Shifting our thinking to help break the cycle of bullying We all know bullying impacts the academic and emotional lives of our young people. We see it in our schools and hear about it in the news. If we know it’s a problem, why is it still happening? Often it’s because we fail to address the individuals at the heart of the problem–the kids who engage in the behavior. In Working With Kids Who Bully Walter Roberts challenges us to shift our thinking about these youth and offers innovative approaches to help kids pull back from and stop bullying. Readers will find • Information on a range of topics impacting schools today, including cyberbullying, relational aggression, mediation, building empathy, and bibliomedia therapy • Strategies and sample dialogue to use when intervening with kids who bully • Diagrams and charts to clarify suggested approaches Written by one of the nation’s foremost experts on bullying, this is a book designed to stimulate change and ultimately help create safer learning environments for all kids. “Lots of times we focus on helping the victims, but Walter Roberts addresses how to help parents of children who are bullying, as they need tips rather than ‘shaming.” Brigitte Tennis, Headmistress & Eighth Grade Teacher Stella Schola Middle School “The strengths of Working With Kids Who Bully are the vignettes posed, the reflection for analyzing the “bullying” situation, and the suggestions, almost specific guidance, for responding in a timely and “empathetic” manner.” Dana Salles Trevethan, Interim Superintendent Turlock Unified School District
Chapter 19: Bibliomedia Therapy
[Page 233]One of the defenses of aggressive individuals is that they disengage the emotional strings attached to their actions by dehumanizing the target. If the target is “less than human,” if it is not a “person,” not like “us,” and all the better if it is a designated “enemy” of some type, then the likelihood of one’s ability to strike out against that not-like-me “thing” is increased. Grossman and DeGaetano (1999, p. 49, 60–64) addressed this learned ability to desensitize young children through their exposure to environmental violence:
Conditioning our children and teens to want and need to act out violently starts with environmental saturation of visual violence. . . . [W]hat surrounds the child . . . teaches the child. . ...