On Monday night there was a lecture on Anti-Bullying at my daughter's school. HighMark High Five gives grants to schools for an Anti-Bullying assembly. The premise is that children who are bullied are more likely to miss school either because they are afraid or they are sick. Dr. Jay Carter is the author of the bestselling book Nasty People. He co-authored the book Taking the Bully by the Horns with Kathy Noll.
I was eager to attend the parents session. I wanted ask what the appropriate use of self-defense is in a bullying situation. Several people cautioned me to be careful about my questions at the seminar so I did not give the wrong impression. My brother told me what he would do. He suggested I approach the parents of the bullies after the seminar.
I pulled into the school parking lot.
There were no cars in the lot. I walked into an auditorium full of empty chairs. The session began in five minutes and there were only three people in the audience. A woman in the second row looked at me and shrugged her shoulders. I said "I am shocked". The principal heard me and nodded. Eventually a group of about thirty people sat down to listen to the talk. Dr. Carter explained the dynamics of the Bully, signs of bullying, statistics of bullying and intervention. The talk focused on the psychology of the bully.
People have tendencies. We are either more physical or more cognitive.
Executive function is a set of cognitive abilities that control and regulate abilities and behavior. They include the ability to initiate and stop actions, to monitor and change behavior as needed, and to plan future behavior when faced with novel tasks and situations. Executive functions allow us to anticipate outcomes and adapt to changing situations. The ability to form concepts and think abstractly are often considered components of executive function. Read more: http://www.minddisorders.com/Del-Fi/Executive-function.html#ixzz0SUXHQ8SL
Executive function is developed in adolescence.
Bullies usually have physical tendencies and a lack of executive function.
Martial arts are excellent because it provides physical activity and a code of ethics.
It was clearly apparent, from the audience questions, that the parents in the room were NOT the parents of the bullies. The main message of the program was that bullies need to be identified early, nurtured and mentored to make different choices.
Not what I expected.
More thoughts on the seminar to follow.....