Is the word bullying overused?...

mom2many

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Jul 3, 2008
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<r>Bullying. It’s a real concern and no one can deny that. I’m sure most of us even have a story or two about a bully from our own childhood, but are we overusing the word? It seems like everywhere I look, people are talking about how a child is being bullied, but when you look at the actual incident, it’s more like a one-time thing where a child is being . . . well, a child. The two-year-old who bites in preschool, the three-year-old who’s still pushing and shoving to get their way, the four-year-old who doesn't want to play with another kid and says so. Our these behaviors acceptable? Of course not, but they are normal behaviors in young children. <br/>
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Yet, time and time again I will hear or read where other parents say that the child on the receiving end is being bullied and that the parents need to put a stop to it now. So now we have two-year-olds being labeled as bullies for being two-year-olds? Am I the only one who finds this crazy?<br/>
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According to <URL url="</s>stopbullying.gov<e></e></URL>, the definition of bullying is “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.”<br/>
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Now I’m not trying to make light of bullying. It is definitely a real and concerning problem for many of our youth.<br/>
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According to the CDC, twenty percent of students in grades 9-12 experience some type of bullying, and according to the National Center for Education Statistics, twenty-eight percent of 6th-12th graders experience some type of bullying. That’s almost one fourth of our school kids! These are scary statistics, but I’m not sure preschool-aged children really do what they do to have power over another individual. They are just very me-oriented little people.<br/>
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But what if your child is really being bullied. What actions can you take?<br/>
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*Talk to your kids about what bullying is. Give them the tools to identify it early. There are some cute little <URL url="</s>webisodes<e></e></URL> for the younger crowds on this very topic.<br/>
*Keep communication open, so that they know they can come to you with a problem.<br/>
*Help them find things that they love. A child with good self-confidence is less likely to be bullied.<br/>
*Most important, model how to be kind to and respectful of others.<br/>
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Stopping bullying doesn't happen overnight. It’s a process that involves swift action by the adults in the child’s life. Most schools have a policy in the event that bullying becomes a problem. Know what this policy is; an educated parent is going to be able to do more than a parent who doesn't understand the policies. <br/>
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Finally, you are your child’s greatest advocate. Don’t be afraid to advocate for them. If a child can’t handle the situation on his or her own, it is up to the parents to step in and squash it before it gets too far.</r>
 

Shiroi Tora

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Aug 4, 2011
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The term is used too loosely, as is so many other words. Although it is part of human nature in many...it is up to the schools to take proactive measures, as well as the parents. Last year, my 7th grade son had written a report on what bullying is and he detailed some viable options that the schools can take to greatly limit it. He got an A on the report. As it is rather lengthy, I cannot detail it here. But there are clearly a lot more schools can do.
 

superman

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i actually just think its not tolerated anymore so that's why u hear more of it. its always gone on, but before it just used to be something u deal wit, but some people don't deal with things like they shud
 

Avianmosquito

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Aug 9, 2013
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My issue with "bullying" is that people tend to take single incidents and label children as bullies because of them. Sometimes, the person they are "bullying" did something the administrators didn't see. Sometimes, there was one specific comment or action that just hit a nerve. Sometimes they just had a bad day.

You would be hard pressed to find a child who has not engaged in "bullying behaviour" at least once. I'm certain that every child I've ever met is guilty of at least one count, including my own little sweetheart. It's just something people do, often for reasons they themselves don't understand and often immediately reconsider and regret. That doesn't make them bullies, it just makes them people.

A REAL bully is somebody who does these things repeatedly, for their own sake. Being a bully is a chronic issue, not a single instance. My daughter, for instance, is bisexual in a very conservative community. She deals with more bullies each year than I did during my entire primary and secondary education. There's a particular group of seven kids (four girls and three boys) who harass her on a daily basis, and have assaulted her multiple times. She can certainly tell you the difference between a REAL bully like that and somebody who is just having a moment.
 

SheliaWilkerson

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Aug 6, 2013
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Don't know why but i was not allowed to post in the Intro section..
Anyways my name is Shelia and i am a newbie here and the mother of 2, Pete and Sarah..well i guess i am hoping to have a great time here at this community.
 

TabascoNatalie

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Jun 1, 2009
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<r><QUOTE><s>
</s>Finally, you are your child’s greatest advocate. Don’t be afraid to advocate for them. If a child can’t handle the situation on his or her own, it is up to the parents to step in and squash it before it gets too far.<e>
</e></QUOTE>
not sure if I quite agree <E>:(</E> when parents start a catfight over a playground squabble -- children won't become friends <E>:(</E></r>
 

babysitter

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Aug 17, 2013
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Perhaps the more important question concerns whether the excessively liberal use and/or misapplication of the term <I>bullying</I> could (or does) influence the public's perception of bullying in a detrimental way. Bullying is a problem of utmost seriousness as it is one of the most emotionally damaging things (to children and adults alike), and anything that could (or does) induce the public to believe anything to the contrary constitutes a critical problem. Bullying is still not taken as seriously as it should be; bullies are often not punished or, at most, gently chided for their behaviour, yet the punishments for engaging in other acts that are extremely emotionally harmful to others (the majority of which harm to a lesser degree than bullying in the majority of cases) are almost always far more severe.
 

cybele

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Feb 27, 2012
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I think the term is misused quite a bit. I've heard a bit of the whole "Your two year old threw a stick at mine, he's bullying" shebang and it just doesn't apply, so when someone does say in all seriousness "I am being bullied" it tends to fall on desensitised ears, thus, less is done about it.
 

singledad

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cybele said:
I think the term is misused quite a bit. I've heard a bit of the whole "Your two year old threw a stick at mine, he's bullying" shebang and it just doesn't apply, so when someone does say in all seriousness "I am being bullied" it tends to fall on desensitised ears, thus, less is done about it.
I totally agree. Same can be said for a few other words. Abuse come to mind, and trauma. These days, just about any common parental mistake (or anything someone else doesn't agree with) is child abuse, or will traumatize the child, or both. And the experiences out millions of truly abused children are cheapened.
 

cybele

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The child abuse one really makes me angry, spend enough time on the 'wrong' forum or blog and you get a list of a hundred things that are apparently 'child abuse' that make you think that if every abused child in the world's biggest problem was a sugary drink every now and then or sandwiches made with white bread or being an only child or being in a large family or watching TV every afternoon, then this world would be a marvellous place.

