Punishment Will Not Help Stop Bullying

By Charles Andrews, Parent Herald September 21, 11:34 pm

In attempts made by parents, teachers, or other authoritative figures to prevent bullying, one thing they must understand is that punishing the bully does not solve the problem. It is even counterproductive.

For the longest time, bullying has been around plaguing schools and playgrounds and even homes, with around 22 percent of students in school being bullied according to a poll by Pacer in 2015. All may have experienced being bullied at least once in their life, in one way or another. Bullying comes in various forms, and it victimizes those who don't speak out and keep to themselves that they are in fact being bullied.

According to the author of "The Myth of the Spoiled Child," Alfie Kohn via Education Week, punishment does not solve the bullying problem to it's core, as bullies might not realize or understand the depth of what they are doing and might continue to do so if they think they could get away with it. With that in mind, that what they are doing would be fine as long as they won't get caught, the punished child will become more creative in going about his deeds, by doing them while hiding the evidence or lying.

Kohn says that punishment itself could be the root of bullying, as punishment comes from a person with a higher authority, say a parent, who in a way hurts someone with less to no power, say a child, for an undesirable deed done by the latter, which in a way, is similar to bullying. This leads the recipient of the punishment to become angry and frustrated and to think that they can get their way by using force over someone with less power, and so they become more focused on self-interests.

The best way to deal with bullies is to work with them, instead of intimidating them with punishment for an act they shouldn't do. The sooner that parents and educators understand this, the sooner bullying can be eradicated for good. Kohn says that our actions must not resemble bullying, so that children may not learn of it.

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