Thursday, January 17, 2013

Genes play role in grade school bullying

"The episodes of bullying that mar early grade school years for hundreds of children may be a partial result of the victim's DNA, a new study suggested". So typical, BLAME THE VICTIM. We already know genes/DNA can play a role. As long as someone's traits aren't harmful to themselves or anyone else, children should be respected and allowed to be the individuals they are. There's no need for anymore studies on why kids/people are bullied. We already know the possibilities are limitless, including genes. No one deserves to be bullied/abused. The focus should be effective interventions to put an end to the bullying/harmful behaviour and minimizing the long-term effects. Continued efforts at addressing the root cause of negative behaviour by aggressive children is right up there on the list of things to do. I don't understand the purpose or intent of this study. This report did nothing more than provide our school boards with further ammunition to accuse a bullied child of being an evocative victim? Are we now supposed to have our children's DNA tested if they become a victim of bullying? Or, should we be blaming the parents of bullied children because they didn't "nip the issues in the bud at an early stage". Perhaps a public service announcement to mothers who are expecting twins suggesting that, along with normal blood work, they should have their twins' DNA tested. Perhaps this report should be provided to the parents of children who have taken their lives over this issue. So far the studies I have read deal with the victims of bullying, the latest being Dr. Vaillancourt’s research which suggests prolonged torment and abuse could severely affect a child’s development. Someone who experiences extreme stress over- produces cortisol is how I understand that report. Here is my suggestion. Gather 800 youth who have exhibited the extreme need for power and control over others. Power and control in the form of harassment, assault and stalking and take a look at what their DNA tells you. Those children, whose parents didn't "nip the issues in the bud at an early stage" who grow into adult abusers that further impact our social systems. They should not be left out of the DNA pool discovery. Seriously? This kind of report does nothing more than re-victimize a child and their family who have already experienced enough negativity.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

An open letter from the mother of a bullied child Published on Tuesday January 01, 2013 By Ellie Advice Columnist Q: Last year, a large group of girls (led by two) locked my daughter, then 11, and her friend in a portable. When I reported it, nothing was done. One year later, the group of bullies is larger and stronger in their sense of entitlement and power. Only one girl admitted what had happened and apologized to my daughter. The others lied, denied and were openly hostile in front of the principal. We’re getting our daughter counseling, and requesting a school change, but this group will find a new target. Here’s my open letter: “To the parents and teachers of the children bullying my daughter: “My daughter was a confident young girl who adjusted well to change. She knows right from wrong and has a kind, sensitive heart. So when the invitations to birthday parties, sleepovers and get-togethers stopped arriving several years ago, she was confused and wept. She wondered why others hated her. “When her once-large group of friends became smaller and smaller, she wept. When her calls weren’t returned, when whispers began, when former friends showed she wasn’t liked or welcome, she wept. Her heart and our hearts were broken. The confident little girl slowly slipped away from us. “Teachers and principals, I ask you to look around the schoolyards and halls. What do you see? It may be subtle; it often is. But to my child, it’s colossal. “When a parent brings this to your attention, do you see another helicopter parent, or do you see parents of a child broken by other children at your school? “Can you see the possibility that even the child/children whom you like could be willfully hurting another child? Can you see that verbal slings and arrows are just as bruising as physical wounds? “Parents, I know it cannot be easy to hear that your child’s hurting another. Please stop looking for ways to blame my daughter. Please stop justifying your child’s bullying. You’re contributing to the problem by giving more power to your child. “Your indignation allows your children to continue ignoring their role and responsibility. “I allowed my child to meet with yours to discuss her feelings, to let your child witness, without the usual group of supporters behind them, the hurt being caused by your child’s behaviour I hoped it would affect real change. “My hopes died. Instead of learning, growing and changing, your child, strengthened by your outrage, continues to malign and harass. “My attempt, and my daughter’s attempt, to make this a ‘teachable moment’ failed miserably. The abusive behaviour rages on, fuelled by your righteous anger. “How would you feel as the parent of the child being bullied? How would you endure the nightly tears and the daily urge to keep your child at home? “You feel you’re protecting your child by defending them. However, ‘being behind your child’ doesn’t always mean you should blindly justify their behaviour. Certainly not by enabling and condoning anti-social behaviour. “Instead, ask your child questions about their interactions with others. If your child used to be a friend of my child, why did they suddenly stop being her friend? Who are their friends now? Have you checked your child’s digital footprint? (Don’t assume that nothing is going on. Kik is the new favourite and is being used to target my child.) “Address the bullying. Use meaningful, natural and logical consequences in order to protect my child and others from harm. My daughter’s life and happiness depend on it.” A Concerned Parent A: May your heartfelt plea be heard! TIP OF THE DAY Bullying affects all children, so long as it’s ignored and allowed to persist. Email Ellie chats at noon Wednesdays at Follow @ellieadvice.