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  1. Military_Medic
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    Military_Medic New Member

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    How to explain violence is wrong to a child?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Military_Medic, May 16, 2012.

    Morning folks, I hope everyone is well.

    Just thought I would open this up to the floor as it is quite a difficult subject. A friend of mine is a primary school teacher that teaches the age group of 8-9. One particular little boy is consistently starting fights in school. It is apparent that it is a status issue as he often gloats about it and normally preys on the quieter children.

    His background/home life as of course been looked into and he has been disciplined.

    So the question is, what could be said to such child.
     
  2. Lazy
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    Lazy Banned

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    I think you should be asking counselors and psychologists, not wannabe writers on the internet.

    But if you want the perspective of a 21 year old male who knows nothing about children: I don't think it's too big a deal. Unless you find out he's been torturing animals on the side. I mean, I sometimes bullied people and started fights in school, sometimes others bullied and started fights with me. Happens to everyone. No one comes out of public school unscathed.

    We're all normal now. The Kids Are Alright.
     
  3. Military_Medic
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    Military_Medic New Member

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    The incident is being dealt with in the appropriate manner by appropriate authorities. The purpose of the thread was to gain the views and engage members in what is clearly a tricky subject.
    Your attempt to appear nonchalant and condescending is noted, but to be honest all it has done is reflect your immaturity. Your comment of "I bullied people" speaks volumes about you.

    Perhaps in future , if you see a thread with a subject that you are clealry indifferent towards you will not post.

    MM
     
  4. C.B Harrington
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    C.B Harrington Member

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    I don't have kids, nor do I work with kids. So, my opinion isn't supported by some kind of first hand knowledge of dealing with kids. In the situation you described, I would give the kid responsibility. I know that when I acted out in school, getting in fights, cracking jokes, lashing out at inanimate objects, it was because I felt powerless for some reason. Of course, I know this because of retrospective analysis. I spent most of the time in the principles office copying out of an encyclopedia, or in the hall talking to passersby's. However, a teacher finally started getting me involved in school plays, in hall monitoring and in field trips. The involvement and responsibility of these activities was a great outlet, but it didn't keep me from acting out for long, but when I did finally blow up - all those things were taken away from me. I was devastated. But, the consequences of my actions were known to me, I was warned and didn't listen, it wasn't some mysterious cause and effect of youth inciting my emotions. Over time I got worse and it wasn't until I was about 15 that I started to realize some things.

    In my opinion, you can't say something that will change a child. Most of what you're doing is planting seeds. You aren't going to have a Good Will Hunting moment of change, mostly because you're not Robin Williams!

    So, my suggestion would be to find something you can get the kid involved with, feel responsible and trusted. I have no idea if it will work, if it doesn't - well some kids need a good ass whipping too.

    Edit: The other thing to consider is the feelings of the kids being picked on, I would also talk to them and make sure they know they're good kids. Don't let the discipline of the other child be a response for those who have been bullied.
     
  5. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    hit him till he gets it, it worked for my parents :D

    seriously though, I totally believe in smacking children when they are very bad. my parents smacked me maybe 10-15 times when i was a kid and it did me no harm what so ever. I don't think you can teach a child with this kind of thing they have to learn if you get where I'm coming from.

    when a child is violent towards someone, you pick them up smack their legs/bottom and say "that wasn't fun was it?" they will of course say no. "well that's how you make other people feel when you bully them, now go sit in the corner and think about what you have done to <insert name of person child was violent towards>."

    of course every child psychologist out there would flame me for this but that's just because society is totally limp wristed now, I hate the way things have become. It worked for me, It worked for my parents, grand parents etc. The world didn't end and i have a very well balanced (mentally) family.
     
  6. C.B Harrington
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    C.B Harrington Member

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    Physical action against a child is appropriate when 1) The action is about a symbolic representation of violence, not just to hurt the kid. 2) To gain their attention for understanding. 3) Only useful if the child isn't from a violent home.

