Seemingly everyone is talking about bullying and the places it’s most likely to happen – schools, online, the school bus – but how do you explain the concept of bullies to young kids?
A simple example has been floating around Facebook lately, and all it takes is one little sheet of blank paper.
Supposedly, it started with a a teacher in New York who handed out a piece of paper to each student in her class, and then asked them to crumple it up, smash it, stomp on it and otherwise beat it to hell… without ripping it.
After that, she asked each child to unfold their sheet, smooth it out, and try to get it to look as good as it did before they started the exercise. Naturally, everyone’s sheet of paper stayed creased, rumpled and dirty.
Then, the teacher asked the kids to apologize to the paper.
They did, and she then pointed out that even though they said they were sorry, the wrinkles and creases still didn’t come off, no matter how hard they tried to fix them.
That’s what happens when a child bully’s another child.
The bully might apologize, but the damage is already done.
I like this teacher.
And if it’s just a made up story floating around the Facebook-sphere, I still like it, because I think it helps kids really see what it means to be mean to others.
That being said, who’s going to come up with an easy way to explain how to handle it?
Until then, do you think this exercise helps kids understand bullying?