Bullying and Exclusion: The Simplicity Solution

Last night I went to a lecture on Bullying and Exclusion by Kim Jon Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids.

I loved it – he’s an amazing educator. I’m only half way thru the book but I can definitely recommend it as one of my top 10 parenting books. Here are a few gems from his talk:

  • 80% of children who are reactive will get picked on.
  • No Child Left Intact Act (love this!)
  • In order for children not to feel the sensory Tsunami (pressure from outside) parents must help them balance activity with downtime.
  • More rhythm and predictability will help a child be more resilient.
  • Boredom is the precursor to creativity.
  • Research shows that bullying has the same affect on the brain as sexual abuse.
  • Kids who are bullied are more apt to become media addicted; they isolate themselves and disappear deeper into video and media.
  • 82% of those bullied come from homes of enmeshed parents.
  • When our kids are picked on is the hardest time for parents not to be enmeshed.
  • Coach a child not to be reactive and bullying will begin to subside.
  • Parents need to hold the space of reason for their child.

His credo of simplifying your child’s life is such an important message. Our children are living in fast forward 24/7. Anything we can do to reduce the sensory onslaught will help to make their lives more predictable and ultimately more resilient.

I love the book and I hope you will too.

Be Well

Nurture Shock: Chapter 9 – Plays Well With Others

Welcome to chapter 9 – don’t forget to scroll down for This Week’s Recipe: “Grate” Zucchini Bread. This chapter jumps around a lot but there are some interesting tidbits especially around aggression. If I were to ask parents, “What causes children’s aggression?” most would likely respond, “Violent TV and video games.”  Surprise, surprise – researchers have found that the more educational media preschool  children watched, the more relationally aggressive they were i.e. more bossy, controlling and manipulative. In fact, the effect was stronger than the connection between violent media and physical aggression.

I haven’t watched kid’s TV shows recently, but apparently there is a huge amount of relational and verbal aggression in kid’s television. According the authors, 96% of all children’s programming includes verbal insults and put-downs, averaging 7.7 put-downs per half-hour. And rarely are these insults and put-downs dealt with on screen – 84% of the time there was either only laughter or no response at all. It may be called educational media, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is responsible media!

Other research cited by the authors points to the value of having an argument and resolving the argument in front of the children. I grew up in a home where I hardly never saw my parents argue or resolve an argument, so conflict resolution was not a skill I came by naturally. Witnessing conflict resolution, according to the research, helps kids learn how to compromise and reconcile.

There’s some interesting information about aggression, but generally I thought this section was very weak – anyone else have trouble with this chapter? The authors tell us that we have totally changed the peer dynamic by orchestrating play dates and after school activities – to the point that now our children are learning their aggressive socialization from their peers instead of adults. Continue reading

“How to Stop School Bullying: What Every Parent Needs to Know”

I just received this link from a reader which I am happy to post: “How to Stop School Bullying: What Every Parent Needs to Know”

I was bullied as a child and my children have been bullied. As a parent it tears you apart to know your child is a target. I’m curious, how does your school handle bullying? Does anyone have a success story about a program for an elementary school or a middle school?

Be Well,

Sally