    I was from a violent home, and as such I didn't respond well to it.
     
  7. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    I understand what you are saying totally, but regardless of the rule, there will always be an exception. Obviously if the child is "overloaded" with violence then that would be the last thing (s)he needed. I was refering to a "typical" child if you catch my drift. I would hope cases such as your own would be in the minority.

    this is a touchy subject for you im sure, so please don't take anything i say personally, its just my opinion.
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Find some way of making the child in question feel shame.

    In other words, reward good children in front of this bad kid. He will want the rewards and praises. Punish bad children in front of this bad kid - and when this bad kid misbehaves, punish him in public, in front of everyone. Make sure he knows it's nothing to gloat about.

    Likewise, when he finally sits still or helps another child, for example - the environment needn't be overly controlled, just whenever you see an act of goodness, kindness, teamwork and the like - reward him straight away, praise him loudly and clearly in front of all the others.

    Make sure everyone - not just this one child - knows what is acceptable and unacceptable. And then reward or punish appropriately in public. Have a build up - so the rewards may be praises, symbolic stars and stickers, whatever. Then when a child has earned enough points, he could use it towards something. Say, go out to break time 5min early. Do or play something he wants for 10min during lesson. In an international school I worked at briefly, they had something called "Golden Time" - everyone had 15min of Golden Time and every Fri, during "Golden Time", children could choose an activity they want to do and do it, from playing outside to board games to arts and crafts to music etc. Now if a child misbehaves, he loses 5min of Golden Time, then 10min, and when he loses all his Golden Time, he must sit with his teacher in his classroom while everyone else goes out to have their Golden Time.

    So, something on those lines. It's good to start every child on the same level - so everyone has 5 stars, and you progressively lost them or earned more depending on your behaviour. No one likes to lose their stars - that would shame the misbehaving kids quite quickly. And it's about the presence or atmosphere the teacher projects. The teacher must be confident - stare the child down. It's all psychological.

    When I was a kid, my mum had a similar thing - if me and my sister behaved well (there was a checklist of things we should do), then at the end of that day, we got to choose one sticker to put in our sticker books. If we behaved particularly well, we got the big stickers that counts as 4 little stickers. At the end of the month, if we got a certain number of stickers, we got to buy a toy of our choice. Worked well I think.
     
  9. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    I'm pretty clueless when it comes to kids, but there is a documentary I love called Etre et Avoir where I thought this was handled very well. It follows a year in a tiny 1-teacher school in rural France and when one kid is caught hitting another the teacher sits them both down and talks to them, without shouting, and really seems to manage to get the bully to put himself in the other kid's shoes, to feel empathy. He also talks to him about his home life, from memory it turns out that his dad is very ill. I'm not saying his method would always work, but the way he asks the child questions to get him to consider his actions is really intriguing, I'd definitely recommend watching it.
     
  10. C.B Harrington
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    If you want to correct outburst behavior, you might as well beat them into submission if you're going to shame them. You should never embarrass a child or make them feel shame in front of others. This might work for adults because they can process the actions, and understand what's happening - and even then only adults who are introspective does it have a positive effect on. Children work primarily off of emotion, if you take the emotion's that are causing the child to act out and pile on shame with them, you'll most likely just add to the problem.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Your friend may not be able to get through to him. I applaud his desire to attempt it though.

    Such a person is obsessed with power, particularly because he probably feels he has none except what he can impose on others. If there is any hope, it is in showing him how violence and bullying always lead to more of the same, and that there is always a bigger bully. Also, even a victim will sometimes turn around and smack down even the top bully.

    Who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.

    But the bully rarely learns from hearing this, and getting beaten down just generates more feelings of helplessness and rage.

    So find something the bully does well, and help him feel empowered through his own strengths and talents. Sports would be particulary effective, partly because the bully thinks physically, and because the exercise provides a more acccptable outlet for the tension.
     
