Bullying

by Rod Smith

Bullying wears primary and subtle colors.

The overt bully is easy to spot. He uses physical intimidation, strikes out at younger or smaller children, and has been around for generations. 

We all know him. 

It’s the more devious forms that often escape the attention. 

It’s the child who bullies with her eyes. It’s she who can bully with a smile or by withholding one. She can inflict intimidation, floor her target, in the presence of other children and adults AND not be detected – except by her victim. 

She’s a skilled communicator. She sends words like missiles, usually at one who aches for her acceptance.

Adult platitudes like “keep away” or “tell an adult” or “she’s just jealous, honey” fall on deaf ears while the victim herself cannot separate the tactic, source, and target.

Helping all children find backbone and a voice is where the real cure begins.  

Before I am deluged with boys-do-it-too emails let me say that the subtle forms of bullying are far more prevalent with girls among the girls and the boys I have known for the past 14 years.

I ache to facilitate helpful conversations about bullying with faculty and students all over KwaZulu-Natal during July and August, 2018. Drop me an email if interested. 

PLEASE SHARE – especially if you are in South Africa

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