May 14th, 2008

ozarque figure

Linguistics; verbal self-defense; kids; part two (final)...

First, I thank you for all your comments and responses. They're interesting, and they're helpful. And then I have just a couple of very brief things to say...

About the thesis stated by briar_witch's husband:
"What my experience has taught me, is that some persons will respond ONLY to a direct and aggressive counter-attack, intended to make continued aggression so unpleasant and counter-productive that they will leave you strictly alone in the future. Anything short of that is seen as weakness and an invitation to continue the bullying/improper aggression."

I can say only that I've worked in conflict resolution for more than thirty years, and have had the good fortune never to encounter an individual of that kind. If I did encounter one, my judgment would be that the situation represents illness -- pathology -- and that what's needed in such a case is the attention of a skilled therapist. It would be a situation that I consider to be far beyond the boundaries of my expertise.

And then there is the idea, stated by a number of you, that what's required to control bullying in children is adult intervention. I agree with you wholeheartedly that adults who find themselves witnessing bullying should not just stand there; they should intervene. But I don't believe that adult intervention is a solution to the problem. The usual consequences of adult intervention are (a) that the kids doing the bullying immediately learn to be far more careful to do it where adults can't see it happening, and (b) that the kids doing the bullying will take out their anger about the adult intervention on their targets, making the bullying more intense and more vicious.

What does help is peer intervention. We need children who are skilled at conflict resolution and have been trained in peer mediation.
ozarque figure

Personal note; status update...

Where I am this morning....

1. Weather

The thunderstorms predicted for yesterday and last night got postponed to today and tonight, so they're still on my calendar. And I am now throughly ashamed of myself for whining about them, given the weather catastrophes in Burma/Myanmar and in China.

2. Emergency/crash/has-to-be-done-yesterday project

As always happens with these, I can't get started on the urgent work because I have to wait on a giant bureaucracy to make the first move. Than which few things are more frustrating.

3. First verbal self-defense book revision project

My proposed first draft, short a few bells and whistles that have to be done at the very last minute, goes to my editor today. And then I will wait, as it winds its way from reader to reader, to find out whether it's considered satisfactory or not.

4. Combination of #2 and #3

Both projects, both with deadlines rushing at me, are now on hold for a period of time that I can't predict and have no control over. Than which few things are more frustrating. Which means that the wisest move for me is to start writing the July/August newsletters now, so that they'll be done -- at least in rough draft, ready for updating -- when I'm finally able to start work on #2 and #3 again.

5. Mood

Stoical elderly. I don't think there's an icon for that.