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I've dealt with such kids before doing volunteer work in a school. I'll be the first to admit, I don't always understand kids - but I equally don't always understand adults either so go figure. Some kids, though, are just bad eggs. No rhyme or reason, they just are, and I'm not completely convinced there is anything you can really do about some of them either.

    It may be that he's experiencing some sort of personal trouble that even his parents don't know about. That he's unhappy with himself for whatever reason. In my own experience this quite often the case. With the case I dealt with when on Work Experiance the child's parents (really loving and kind people, I have to admit) sent him to counselling. Last I heard from the teachers he wasn't improving.
     
  13. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are as many ways to deal with a bully as there are bullies, because each one has a different background and reason(s) for their behavior. I disagree with the shame factor, however. As others mentioned, these kids, for the most part, are already feeling powerless, worthless - they don't need one more 'proof'. What most do need is the sense that they are of value, that they can be something without bullying others. Punishment can treat the symptoms but it can't cure the 'disease'.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm a mother of 7, grandmother of 19 [at last count] who was raised in a 'spanking is good parenting' generation, so continued the practice with my first 5... by the time i had my last 2, some 7 and 13 years later, i'd come to realize that committing any act of violence [that's all spanking is] against children of any age, for any reason whatsoever, only teaches them that their doing so to anyone else is also acceptable...

    there's no use or sense in trying to make it appear otherwise... whatever children see adults do can only imprint upon their minds that it's ok for them to do, too... no matter what words the adults may use to try to justify the double standard they prefer to set, and tell the child it's only ok for adults, the child's mind will still equate it having been done at all, with it being ok to do it...

    the reason is that children are much better at using common sense than adults, who've perfected the ability to make things seem to be whatever they want them to be, instead of dealing with reality... so don't try to make excuses for hitting a child, when there are none that make any sense...

    how would being hit affect you?... what would it make you feel?... would it make you love or respect the person who's causing you pain?... would it make you never want to hit back, or do that to anyone else?... if you're honest with yourself, you'll know it would hurt and make you angry, scared, feel it was unfair... make you be mad at that person and want to hit them back... or make you take it out on someone weaker than you, if your tormentor was too big to get back at... so, why should you think it's any different for a child who's being 'spanked'?
     
  15. Lazy
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    Lazy Banned

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    What makes you feel I'm indifferent? I had an opinion that I stand by and I shared it with you. If you don't want opinions, don't ask for them. I was not trying to be condescending.

    Kids fight, kids are vindictive, kids are assholes. They grow out of it (most of them anyway). You can try to explain to this kid that violence is wrong, but he already knows. He doesn't care. He's 9.

    That's all I'm saying.


    Yes, hypocrisy is the best teaching method, right? "Don't hurt people! Now in order to make sure you listen to me, I'm going to hurt you!"

    I find it hilarious but also very disconcerting that you said "of course every child psychologist out there would flame me." Would you post your own made up theory of physics and say "well of course every physicist out there would think it's bullshit, but it works for me?" Psychology is a science based on evidence and all evidence suggests that corporal punishment is terrible.
     
  16. Metus
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    Metus Senior Member

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    I was bullied very often as a child. My life was miserable. The teachers supposedly discliplined the kids responsible, but that never worked. I was attacked or humiliated EVERY DAY. Eventually, I just started ambushing and beating up the bullies. They backed off once they realized they'd be embarrased in front of everyone if they started anything with me.

    So here's my advice- bullies are worthless, but you can't murder them, because their parents and the police think they're worth something. So encourage the bullied kids to get even. Encourage them to look out for each other, if there's more than one victim. An outnumbered bully quickly becomes a coward, and will tuck tail and run like the little demon he/she is.

    I hate bullies. Did you get that out of my post? I REALLY hate them.
     
  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I should add to my previous post of my own experience as a child, all those many - about ten years ago, and that is: very little. I was rarely bullied at school, and most of the people I met in school I became friendly with. I only really had trouble once, and that was when someone two years my junior started stalking me and telling me he wished I were dead. So my experience of bullies almost entirely comes from being an outside party, and at second-hand.
     
