The Bullies Are Back
Pediatrician Offers Tips To Help Kids Combat School Harassment
BY DR. PETER KAROFSKY
As children across the U.S. head back to school this fall, it’s safe to assume many parents, with good reason, still worry about bullying.
Seven years ago, the United States Department of Education actively began programs to combat school bullying. On the surface, the programs are working. According to data analyzed by the National Center for Education Statistics, 32 percent of 12- to 18-year-olds reported being bullied at school in 2007. By 2013, that number had dropped to 22 percent. Additionally, a new study published in May in the journal Pediatrics found that the prevalence of bullying and related behaviors generally decreased over a 10-year period between 2005 and 2014.
That’s good news in general, but not-so-good-news if your child is one who’s still facing harassment.
As a pediatrician for more than four decades, I lost count of the cases I saw in both roles—both the child who bullies and the one who is singled out for torment. In a way, classrooms of children are not unlike fish in fish tanks. The “dominant” fish will chase the submissive ones.
At the same time, a picked-on child can also become increasingly aggressive if he or she perceives another youngster as weaker. A bullied child in one situation may become the bully in another. (more…)
Slop Bucket Full of Promise
Middle-Aged Realtor Starts Over As ‘Cater Waiter’
BY JIM MCCLEARY
I’m a college graduate in my early 50s, working a $20-an-hour job clearing dirty dishes off tables at black-tie events. Back when I had money and good income, I used to attend these functions, clad in tux and tails. Now I’m little more than background noise in these expansive ballrooms.
I never could have taken this job where I used to live, my hometown for more than 40 years. I was a professional real estate investor and agent and ran with a pretty sophisticated crowd. When the economy tanked during the Great Recession and everything hit the fan, I abandoned the ruins of my hometown and what remained of my real estate career.
Turns out, things weren’t so inviting in the workforce for somebody with my skills. I never dreamed times would get so tough that my best option was going to be essentially blue-collar work. In this case, catering. It’s a job I never would have taken in my hometown. I knew too many people and I couldn’t bear the thought of a friend or former colleague asking me for a doggie bag. (more…)