A Bully? My Kid? Impossible!
No parent easily swallows the idea that their child would intentionally harm another kid. “OK, maybe if Emma were strongly provoked… But even that’s not likely. She’s so sweet. Not at all a mean kid!” Your daughter may well just as you say. And yet… according to 2011 data from the Institute of Education Sciences, nearly one-third of middle and high school students report being bullied at school. Roughly the same percentage of students report having been cyber-bullied. I wonder how many more aren’t willing to report it.
I dislike the word bully. It is overused and has no educational value. In order to reduce peer aggression, children need our help in identifying the behavior so they can name it and effectively address it in themselves and others. Instead of “bully” I prefer to use the word intimidator: Someone who uses strength, threats and power to influence, harm, frighten and/or manipulate those who are weaker. Read More