  18. Lazy
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    Lazy Banned

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    Bullying is what we call a "first world problem."
     
  19. MissRis
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    MissRis Contributing Member

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    Jeez could you be any more cynical? Bullying is a massive problem and is much worse now that it comes home with the child.

    It is so hypocritical for a parent to punish violent behaviour with violent behaviour. My dad's an immigrant from Italy and fairly old school and I grew getting smacked around when I gave him or my mom attitude. Frankly, it made me terrified of my parents to the point that I wouldn't bother asking them to do anything. I just can't imagine every hitting a child.

    To the OP, this child is obviously slightly troubled and I wonder if anyone has bothered to ask him why he finds it "fun" to pick on the other kids? We don't give children enough credit for how intelligent they can be. I also would be concerned for the child's home life. Children imitate things that they see. So I wonder if dad maybe picks on his mom and gloats about it. Or mom gloats about being nasty to people at work. Maybe his siblings pick on him at home. These are all things that your friend should be asking the child. I don't think many children are aggressive without having a reason (unless they have underlying behavioural issue like autism or something of the like that makes them unable to comprehend acceptable versus unacceptable behaviour).

    I'm a part-time nanny to a 4 year old boy and I can see him imitate his father (btw - father's a total jerk who taunts his children). The sister is ten times worse because she's older and gives me serious attitude to the point that I've told the parents I don't want to watch her. I also have experience teaching elementary school children and playground politics can become very nasty. However, if the school isn't addressing the behaviour it will not change.
     
  20. Lazy
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    Lazy Banned

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    If anything I'm being the opposite of cynical. I hate cynicism. It's intellectual cowardice.

    I obviously don't know this kid but I believe people are good and that he will grow out of it and everyone will be fine.
     
  21. MissRis
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    MissRis Contributing Member

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    I just feel like calling bullying a "first world problem" you are diminishing the trauma it can create in a childhood. To me "first world" problems is a waitress bringing you the wrong order or your hand being too fat to fit in a pringles container.
     
  22. C.B Harrington
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    Schools are there to educate your children, not rear them for you. Schools should have no hand in "bullying" outside of initial conflict resolution and possibly a medium for parental conversations. Bullying is only an issue because the media is making it one. If kids are so "common sense" and "intelligent enough to understand things", why then isn't the act of aggression considered "common sense understanding".

    Children will learn that life is hard, that people take advantage if you let them, that no one cares about you until they do - interjecting a "guardian/savior" figure to disrupt their social order is only going to make them less equipped at handling bullies in the future.

    However, teachers and parents can work together to help solve emotional problems within children, help dissuade fears of inadequacy, but also empower and build confidence. More of this should be handled by the parents, again teachers are there to teach not rear.
     
  23. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    To say bullying is a 'first world problem' is to trivialize it to the same level as an internet provider messing up for half an hour, or having too much goat cheese in a salad.

    I don't buy the idea that children are very good at 'common sense', common sense is something you learn through experience. I simply refuse to believe that the average 7 year-old is more sensible and logical than the average 57 year old.
     
  24. MissRis
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    MissRis Contributing Member

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    Are you speaking from the perspective of a child who has never been bullied? Because the fact that more kids are considering suicide as a viable option because bullying in our schools is so bad speaks to how bad the problem actually is. The difference between bullying now and 10-20 years ago is that it follows them home virtually. The worst thing that happened to me were kids calling death threats to my house, but my dad scared them straight. Now parents don't know that people are hacking facebook accounts or passing around fake photos. Kids are no longer safe once they get home from school.

    They don't have 'common sense' until you teach them that aggressive behaviour is unacceptable. If aggressive behaviour is exemplified in the home then it becomes their common sense. And I'm not sure what you mean by a saviour figure?
     
  25. MissRis
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    MissRis Contributing Member

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    Well said!
     
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