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Excuses for bullying.

Thurlor

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My daughter (16) is going through an issue with being bullied. Nothing too bad, but enough to upset her.

The other day she asked me why everyone is always making excuses for the bullies. Apparently her teachers and even her mother (my ex) have repeatedly told her that her bully is obviously going through some hard times, is probably bullied at home, blah, blah, blah. Understandably this doesn't seemed to have made my daughter feel any better.

Anyway, she has asked why do people who know how it feels to be bullied become bullies. And now she is in trouble at school for claiming that her bully and all others lack empathy (doubly so for bullies that were themselves bullied).

The thing is that I actually agree with her and don't think she has said or done anything wrong. But I am worried for her as well as she has started being accused of being unemotional and like a robot (stuff I heard growing up).

So I guess my question is; does a history of being bullied excuse a bully of their actions?
 

Happy

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@Thurlor So you're here for a sanity check?

No. A history of being bullied does not excuse a bully for their actions. At most, it displays a reason for why they are behaving as they are, but that in itself does not excuse them. Far from it. It indicates there is a problem that requires action to rectify.

Assuming they are minors, then you could argue that their parents/guardians are responsible for their actions. Their parents should be called upon to correct this behaviour.

Further, the school is responsible for mediating between the bullied and the bully. If they are not, you should be holding them accountable and not accepting their wishy-washy bullshit. They should be instructed to attend to the problem.

Finally, YOU as parent are responsible for the well-being of your own child, and that means holding the bully, their parents/guardians, and the school responsible and doing something about it. Start with the school, and don't accept anything less than a solution.

So there's your sanity check. Now go and kick up a stink!
 

peoplesuck

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At the beginning of 2020 everyone got to draw one victim card.
troubled children need therapy or counseling or better parents.
my friends child has been getting bullied, and the school wouldnt do anything about it, she had to switch schools, or beat him up, cant remember.
If you live in america, our system is quite stupid.
but at least now everyone gets to be a victim. keep record of this, make complaints, use it to sue the school for her therapy later in life.
peoplesuck

bullying doesnt excuse bullying, it explains it though.
seriously where the fuck are the mildly intelligent people, to see a kid has a problem and fucking fix it. Its not rocket science??????? I hate people
ugh
kill me
 

Elen

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First off, the teachers telling your daughter that she needs to temper herself because the bully is struggling is low level misogyny.

Girls are told to take t and accept it or be more empathetic towards their abusers all the time.

Second, bullies (casual bullies, not sociopaths) are often so wrapped up in themselves and their perceived issues that they really do suffer from lack of empathy.

Finally, the bully in question probably does need help and support from their family/teachers but not at the cost of your child. It really isn't acceptable for the school to advise her to be more empathetic of her abuser. That's just a short walk to being more empathetic with a lover who beats her in the future. Not okay.
 

Happy

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Finally, the bully in question probably does need help and support from their family/teachers but not at the cost of your child.
Bingo.
 

Ex-User (14663)

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I saw a bunch of cases where kids coming from well-off, well-adjusted families become young little psychopaths going after the weakest and the most vulnerable on a regular basis. Fuck all that sensitivity and empathy towards bullies. Luckily they are cowards, so even a minimal display of strength is usually enough to make them stop.
 

Marbles

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I think people subjected to abuse either come to think of abuse as the natural order, or as an injustice they are being subjected to. If they look up to the person abusing them, and have few other role models, and are naturally inclined, they fall into the former camp. These people identify with the bully, because in a world where dog eats dog, they would rather be predator than prey. So they start preying on those they have power over, becoming abusers themselves.

However, people subjected to abuse who have other role models than the abuser (altruistic ones), and are naturally inclined, will come to see their abuse as injustice. They will identify with the victim, and seek to support victims in situations where they have power.


Regardless of whether the bully deserves empathy or not, your child is likely suffering in this situation. She is the victim, and shouldn't be expected to show empathy towards her bullies. Empathy is a luxury one can indulge in when one is safe. A teen being bullied is not safe. I think the notion that your child should extend empathy towards her bullies is absolutely ridiculous, and quite off-putting. It seems to me the school simply doesn't want to deal with the situation.

Do you have any good connections among the staff of your daughter's school? Someone who might listen to reason? As an introvert, I don't envy you having to negotiate with the school. I hate politics. How could you respect a party which claims than a bullied child should empathize with her bullies? How do you negotiate with such people?
 

