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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 14 2013: You know ZX, while I had trouble reading the first part of your comment, your second half made it all come together.

      I agree too that training kids extensively to stand up for themselves can really help.

      Do you know of any online or off line programs that educates individuals who are the victims of bullies (children and adults alike)?
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      Mar 14 2013: ZX Style,
      I agree that empowerment is one way to help stop bullying, and the bully needs to be genuinely empowered as well. We do not stop bullying simply by educating the victims. We also need to educate the bullies, who generally lack self esteem and confidence. When a person is genuinely empowered, s/he has no reason to bully others. A bully, is simply showing us that s/he lacks self esteem, confidence and genuine empowerment. I do not agree with your idea that we "must not stop the bullying".
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          Mar 14 2013: ZX Style,
          It depends on what you mean by "helping". Educating the bully regarding the underlying elements of bullying may help....don't you think?

          There is a difference between playfully bantering with friends and bullying to the point of hurting someone emotionally.

          I agree....bullying is not genuinely empowering. In fact, one of the underlying intentions with bullies, is in creating fear in another person, and it is often used as a protective mechanism to keep people away from them. Sometimes, if the bully understands this concept, it may change the behavior. I learned this while co-facilitating "cognitive self change" sessions with men who were incarcerated.

          The key is educating all people regarding this question.
      • Mar 15 2013: I have to say that, although I understand your perspective, I'm not quite sure that it would work. You are only educating one side of the issue. I do strongly believe that we can stop bullying behaviors. In the end... that's what they are: behaviors. With education on both sides of the spectrum we can help to curb these behaviors and help increase every person's level of confidence.
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          Mar 16 2013: Michael,
          Where did you get the idea that I would like to only educate one side of the issue? I clearly write..."The key is educating all people regarding this question"...."We do not stop bullying simply by educating the victims. We also need to educate the bullies, who generally lack self esteem and confidence".

          I agree bullying is a behavior, and I wholeheartedly believe these behaviors can change.
      • Mar 18 2013: My apologies Colleen. As this is the first ted.com/conversation I've done, I am still trying to figure out certain things. For example... I am not able to reply directly to the comment you posted on my reply (I'm not quite sure why). My response was to the initial post by ZX Style.

        I agree with most of what you have posted and thank you for being such an involved member of this conversation. I will start, as I've seen you already do; addressing the person who has made the comment that I am replying to, so that there isn't any confusion in the future. Again, my apologies.
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          Mar 18 2013: That's ok Michael....thanks for letting me know:>)

          You cannot comment directly to my comment because it is a 3rd level comment. See the 3 little arrows in the upper left corner of the comment....and there is no "reply" in the upper right corner? So, you figured it out and went above that.....good job:>)

          Yes...it helps to put a name on comments indicating who you are responding to, so if the sequence gets mixed up, which it sometimes does, we may have a clue who the response is for.....looks like you figured that out too:>)

          Again...thanks for letting me know:>)
    • Mar 16 2013: yeah, bullying is not a throughgoing bad phenomenon. it can be regarded as an natural selection, where the weak get to learn how to defend them verbally. Without bullying, the weak will always be the weak and has no access to aquire the skill of defend them in mouth rather tham hand.
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        Mar 16 2013: Zeng,
        The weak do not always learn from being bullied. Are you aware of how many teenagers have ended their lives because of being bullied?
        • Mar 16 2013: But, is it a good choice that let the weak lacks the ability to protect themselves verbally? it is similar that kids are urged to study hard in their youth in order to be more excellent in the future. Can we say it wrong to urge kids study hard because they dislike studying?
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        Mar 16 2013: No Zeng, I do not see it as "wrong" to encourage kids to study. There is a difference between studying and bullying.

        One reason some people are bullied, is because the one who bullies can perceive those who are less stong in themselves. Both the bully and the victim in bullying situations lack self esteem and confidence.

        With your suggestion to let it happen, we would be encouraging and reinforcing the idea that the bully can become stronger by bullying, while weakening the victim. Bullying is generally a learned behavior, so with your idea to let it happen and everyone will learn, we would be encouraging the cycle of bullying and abuse. There are many levels of bullyiing, abuse, and violation of human rights. Why would we, as a global community want to continue to encourage that cycle?

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