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Old 12-23-2013, 10:35 AM
 
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I want to start by saying that I understand there is a big difference between being physically beaten up and being emotionally pushed around. I am not by any means advocating anything other than zero tolerance in situations where students are physically harmed.

That being said, I often wonder if bullying in the form of emotional teasing, being made fun of, etc. is really such a bad thing. School is a time where students should become prepared to face the real world, and people don't magically become good people when they graduate from school. Personally, I was made fun of fairly regularly through middle school and high school. It wasn't exactly fun, but it taught me pretty important lessons on how to handle difficult people, and to this day I am grateful for the lessons I learned through it. People learn and grow more in difficult situations, isn't there something to be said for the down-the-road benefits of being bullied?

I am not trying to start an argument, and I am not trolling. I am also not sure if I fully believe what I just said, but I think it does bear considering. I am curious what other people might think of this way of thinking.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,537 posts, read 9,935,931 times
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On the possibility that you are looking for a serious response, I'll play along. Based on what you have said, it sounds like you lack empathy. Usually, the people who lack empathy are the ones doing the bullying, so I'd be curious to hear what your classmates would have said about your behavior in school.

Here are some things to consider:
- you may have a really naive view of what emotional bullying looks like, but for the bullied child it can be devastating; we're not talking about somebody laughing at your haircut or what you brought for lunch, but rather repeated and intentional attempts, often by groups of peers, to degrade and dehumanize; add in the silence of bystanders which gives tacit approval, and the bullied child feels daily rejection and isolation
- not all adolescents have the developmental capacity to view bullying now as a positive later; depression, anxiety and other complications are more likely to occur, at times with fatal consequences
- by promoting or at least approving of bullying, you are sending an extremely unhealthy message to the bullies as well, and almost guaranteeing an environment that is destructive, negative, and self-defeating; fostering anti-social tendencies in adolescence is not going to make for happy, well-adjusted adults
- promoting bullying in the way you are suggesting is saying that it is not worth working to make better communities, which is where efforts should go, even in adult environments like the workplace; do you believe bullying makes the workplace more productive?

People do learn and grow from difficult situations, but allowing bullying to go unfettered, which is implied in your post, would have far more negative than positive consequences. Kids have plenty of situations in which they struggle without condoning abuse and harassment. I'd rather live in a world where we teach kids to stand up for each other than one in which we tell them they are on their own. And with bullying, if you aren't part of the solution, then you're part of the problem.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:53 AM
 
9,856 posts, read 13,419,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
On the possibility that you are looking for a serious response, I'll play along. Based on what you have said, it sounds like you lack empathy. Usually, the people who lack empathy are the ones doing the bullying, so I'd be curious to hear what your classmates would have said about your behavior in school.


Here are some things to consider:
- you may have a really naive view of what emotional bullying looks like, but for the bullied child it can be devastating; we're not talking about somebody laughing at your haircut or what you brought for lunch, but rather repeated and intentional attempts, often by groups of peers, to degrade and dehumanize; add in the silence of bystanders which gives tacit approval, and the bullied child feels daily rejection and isolation
- not all adolescents have the developmental capacity to view bullying now as a positive later; depression, anxiety and other complications are more likely to occur, at times with fatal consequences
- by promoting or at least approving of bullying, you are sending an extremely unhealthy message to the bullies as well, and almost guaranteeing an environment that is destructive, negative, and self-defeating; fostering anti-social tendencies in adolescence is not going to make for happy, well-adjusted adults
- promoting bullying in the way you are suggesting is saying that it is not worth working to make better communities, which is where efforts should go, even in adult environments like the workplace; do you believe bullying makes the workplace more productive?

People do learn and grow from difficult situations, but allowing bullying to go unfettered, which is implied in your post, would have far more negative than positive consequences. Kids have plenty of situations in which they struggle without condoning abuse and harassment. I'd rather live in a world where we teach kids to stand up for each other than one in which we tell them they are on their own. And with bullying, if you aren't part of the solution, then you're part of the problem.
I was a very typical computer nerd growing up. I skipped two years of math, spent my nights piecing computers together from parts, etc. I was very far from the bully.

I am absolutely looking for serious responses. I think that adversity drives good developmental behavior. Doesn't coddling someone to the point where they do not experience negatives lead to emotionally unhealthy adults? I realize that this is not a black and white issue. We should absolutely NOT let bullying go unfettered, but we shouldn't immediately dismiss the potential benefits as well. I don't see bullying necessarily as the problem or solution. I see a healthy, well adjusted adult as the goal, and am suggesting that bullying potentially could be one vehicle to be used to get closer to that goal. How many adults who have never experienced hardship are good, strong role models?

I would rather see someone have a harder childhood if it meant they were a healthier adult. I am not sure if you would call that lacking empathy, but that is what I am suggesting.

And again, I don't know if what I am suggesting is true, I just want to have a conversation on a side of this issue that isn't typically discussed. This is absolutely me playing devil's advocate, as I believe doing that almost always uncovers good conversations.
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,537 posts, read 9,935,931 times
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What are you suggesting though? Your op sounds like it's saying we should not try to prevent bullying or intervene when we know it is happening. As somebody who has worked with middle school kids for over 25 years, I simply can't condone that approach.