Minuend

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It's basically a way of saying "I have no idea how to stop bullying, but maybe if you understand why they do it you'll be able to process it and ignore it, knowing they are (or have) the problem, not you"

Which is a shitty non-solution to bullying. It's also not why a lot of bullies bully. Some just get off on it, enjoy it.
 

Hadoblado

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I work with children and have to deal with this stuff on the daily.

Typically when I take child aside, I will first ask them what happened and why they think it happened. Often they give a very one-sided version of events, especially if they're younger. At 16, your daughter probably has a good idea though.

Then I talk to the person the alleged bully, and if it's still ambiguous, I ask anyone else who was on the periphery. Sometimes you still don't know exactly what happened, and that makes shit harder because you're not allowed to treat anyone as if they've lied.

I then talk to the person who was bullied, and tell them that the way they feel is fine (because there's a whole secondary part of bullying where children can internalise it and start to hate their own perceived weakness). It's okay to be angry etc.

Then I talk about how what the bully did was not okay. If I've got low confidence in what happened I might have to frame this as "saying X is not okay".

Then I talk to them about why bullies act the way they do, while still affirming that it's not okay. It's not about putting the burden on the victim to be empathetic, it's about ensuring that that person has a narrative that doesn't align the bullies actions with their place in the universe. So they're not being bullied because they're a loser, they're being bullied because this other child has had problems at home (though I can't give details so this is often a more generalised explanation), feels powerless and wants to feel like they're above someone else. I also explain how most of what people say when they're being mean just isn't true, and they don't care if it's true or not because it's not about being right it's about making other people feel bad to make themselves feel better.

So basically it's not enough to tell someone being bullied it's not their fault, because the reality they experience from their peers is constantly pushing back on that. Understanding why bullies are the way they are gives people a (usually more accurate) narrative they can use to insulate against other people's problems. It's the tool that allows people to grow in resilience while still supporting them.

Your daughter's teachers might just be shit, that happens a lot too. But there are reasons you want children to understand why they're being attacked, and those reasons are in your child's best interest, not just the attackers.
 

peoplesuck

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tbh just teach your kid to fight, send them to mma classes. They will build discipline and they can beat their bullies. win win win win
 

Thurlor

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Thanks for all of the responses. I was starting to think my daughter and I were in the wrong.

My daughter knows why she is being bullied, but as she has pointed out to her mother the why doesn't matter. Bullying is wrong.

My daughter knows karate but she doesn't want to use it in a 'real' situation. At least she isn't the target of physical bullying.
 

Rebis

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I used to get bullied, I think it was bad but it's all in the past. I tried to stab one when I was young, I told a lot of people in my estate to bring another bully to my front garden for a fight which I won, and then I fought these two brothers who bullied my little brother and one ended crawling up a field, a memory I won't forget as that fight was over in a minute or so.

In terms of repressing emotions that can be good or bad. I had some pretty fucked up memories when I was a kid from bullying and I think in some ways it's left me quite fearless. I was quite a sensitive and lovely kid as I've been told and that disposition has stuck with me in some ways but in terms of empathy I don't think I empathise with anyone where it's not controlled. That is most of it is voluntarily. If a relative or a friend was injured or died and I was preoccupied it wouldn't disrupt my daily routine unless I had decided to empathise with them.

Uhh... How can I explain this? Basically, I don't feel fear as much as others and my behaviour can be risky at times. I don't feel fear in normal circumstances and that could be a product of suppressing emotions when I was a young kid: Many tearful days during the bullying years. Having said that, I can operate without being afraid of the outcomes: it's been with me a long time so I can't say I truly appreciate this but I'm sure some would like to live without it.

If your daughter is constantly exposed to bullying it can be fight or flight really: I think fight is feeling the sadness and fear of getting bullied, while the flight is forsaking those emotions as a result of conditioning. Without fear a lot of things are possible, particularly exhibiting aggression. It's a complicated answer but I didn't get bullied after I won a few fights and I've rarely ran into trouble since.There's no right or wrong, if we keep asking why there will be an endless regression of meaning attributed after the event. "For the loss of a nail a kingdom was lost", actions can't really be objectively justified as moral so I don't think anyone in this situation is right or wrong. If the school doesn't rectify the situation then she may just beat the shit out of the bully and that'll be on them for the most part.
 

sushi

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i read from quora post that most bullies after they grew would just excuse themselves and shrug it off , pretending that they were just young and stupid, and expect you to do the same and get over it.

but most victims just dont get over it as easily as them.

anyway, that post really irk me, since i think they are escaping responsibility and punishment.

