Bullying: A Big Complicated Problem with Many Simple Solutions

If each one of us untangled one string at a time...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sibling Bullying and Joshua's Dilemma

Here’s a tricky situation. What happens when siblings bully each other? Most parents never consider the usual “sibling stuff” as bullying. They chalk it up to sibling rivalry but it can cross the line.

Joshua is eleven and is harassed at school. It’s a hard thing to stop because the particular class he’s in has about 5 boys who put other kids down and encourage each other’s mean spirited behavior. To the school’s credit, they are planning to switch the class up and move a few kids to another class next year but for right now, every day is miserable for Joshua who has tried everything.

Now, feeling deflated, he goes home every day where he gets picked on by his older and younger brother, too. He is constantly told that he’s stupid and a “baby.” (By the way, Joshua is far from stupid but his grades don’t reflect his capabilities.)
The abuse at home is escalating but the parents don’t recognize that it’s gotten worse. They’ve turned it off. Joshua’s parents have stuck up for him at school but at home they turn a blind eye.

Let’s hear from the experts.

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