Kids struggle with learning, fitting in, family chaos, physical and mental illness, poverty, and more. They can overcome these challenges and learn resilience and lifelong health. Willfully exposing kids to the adversity that comes from bullying is just cruel. Helping kids deal with something that they are not developmentally able to deal with themselves is not coddling.
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:17 PM
 
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Hmm.. I guess all things have a good and bad side.

Whilst bullying cannot be condoned, the plus is it teaches humans aren't always nice, good or benevolent, and provides us with strategies to cope with that reality of our species.

the thing is that children don't the means to cope with bullying/harassment. but then IMO it's basic compassion. Why let people go hurt, if it can hold a toll on them?
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Long Neck,De
4,792 posts, read 6,787,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnsq View Post
I?

I would rather see someone have a harder childhood if it meant they were a healthier adult. I am not sure if you would call that lacking empathy, but that is what I am suggesting.

And again, I don't know if what I am suggesting is true, I just want to have a conversation on a side of this issue that isn't typically discussed. This is absolutely me playing devil's advocate, as I believe doing that almost always uncovers good conversations.
I have to partially agree with you here.Growing up with everything rosy and no one ever disagreeing or making fun of you would not prepare a person for adult life. But it can go too far kids have taken their own lives over merciless continual bullying.
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
4,165 posts, read 9,095,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnsq View Post
I would rather see someone have a harder childhood if it meant they were a healthier adult. I am not sure if you would call that lacking empathy, but that is what I am suggesting.
Really? I assume this is your personal opinion but you should know that research data suggest otherwise. Being bullied at young age leads to issues when they are adults.

Also want to add that the person doing the bully may have negative effect later in life.

http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/arti...&resultClick=3

Last edited by sj08054; 12-23-2013 at 01:17 PM..
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:43 PM
 
1,356 posts, read 1,635,011 times
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Before I opened the thread, I already had an idea of what the OP was going to say. I can't see why anyone would try to condone something as sadistic as bullying to "toughen" up children.It's very similar to how we view and stigmatize invisible problems and illnesses(which bullying eventually leads too). Children on the margin and those who aren't "normal" are even more at risk and that includes LGTBQ students and students with disabilities.

This is a cartoon a friend showed me, that I think is applicable to what's going on here:

If physical diseases were treated like mental illness - Imgur

I'm going to leave these resources here for educators:

http://www.nea.org/home/42485.htm
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:52 PM
 
9,856 posts, read 13,419,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by accencao View Post
Hmm.. I guess all things have a good and bad side.

Whilst bullying cannot be condoned, the plus is it teaches humans aren't always nice, good or benevolent, and provides us with strategies to cope with that reality of our species.

the thing is that children don't the means to cope with bullying/harassment. but then IMO it's basic compassion. Why let people go hurt, if it can hold a toll on them?
This is what I was getting at. I somewhat disagree with the last sentence, however. I think children do have the means to cope with harassment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by longnecker View Post
I have to partially agree with you here.Growing up with everything rosy and no one ever disagreeing or making fun of you would not prepare a person for adult life. But it can go too far kids have taken their own lives over merciless continual bullying.
I tried to be clear that actual physical harm (suicide obviously is in that category) is something I have absolutely zero tolerance for. The other people on this thread seems to have missed that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Octa View Post
Before I opened the thread, I already had an idea of what the OP was going to say. I can't see why anyone would try to condone something as sadistic as bullying to "toughen" up children.It's very similar to how we view and stigmatize invisible problems and illnesses(which bullying eventually leads too). Children on the margin and those who aren't "normal" are even more at risk and that includes LGTBQ students and students with disabilities.

This is a cartoon a friend showed me, that I think is applicable to what's going on here:

If physical diseases were treated like mental illness - Imgur

I'm going to leave these resources here for educators:

NEA - Resources and Tools
You could start by actually reading my post and responding to it, instead of making sweeping generalizations without bothering to read the OP. I don't see how someone can condone coddling a child to the point where they cannot function as an adult, just so that they have it a little easier as a kid. That is pretty cruel in its own right.

See? Both sides can be made to sound like monsters. Now go back, re read the thread and let's have a conversation. And that cartoon makes very little sense. Mental illnesses are mental. You can absolutely use mental means to solve them. Obviously the same can't be said for physical illnesses.
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Old 12-23-2013, 02:07 PM
 
1,356 posts, read 1,635,011 times
Reputation: 1035
Quote:
You could start by actually reading my post and responding to it, instead of making sweeping generalizations without bothering to read the OP. I don't see how someone can condone coddling a child to the point where they cannot function as an adult, just so that they have it a little easier as a kid. That is pretty cruel in its own right.

See? Both sides can be made to sound like monsters. Now go back, re read the thread and let's have a conversation. And that cartoon makes very little sense. Mental illnesses are mental. You can absolutely use mental means to solve them. Obviously the same can't be said for physical illnesses.
1) I read the OP and that's exactly what you're saying and that's exactly what the consequences will be.

2) Stating that mental illnesses can be solved through mental means and marginalizing those with mental illnesses is exactly why have no problem marginalizing children who are bullied.
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