--physical, emotional, or otherwise--but if, hypothetically, the only alternative was for my child to cause other children pain, I would rather her be the innocent victim. To me, it seems to be a basic choice about the character you hope your child will possess.

After clicking “bullied,” I was really surprised to see that 59% had said they would rather their child be the bully. 41% said “bullied."

I suppose that a lot of parents cringe so strongly at the thought of their child being victimized, they would rather their child be strong and confident "to a fault" and simply have to teach them to reign it in and be nicer to others--as if it were that simple. Kids who bully often have very low self-esteem, and a whole host of other issues causing them to act out.

It would break my heart to know Kate was getting teased or picked on, but I would talk her through it, help her be strong, and take what action was necessary through her teacher, etc. It would be sad and difficult, but I would much prefer that to rehabilitating an angry child lacking empathy for others. What do you think?

1 comment:

Katie Bug said...

I absolutely agree with you. Teaching for six years has shown me that students who bully have a plethora of issues. It really is a challenge to pull back all of the layers and teach them to respond to others in a positive way.
I don't want Katelyn to experience unnecessary pain in life...but I want her to cause it even less.

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