Friday, March 16, 2012

Girls and Bullying

posted by Mitch Zeltzer

I read an article today that was all about Girls and Bullying.

The article asks the reader to consider: "is your daughter a mean girl?"

It's an interesting article and even more interesting are the comments from the readers.

What do you think about this article's position and language??

Here were my comments to the article:
Wow... this article seems to have really struck a chord with a lot of people.  It's no surprise for such an important/controversial issue facing today's youth.
Firstly, I will say, that I really like some of Beverly's advice.  
One thing that really jumped out at me though was the irony of the article's title "Is your daughter a mean girl?" when you put it next to some of the most important advice in the article: "we have to be very careful that we are not labeling any child."
Yes, children can make some very poor and -at times- cruel choices.  And yes, some children make these types of choices more frequently than others might. But, these children are not "bad kids" or "mean girls", and if we label them as such, you can be sure a pattern will definitely emerge. Beverly is right in that it is  the adults role to help these children learn to make better choices, and one of the best ways is to nurture the great choices they are already making by acknowledging the good they already do and boosting their self-esteem and self-worth.  This WILL in the long run help them make better choices in the future.
Many of the commenters have voiced that they feel a punishment or consequence is appropriate if your child is making bully-like choices.  I would argue that there is ALWAYS a consequence to our actions.  Our role is to help our children see the consequences of our choices both good and bad.  This is where discussion, reflection, apologies, role-playing, etc. come into play.  The trick is to not focus on punishing our children, but rather on educating them and preparing them for the next time they are faced with a similar choice to make.
There is so much more that can be said about this, but I will leave it at that for now.

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