Nannies must teach children to help stop a bully.
Last week we started the discussion of bullies. In a bullying situation, there are usually bystanders, but they aren't exactly innocent. Bullying usually happens with other kids around. Having an audience is very important to a bully. She wants people to see what she's doing, and that she has power over the person she's bullying.
It's usually because a bully wants a reputation for being tough or strong, or because she thinks it'll make her more popular.
So what about the people watching the bullying? Why are they letting it happen? Here are some possible reasons:
• The bully is someone other people look up to and want to hang out with.
• They want to "side" with the bully because to do that makes them feel strong. Siding with the bully's victim, on the other hand, would make them feel weak.
• They're entertained by the bullying.
• They don't think speaking up will help.
• They're afraid that if they say something, the bully will turn on them.
• Watching the bullying is a way to bully vicariously. This means that they feel like they're getting their frustrations out by hurting someone even though they're not doing the hurting, just watching the hurting.
Research shows that if one person watching a bullying situation says, "Stop it!" half the time the bullying will stop?
This can be hard to do, but it's important to try. When standing by and do nothing, that's saying that bullying is okay. It makes the by-stander no better than the bully himself.
Remember the Golden Rule: to treat others the way you would like to be treated. Stand up for someone when he needs it, and when you need it, someone will stand up for you.
Reference: Public Broadcasting System, PBS ONLINE® and pbskids.org, 1320 Braddock Place, Alexandria VA 22314.
Has a child you care for seen a child being bullied and not stepped-in to help the victim? What advice would you give to a child that sees another being bullied?