to the opening tell her to learn and play some martial arts (or some kind of rough physical or group sport) outside school and instil some confidence, she has to deal with difficult people the rest of life. you can offer her help, but only limited. if all else fails, home school is a choice.

or bait him/her to bully you again and secretly record the whole experience on a video, camera. then show it to authorities.

you want to help her, but not to the point that she cant learn to face the problem herself and find a solution. help her find a good older mentor since parents cant always be that role
 

sushi

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the only way to deal with bullies is relentless self improvemtn
 

Ex-User (15237)

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i read from quora post that most bullies after they grew would just excuse themselves and shrug it off , pretending that they were just young and stupid, and expect you to do the same and get over it.
someone posted this in one of the thread

"I learned how to express love and tenderness from my dad. And he is a big bear of a man who can fix anything mechanical, taught himself programing in the 90s, pushes people's buttons for fun (ENTP) and will fite u to the death if you get in his way "

Its clear some people get stimulus by pushing buttons.
 

Ex-User (15237)

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You can not rely on teaching your kid how to fight, as bullies will fight till death
You can make then more mindful about the situation and teach them ways to fight the emotions imposed by others.
 

ZenRaiden

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There is no solution to bulling. You just punch them right in the nose. You do not think about it or anything. You just do it and that is the end of it. There is a line that people should not cross. If it is not worth a punch in the face then it is not bulling. Then it just means the other person is an asshole.
 

peoplesuck

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You can not rely on teaching your kid how to fight, as bullies will fight till death
You can make then more mindful about the situation and teach them ways to fight the emotions imposed by others.
bullies will fight till death?
thats why you teach your kid to win? duh?
you're wrong but, still..
images (30).jpeg
There is no solution to bulling. You just punch them right in the nose. You do not think about it or anything. You just do it and that is the end of it. There is a line that people should not cross. If it is not worth a punch in the face then it is not bulling. Then it just means the other person is an asshole.
I would say you are doing god's work, but I thought about it, you havent turned anyone into salt or drowned an entire continent...
You're doing great tho


I think I was only bullied one time, and I beat his ass, worked great, I highly recommend it.
 

Elen

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Oh! That reminds me. @Thurlor how is your kid doing? In my experience bullying at that age can get ugly and go on for a long time.
 

Ex-User (15237)

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There is no solution to bulling. You just punch them right in the nose. You do not think about it or anything. You just do it and that is the end of it. There is a line that people should not cross. If it is not worth a punch in the face then it is not bulling. Then it just means the other person is an asshole.
" Note taken "
 

Niclmaki

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I was only bullied once in elementary and once in highschool. I fought back both times and the bullying stopped there.

My cousin’s lil one is currently being bullied in elementary school. She told the teachers and they basically said, “oh, we’re not gonna do anything about it”. (Seriously, they didn’t even attempt to hide it behind a, “we’ll keep an eye out”. Just a flat out - we’re not gonna do anything.)

Now, I’d like to imagine there is some enlightened way to resolve the situation, but I cannot.
 

Elen

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My cousin’s lil one is currently being bullied in elementary school. She told the teachers and they basically said, “oh, we’re not gonna do anything about it”. (Seriously, they didn’t even attempt to hide it behind a, “we’ll keep an eye out”. Just a flat out - we’re not gonna do anything.)
Well that's horrible. Did they try to hide behind the "this is normal for their age" excuse?

No matter how young and no matter the skill level of the kids the teachers set the tone of a classroom. Being a teacher isn't an easy job but they should do something to help the kids navigate strife.

My own kid is very young and so far has only been bullied once. He was 3 at the time and didn't really understand what was going on plus he as an expressive language delay so he struggles with explaining his point of view. The teachers sat the kids down and had a talk about not hitting and empathy. They had a couple of bullies that year and ended up spending a few months focusing on identifying feelings and how to handle them constructively. The bullying effectively stopped. The following year the bullies left the school.

One of them lives across the street from me. They are more the "let the kids fight it out" types. It just seems so lazy to take that route instead of teaching kids how to better understand the world. But then sometimes people are weasily self serving assholes and just need to be punched.
 

Niclmaki

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My cousin’s lil one is currently being bullied in elementary school. She told the teachers and they basically said, “oh, we’re not gonna do anything about it”. (Seriously, they didn’t even attempt to hide it behind a, “we’ll keep an eye out”. Just a flat out - we’re not gonna do anything.)
Well that's horrible. Did they try to hide behind the "this is normal for their age" excuse?

