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Child, Adolescent & Family Therapist, Youth in Need

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How can we help to prevent bullying?

As a society that revels in TV series such as Honey Boo Boo, Jersey Shore and other "Reality" TV shows, how are we supposed to stop bullying within schools?

If we preach what to do or what not to do when confronted by bullying behaviors, but never follow through with consequences, how can we expect our students to continue to have faith in the faculty's true want to get rid of bullying.

How can we expect our children to stop bullying if we, as grown ups, are watching these shows.... making fun of the people on them, judging them, calling them names?

How can we change the structure of learning to help increase education, not only in the academic sense, but also in the sense of what it means to be a human being?

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  • Mar 15 2013: Two answers:
    1) Empathy - we naturally have the ability to understand and empathize, but presumably that ability can be enhanced via training. Teaching children to detect emotions in others and to mentally put themselves in other peoples shoes might help. Also since empathy is caused by biological trait we can theoretically induce it. (In the 2005 movie version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy they have a Point-of-view gun that makes the target see your point of view)

    2) Group dependence - we naturally identify with a group and that increases our positive feelings to our group and our negative feelings towards other groups. Create groupings where children don't get to choose the groupings and then have them accomplish tasks where they rely on each other. ( I saw this in Spartacus: Vengeance where Spartacus teams up people who hate each other to work together in a fighting competition!)

    I have found that a strong understanding of scifi and gladiator films and series can answer most of life's questions.
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      Mar 16 2013: William, I have to say, your comment is very interesting, and informative. Thank you.
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      Mar 16 2013: I agree William...empathy and compassion can be encouraged and learned. I believe it is natural, and sometimes suppressed because of challenging life experiences of some people as children.

      I also agree that we naturally identify with a group. So if we, as a "group" of caring people in our communities, encourage respect and kindness toward each other, we may gradually change the sometimes accepted bullying behaviors:>)

      I smile at your reference to a "point of view gun", and an understanding of scifi "stuff". Way back when my son was a teenager, he was involved in many school activities, and he would often pop into the home with just enough time to eat dinner before the next activity. Usually, it would be at the same time as Star trek was on TV, which he loved. I realized that if I wanted to spend time with him, it would be necessary to sit with him during the program. It was GREAT, there were LOTS of good lessons, which we could talk about, and the fact that we were sharing something was good too! Thanks for that reminder William, and your insightful contribution to this discussion:>)

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