THIS week an email I sent made someone feel so badly they wanted to quit their job. The words I typed before I hit ‘send’ made them feel so badly about themselves, about their work that they wanted to stop doing it. When I think about that, even as I write this, the idea of it is so upsetting, so deeply saddening… well, it makes me cry.
THERE have been all kinds of reactions to the photos of Nigella Lawson with her husband allegedly squeezing her throat and choking her in a restaurant in London last week. A Twitter furor erupted that nobody at the restaurant intervened. Would you? Honestly? A campaign is now urging bystanders to get involved when you see a wrong being perpetrated. Continue reading
Last Friday we had our first school friend over (complete with Mum and sibling) for a playdate. I invited them over because for the first few weeks of Fin’s Prep experience we only ever heard about Billy (not his real name) this and Billy that. Most lunchtimes were spent sitting next to Billy and I was even pestered to buy the same things for the lunchbox that Billy was bringing to school (namely, those squirty yoghurts, which I bought once and never again).
The idea that teachers can put a stop to bullying of students is predicated on the notion that teachers aren’t themselves bullies or the victims of bullies. When that basic notion is found to be false we’re left to wonder how our children will learn to stand up to bullies or how the culture of bullying can ever be stamped out.
A very old school friend rang the other day for a catch-up and a bit of advice. We both have kids the same age and the eldest have commenced Prep this year, but in different schools, although both state schools. “There’s a bit of an issue that’s sprung up in Billy’s (not his real name) class and I don’t know what to do,” she said.
I’ve previously written about Books to Help Children Deal. A range of books from various publishers including Usborne that tackle topics such as death and bullying. At the weekend Pregnancy, Babies and Children Expo at South Bank I purchased a copy of “Don’t be a bully, Billy” with great anticipation. It’s a beautiful hardcover book with endearing pastel-shaded illustrations.
Cyberbullying is on the rise. It’s staggering to me that with our increased awareness of bullying and specifically what constitutes bullying behaviour, how this sort of statement can be made with any basis in fact. But it is.
I’ve recently acquired a copy of Jay McGraw’s new book, “Life Strategies for Dealing with Bullies”. (Remember Jay? He’s Dr Phil’s son and a self-made bullying expert). The book is filled with tons of useful advice.
“The first thing you have to do is get real about your situation. This is the first step to handling almost any challenge. In my book “Life Strategies for Teens” I talk about ‘Life Laws’ – ideas that are designed to help people live better. One of the first lessons in that book is what I told you at the start of this paragraph: Get real about it.”