No matter how young and no matter the skill level of the kids the teachers set the tone of a classroom. Being a teacher isn't an easy job but they should do something to help the kids navigate strife.

My own kid is very young and so far has only been bullied once. He was 3 at the time and didn't really understand what was going on plus he as an expressive language delay so he struggles with explaining his point of view. The teachers sat the kids down and had a talk about not hitting and empathy. They had a couple of bullies that year and ended up spending a few months focusing on identifying feelings and how to handle them constructively. The bullying effectively stopped. The following year the bullies left the school.

One of them lives across the street from me. They are more the "let the kids fight it out" types. It just seems so lazy to take that route instead of teaching kids how to better understand the world. But then sometimes people are weasily self serving assholes and just need to be punched.
He just turned 5. He’s an only child who gets a LOT of 1 on 1 adult attention. So, he may have some learning of how to get along with peers. If their intention is for him to learn, I don’t think it should be done through suffering if possible. It was never a problem until now, he’s never had to deal with malice.

My cousin’s solution is soon going to be just to switch schools.
 

Elen

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My cousin’s solution is soon going to be just to switch schools.
That may be for the best. If the teachers are not supportive of conflict resolution then it is time to find a different school.

There are lots of only children these days. I think the argument that kids need siblings in order to be well adjusted is outdated. Though generally kids who grow up as onlys with a dedicated parent do often navigate the adult realm better than the kid realm but we are kids for a short time then we become adults. I kind of wonder if onlys basically skip the intervening steps of childhood communication. They learn to communicate within the boundaries of their most common companions and if it is adults they naturally learn to converse with adults.
 

Niclmaki

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My cousin’s solution is soon going to be just to switch schools.
That may be for the best. If the teachers are not supportive of conflict resolution then it is time to find a different school.

There are lots of only children these days. I think the argument that kids need siblings in order to be well adjusted is outdated. Though generally kids who grow up as onlys with a dedicated parent do often navigate the adult realm better than the kid realm but we are kids for a short time then we become adults. I kind of wonder if onlys basically skip the intervening steps of childhood communication. They learn to communicate within the boundaries of their most common companions and if it is adults they naturally learn to converse with adults.
Hmmm I never thought about that, but I think you’re onto something. My friends from school that were “onlys” were fairly awkward to be around. It was never so far off that they were ostracized. But you are right, one ought to outgrow those childish ways of relating anyways.

There is some utility in having known that ‘realm’ better I would argue. Eg. When you have kids of your own, relating to others’ kids, or if you become a teacher of small children yourself.
 

sushi

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There is no solution to bulling. You just punch them right in the nose. You do not think about it or anything. You just do it and that is the end of it. There is a line that people should not cross. If it is not worth a punch in the face then it is not bulling. Then it just means the other person is an asshole.
get law enforcement to open a file ? make it applicable around 14 15 age

tax the parents

force bullies to visit the victim's house make mandatory apology/eastern bowing to the victim after certain years
 

nanook

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Normally bullys are like cops who violently enforce a certain value system. It could be any crazy ass value system of their parent's household, but often its the value system of the school or of capitalism. The person who is bullied is someone who is openly being oblivious to this value system. For example a value system of guys is that you do not run to authorities but sort out conflict with your peers all by yourself. There may not be any conflict and you may hang out with teachers for fun. That's already an insult to the value system. You are afraid of your peers but to them it implies that you judge your peers and think you are something better, like the authorities. Now they will attack you for that until you feel that you are worse. To make you feel your dependency on them. You can't just depend on authorities. You have to earn respect of your peers, by giving them respect. Acknowledge your membership = dependency. The reason for why how you feel about yourself or how you understand and forgive your bully does not improve your situation is because you are still living in violation to the values of your other peers. They dont act like cops who enforce the law, but they feel the same and diss' you passive aggressively. And that is why they are apologizing the bullies behavior. Sometimes other peers are flexible in terms of what values they display. The bully is their leader and causes them to enact his own values. If he goes away, they will enact different values. Suddenly your values may be compatible with theirs. This video gives an example of this:
 

fishhead

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I used to bully a kid back in primary school and now that I look back on it, I don't think excuses can be made about bullying. Sure, at the time I did not know about the illness that kid bore and had I terrible friends that influenced me negatively, but ultimately I did do the bullying and I should own up to it. Luckily my teacher at the time stopped me before things got out of hand and made me apologize. It took me a couple of years to realize what a piece of shit I was back then and to work my way towards becoming a better human.
 

sushi

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Putin and elon musk were bullied and look how they turned out
 
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