Tag Archives: bullies

Bullies and Boyhood

bulliesRecently, I read a book called, The Last Boys Picked: Helping Boys Who Don’t Play Sports Survive Bullies and Boyhood and wrote a review on it. In an effort to help kids who are not popular due to a lack of ability in athletics, I wanted to share the book and my review with you. The book is available on Amazon.

Bullies and Boyhood

The Last Boys Picked: Helping Boys Who Don’t Play Sports Survive Bullies and Boyhood hit home for me. I wish it had been available when my sons were young. I have painful memories of times when one of my sons was up at bat. Strike one. Strike Two. I begged God, “Please let him make contact with the ball. Please just let him make contact.“ Strike three. My heart broke as I watched his shoulders drop and his face look toward the ground as he walked back to the dugout.

At the time, I thought that this was part of growing up. Had I understood more about the process, I would have handled things differently. Dr. Edgette’s perspective and approach toward alleviating the pain inflicted on boys who are not “jocks” or even slightly athletic are insightful and long overdue. She highlights the means by which adults can help boys make their way through and survive the “all boys must play sports gauntlet.”

Because this book is specific to boys and sports, it zeroes in on how sports have been but should not continue be a requirement for a boy’s rite of passage into adulthood.

I highly recommend The Last Boys Picked: Helping Boys Who Don’t Play Sports Survive Bullies and Boyhood for parents and counselors alike.

Bullies are everywhere and adults often need help in identifying issues and sparking communications with their children. This book offers so much to help these children have an “easier go of it.”

Popular Bullying Targets

Bullying TargetsWhen a child is bullied, whose responsibility is it? There are arguments and there are laws but as of now there are no specific answers. It seems to depend on where the bullying occurred and how the bullying was committed. Critics often blame the schools and some blame the parents but what does blame accomplish? The answer is absolutely nothing!

If you have children who are popular, you may think that they will not be bullying targets. That is not true. Since there are more people who are concerned about the causes and repercussions of bullying, more studies are being done.

The fact used to be that popular kids ruled the schools and sometimes that is still true but sometimes it is not. No longer are just the kids who are “different” victimized. There is a recent study that shows that the number of bullying targets who are high on the socially successful ladder in school are at an increased risk of being teased, ostracized and threatened.

Bullying Targets Can Be Popular

This may not make sense to you but there is an explanation about popular bullying targets that does make sense. The reality is that the kids who are “almost” as popular Bullying Targetsare targeting their rivals in order to knock them down a few rungs. That is the “cheaters” way of stealing their places on the top rung of the popularity ladder.

Robert Faris, associate professor of sociology at the University of California Davis and Diane Felmlee, professor of sociology at Pennsylvania State University investigated the subject of bullying targets. Their findings were published in American Sociological Review. They studied more than 4,200 students in the eighth, ninth, and tenth grades during the 2004-2005 school year.

In the fall, they asked students to record their five closest friendships from which they created a “map” that indicated the shortest paths to the most students with a higher social status. The questions were asked again in the spring of the same academic year. They compared the answers with reports of students being victimized. The victimization included verbal insults, physical aggression, being the target of damaging rumors, and continued and relentless harassment.

An example of their findings regarding popular bullying targets:

Students who started the academic year in the 50th popularity percentile and moved into the 95th popularity percentile had a 25% increased chance of being bullied over those who remained in the 50th popularity percentile. This pertained to both boys and girls.

To be continued.

First Photo: Steven Pisano

Second Photo: SLU Cook Business

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