Bullying

A SUBJECT that unfortunately is on our minds today is bullying. Some children’s lives become a living hell because they’ve become the targets of a bully or several bullies. Death is the outcome in extreme cases. It is not unknown for a victim to commit suicide to escape from bullying. It appears to me that the attack on this outrage must be two pronged. We must help the victim and protect him physically and psychologically. And we must realize that the bully also desperately needs our help.

Who can help? Many of us: the parents and family of the victim, the parents and family of the bully. Also teachers and educational administrators, coaches and other adult leaders plus anyone who witnesses an incident of bullying. It’s so natural and easy for passersby to not act by telling himself that it’s none of his business and that it is the responsibility of other adults to deal with the situation. But you cannot assume that someone else is going to rescue the child.

What should we do if we witness bullying? If we know the parent of either of the children, we can start by talking to them and making sure they are aware of the situation and taking it seriously. If this is not feasible, report what you have witnessed to the police. This may seem dramatic but the police have a protocol to deal with these reports.

Parents of the victim need to know that children do not always report bullying. They make excuses for the results of the attack: cuts, bruises, anxiety, etc. They say they fell down or had some sort of accident. They have become convinced that telling would be “tattling” and only a “sissy” would tell. If the results persist, parents should become suspicious and explore further.

Be aware that your child may persist in his denial and you may have to talk to others in his life to discover what is really going on. You may even have to watch for yourself. Counseling with a professional may be helpful in onvincing your child that he deserves to protect himself by being truthful. He may also develop techniques to avoid and/or discourage the bully.

Parents of the bully should be aware that their child may deny or minimize his actions. Monitor your child’s behavior for evidence of anger, either outright or in actions that tend to disrespect others. Something to be aware of is that a child who is really happy with himself does not need to pick on others. Therefore, counseling with a professional could be really important for your child. When we are honest with ourselves, what we want for our child is for him to be happy. That is the bottom line, isn’t it?

Please take bullying seriously. It is a serious issue... an issue of life and death! tj

いじめ”が深刻な社会問題となっています。い じめの標的となり、生き地獄の日々に耐えて いる子供がいます。死に至る場合さえありま す。いじめを受けている子供が地獄から逃れるために自殺
するのです。これについては2つのことを考えなければな らないと思います。いじめを受けている子供を助け、心身
ともに守ると同時に、いじめる側も助けを必要としている ことを理解する必要があります。

誰が彼らを助けられるでしょうか。いじめを受けている子 の親や家族、いじめる子の親や家族、教師や教育管理者、
その他の大人の指導者やリーダー。さらにはいじめを目撃 した人です。通りがかりの人間が、自分には関係のないこ
とだし、対応するのは関係者の責任だと考え、何もしない のもうなずけます。しかし、その後、誰かがその子を助け
るとは限らないのです。

いじめを目撃したらどうすべきなのでしょう。子供の親と 面識がある場合は、親に現状を知らせ真剣に考えることを
促すことができます。そうでない場合は、警察に知らせる べきです。過剰な反応だと思うかもしれませんが、警察に
はこうした通報に対処する一連の手順があるのです。

いじめを受けている子の親は、子供がいじめられているこ とを話すとは限らないことを知っておくべきです。傷や打
撲、不安などいじめを受けた結果について聞いても、子供 は転んだとか適当に言い訳します。大人に話すことは“告
げ口”で、“弱虫”がすることだと思うようになっているの です。親は簡単に納得せずに、突っ込んで聞くように心が
けるべきでしょう。

子供が頑なに否定を続けたら、他の人に聞いて真実を見極 めたり、自分自身で観察したりしなければならない場合も
あるでしょう。正直に話すことで自分を守るべきだと子供 に分からせるためには、専門家に相談するのも一つの手段
です。相談の中で、いじめる子を避ける、あるいはいじめ をやめさせる方法のヒントが得られる場合もあります。

いじめる子の親は、子供が自分がしたことを否定したり、 矮小化したりする可能性があることを知っておく必要があ
ります。怒りや他人を見下すような言動が、子供に見られ ないかどうかよく観察してください。本当に満ち足りてい
る子は他人をいじめる必要はないということを忘れないで ください。ですから、専門家に相談することは非常に重要
です。率直な気持ちとして、誰でも自分の子供には幸せで いてほしいものです。そうですよね。

いじめの問題を真剣に考えましょう。深刻で、命に関わる
となのです。tj

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Written By:

Lorraine Al-Jamie

A United States House of Representatives Congressional Recognition Award Recipient, Lorraine is a retired licensed Marriage Family Therapist that specializes in assisting parents acquire skills that enhance their ability to raise high-functioning and happy children. She, herself, is a mother of 5 and grandmother of 10 and has spent the last 30 years helping young parents, children and adolescents work through their varied and many challenges. Prior to specializing in parenting, Lorraine worked for two decades treating children and adolescents at an out-patient center affiliated with Long Beach Memorial Medical Center in Long Beach, California. She has concentrated on teaching parents methods of interacting in ways that enhance the child's or adolescent's ability to make positive and effective choices. Parenting challenges often fluctuate between feeling helpless and somewhat ineffective, to heavy-handed and authoritarian. Being able to be an effective parent is a skill which needs to be learned and supported, and Lorraine has assisted parents by focusing on positive discipline approaches that assist in maintaining healthy relationships in the family while parents stay in charge of their children. Lorraine has helped parents deal with behavioral problems, impulse control problems, attention-deficit/hyperactivity issues, compulsive behavior, dissociative disorders, trauma, relationship issues, depression, anxiety or fears, loss or grief and school problems.



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