The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School--How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence

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Harper Collins, Feb 3, 2004 - Education - 218 pages
3 Reviews

Practical solutions to a problem that may affect 80% of school children.

Drawing on her decades of work with troubled youth and her wide experience with conflict resolution and reconciliatory justice, bestselling parenting educator Barbara Coloroso offers a practical and compassionate book destined to become a groundbreaking guide to this escalating problem.

Coloroso helps readers recognize the characteristic triad of bullying: the bully who perpetrates the harm; the bullied who is the target (and who may become a bully); and the bystander––peers, siblings, or adults who don't act to defuse the situation. Readers learn:

o What bullying is and what it isn't; the three kinds of bullying; and the differences and similarities between boy and girl bullies

o How to read the subtle clues that a child is being bullied

o Seven steps to take if your child is a bully

o Four abilities that protect your child from succumbing to a bully

o Why zero tolerance policies can equal zero thinking

o Why contempt, not anger, drives bullying, and how to confront this in bullies.

o o Bullying is a widespread problem. In a 2001 study by the Kaiser Foundation in conjunction with Nickelodeon TV network and Children Now, 86% of children ages 12–15 interviewed said they get teased or bullied at school––making bullying more prevalent than smoking, alcohol, drugs, or sex among the same age group. Barbara Coloroso is an award wining author. Parenting Through Crisis and Kids Are Worth It! each won a Parent's Guide Award 2001 from Parent's Guide to Children's Media.

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The Bully the bullied and the Bystander

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This is a very useful book very well written. It gives you real insight into the problem of bullying in our schools. It also gives you real examples on how to help end this cycle of bullying.It is great to read if you are a parent. Read full review

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reviewed by Sara Walters
Carmarthen Wales UK
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 22 No. 5, September-October 2005, p. 220
When I was eight years old, a girl in my class, along with her henchman, interrupted
a game I was playing with my friends. Using the force of her personality to enlist my friends' support, I was pinned against a tree while the girls began dancing and chanting around me. After several minutes, my friends managed to whisper to me, as they skipped past, that they didn't mean it. I then made some comment about not enjoying the entertainment. Although the bully threatened me with "a good kicking," the incident did not happen again.
Barbara Coloroso never uses the word "entertainment" in her book, The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander, but she does view bullying as a kind of drama. Each character assumes a role and the behavior associated with it. Her book focuses on ways to rewrite the script by unlearning behavior, hence, breaking the cycle of violence.
Coloroso lives in Littleton, Colorado, USA, the scene of a horrific school shooting, which the author suggests was the result of constant bullying. She is very clear that the consequences of bullying can be fatal, potentially leading to either murder or suicide, and begins her book with a series of heartwrenching stories to illustrate this point. These stories are "tragedies," but they involve not just two main roles—the bully and the bullied—but also a third and pivotal character: the bystander. In reflecting on the role of the bystander, Coloroso shows us that bullying is everyone's problem, but because of this we can all be agents of change.
Full chapters define the roles of bully, bullied, and bystander. In Part Two, the author discusses ways to change a bully's behavior, support and empower a victim of bullying, and mobilize a bystander to become a witness. Coloroso's optimism in our power to affect change is evident throughout. The final chapter on schools and the community shows that while schools clearly have a crucial role in "rewriting the script," they often contribute to the problem.
Ultimately, Coloroso sees family life as the key. Readers who have nurtured and responded to their babies' needs and have adopted loving guidance as a means of discipline may derive some comfort from this book. From her descriptions, bullies are generally children who crave attention, lack self-esteem, and
and are severely lacking in empathetic skills. Their bullying does not spring from anger, but from contempt, and the only way they can feel good about themselves is by terrorizing someone else. In turn, bullied children may lack self-confidence and may feel that they deserve this treatment. This is not to suggest that any child could ever be responsible for the treatment received at the hands of a bully. But the child who feels well-loved and trusted may be more open in reporting the problem and in asserting his or her rights not to be treated this way. Finally, the bystander, in order to become a witness for the bullied child, needs to have inner courage and a moral conscience. Taking a stand against the bully can range from reporting the incident, to openly challenging the perpetrator, to quietly making friends with the victim. Whatever course of action, the helpful bystander is someone who possesses empathy and compassion.
Of course, there are no guarantees that we won't find ourselves parenting one of these characters, but Coloroso has helpful suggestions for enabling our children to learn a new script. Monitoring children's television viewing, encouraging productive and respectful friendships, and guiding children toward life-affirming activities are some of the steps parents can take. The author is clear, though, that punishing the bully is not the answer. Perpetuating an environment of contempt only continues the cycle of violence.
This very readable book is packed with useful definitions including the differences between teasing and taunting, flirting and

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About the author (2004)

Barbara Coloroso is the author of the international bestseller Kids Are Worth It! and Parenting Through Crisis and is an acclaimed speaker on parenting, teaching, conflict, resolution, and grieving. Featured in Time, the New York Times, and on many radio and television shows, she lives with her husband in Littleton, Colorado.

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