Thread: Bullying
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Old 03 December 2011, 08:05 AM
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DevilBunny DevilBunny is offline
Join Date: 20 February 2002
Location: Newbury, UK
Posts: 1,981

Originally Posted by dewey View Post
My point is that this is an area where parents and teachers can help. It is hard to eliminate bullying but social skills and groups can be encouraged. Parents can make their home a place where other kids like to come play. They can encourage their kids to attend social activities and form support groups, even at a young age. I realise that this is easier said than done but I do think it is a direction that can reduce bullying.
My parents made my home a place where other kids liked to come play. They'd come round and use the facilities, maybe even let me join in a bit, then drop me and go off somewhere else with their actual friends. And I'd let them, because I was so desperate to get on their good side. It sucked.

Part of my problem was that I was learning socialisation different to the way my peers were. My parents treated me as an adult more then a child, and the people I liked to interact with were also adults. And the thing is, adult interaction is completely different from child or teenage interaction, and I had no idea of the rules for what they were doing. I was ahead of my peers in some ways, behind them in other ways, and on the whole just different. And if you're fat and clever and English in a Scottish school as well; that did not go so well for me.

That doesn't mean I was badly socialised. In fact, by the end of high school I was the confidant of everyone in my class, to the extent that my final high school report actually praises me for my ability to keep everyone on an even emotional keel. In the long term, I think that learning the adult social rules straight off has given me a major advantage. But in the short term, well, ouch.

I don't for the life of me understand why we as a society insist that children learn social skills by interacting with other people without any social skills, and figuring it out by trial and (mostly) error. There is nothing children can learn from their peers that they couldn't learn from adults better. We don't insist that they learn physics on their own from scratch; why the disconnect around social skills?
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