Also, that people making those claims are very fortunate to have obviously never experienced or witnessed actual abuse.
 

akmom

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May 22, 2012
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I agree it could be over-used in some circles. I haven't personally heard anyone throw out a bully accusation that didn't fit. But I don't think toddlers can be bullies. Doesn't a bully have to get pleasure from seeing another suffer? Toddlers aren't even capable of thinking like that.

Politically, I think "terrorist" is getting over-used. It's starting to mean anyone that poses any kind of threat to anyone for any reason. The criteria is getting a bit absurd. Historically our nation (and any other nation who experienced any revolution or civil war) must have been established by terrorists too.

Yes, singledad! If you ever watch court TV, you'll see the term "verbal abuse" thrown out as a fancy way of saying, "He yelled at me." It just sounds ridiculous. I've even heard "emotional abuse" used to describe a situation in which a person didn't get their way in a single incident.
 

IADad

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Feb 23, 2009
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akmom said:
Politically, I think "terrorist" is getting over-used. It's starting to mean anyone that poses any kind of threat to anyone for any reason. The criteria is getting a bit absurd. Historically our nation (and any other nation who experienced any revolution or civil war) must have been established by terrorists too.
"One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter..."

on a semi related thought, from the idea of understanding others' perspectives, there is a show being aired on american public TV now (at least it is here) on the life of Mohammed. I caught a little last night and really want to watch the whole thing. Some interesting history there that I wasn't previously aware of. I had a reasonably broad upbringing in terms of education in comparative religion (I thought) but I sure missed a lot.
 

akmom

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May 22, 2012
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That's interesting; what kind of details were new to you? I'm reading a book on the development of the medieval cultures throughout the world (including the western hemisphere) and there's quite a bit of background on Mohammed that I've never heard of either. But it's not really about Islam as a religion, just the political/economic dynamics of that group at that time in history. What's the TV show called?
 

IADad

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Feb 23, 2009
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akmom said:
That's interesting; what kind of details were new to you? I'm reading a book on the development of the medieval cultures throughout the world (including the western hemisphere) and there's quite a bit of background on Mohammed that I've never heard of either. But it's not really about Islam as a religion, just the political/economic dynamics of that group at that time in history. What's the TV show called?
ah, you're going to put me on the spot...caveat: I had it on in the kitchen as I was doing other things, but the part that perked up my ears, and hence the interest in seeing the whole thing, was something about the city of Medina and some document that Mohammed wrote that was basically a treaty on co-existing peacefully with the Jewish people. So, surrounding that, is now apparently a lot of controversy about whether such a document ever existed (I guess it's not around anymore, just accounts of it). Certainly puts a new spin on the relations between the two for me.

So, that really makes me want to see the whole program and/or do some reading. Any book suggestions?

I think the show was called "The Life of Mohammed."

Another interesting history sidebar is, I was talking with some co-workers about historical atrocities (the Japanese treatment of the Chinese in WWII, German treatment of Soviets (and reciprication by the Soviet soldiers) in WWII, various periods of Soviet atrocities,,, etc. and she found something about Genghis Khan, where he's actually being considered a "Green Conqueror" in some circles, because he's believed to be the only person to successfully reverse global warming. The notion is that he removed enough actual footprints to reduce their carbon footprints significantly, that farm former farm fields became forests etc in the wake of his plunders. Mind you, no one was advocating following that model, it was just and interesting (and somewhat scary) perspective.
 

akmom

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May 22, 2012
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Yeah, my book also suggested there was some sort of treaty between Arabs at the time of Muhammed and the Jewish population within a certain geographical area, since both groups were marginalized by the Byzantine (eastern Roman) empire. It was sort of an enemy-of-my-enemy kind of truce. It struck me as odd as well, since conflict between the Arabs and Jews predated Muhammed.
 

Andrew W.

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Jul 22, 2013
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Although the Arab/Jewish conflict has roots that go back to antiquity, the Jews flourished in the Islamic world in the middle ages while they were heavily persecuted in Christendom.

Modern Arab/Israeli conflict has modern roots, and is the result of atrocious colonial policy and the mistreatment of both groups by European powers.

A little bit like two bullied kids fighting each other.
 

IADad

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Feb 23, 2009
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and here's what happens when bullying becomes the scapegoat answer and"reporting" is allowed in anonymity.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/22/parent-accuses-texas-high-school-football-coach-bullying-after-1-0-blowout-game/[/url]
 

cg admin

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Oct 30, 2008
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IADad said:
and here's what happens when bullying becomes the scapegoat answer and"reporting" is allowed in anonymity.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/22/parent-accuses-texas-high-school-football-coach-bullying-after-1-0-blowout-game/[/url]
Jumping into the topic a little late, but that story is more comical than anything in my opinion. You can't stretch it any further than that.

As for bullying in general, it's a part of life. Would I let my kids bully? Absolutely not. Why? Because bullying is pathetic. The bully makes himself look weak instead of the other way around. Teach your kids to have some confidence and ignore a punk kid who's trying to tear them down. More importantly, teach your children to have thick skin. That's just my two cents.