National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week is October 5 – 11

October 3, 2008 at 8:45 PM Leave a comment

More than 160,000 children, many with disabilities, miss school each day to avoid harassment and intimidation by classmates.

To me the key element of bullying is power.  The bully is taking steps to rob another person of their peace of mind and physical comfort zone and replace it with emotional or even physical pain.  I think the analogy is a good one — being robbed of some degree of a child’s personal power.

Children with disabilities can be targets because to some, they appear weaker or more vulnerable.  Parents, teachers, adults in authority, other kids or classmates can help arm children harassed by bullies in many different ways.  Using the robbery analogy, I like the idea of trying to provide them with weapons of self-defense.

One weapon you can offer a child is to really help them understand the formula or dynamics of bullying.  The bully wants power and that’s the reason they bully.  In order to get it, they decide to take this highly inappropriate step.  The victim is merely a conduit — a way to fill the bully’s appetite for power.  Their power fix can be social, emotional, or physical.  But one thing is pretty sure, if a bully succeeds, s/he will come back for more.

What to do to recognize National Bullying Prevention Week?   Perhaps it begins by encouraging and supporting educational efforts, talking about it, and becoming outraged when anyone falls victim of this awful offense.

It is a big deal when one kid robs another of their peace of mind, security or self-esteem.  These elements are precious to children of all abilities and worth more than those we give monetary value.

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World Wide Day of Play Art combines creativity and therapy for children with special needs

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