Bullying No Way!March 15th, 2019
The goal of my book, Scapegoat, is to help children who are experiencing family scapegoating realise that they are not to blame for bullying behaviour. It is important to educate the wider community and raise awareness about the hidden problem of family scapegoating or bullying of children.
A family scapegoat child will have experienced that bullying behaviour as normal. This might transfer into maladaptive ways of relating to others, and the school environment. The Scapegoat Family models a system of maladaptive coping mechanisms, from high conflict competing to paralysing avoidance. This family bullying is directly linked to children being bullied in other areas of life, being bullies themselves or being an enabler to another bully.
A child bullied at home may be an easy target to bullies at school as they often have a very low sense of self-worth or confidence. They tend to believe their parents’ bullying comments and that there is something wrong with them which causes them to deserve this kind of treatment.
A child who watches their parents bully a scapegoat sibling learns that bullying, shaming and blaming is a normal behaviour. Learning to survive in this scapegoating family may lead them to become a bully at school themselves, as they see the bullying behaviour modelled at home.
Or the children in the family from a scapegoating family might show apathy or enabling behaviour, supporting a bully. This could be why some children will support and encourage a bully at school, as it is a behaviour learned from watching a parent who enables a bullying parent. This behaviour – the failure to speak up about bullying behaviour – is learned too.
Children raised in a scapegoating family learn not to talk about bullying or to trust their feelings about it. The bullying is allowed but the talking about it is not. The reason for the silence could be the genuine need to survive and to avoid the bully at home, and might require that they too target the scapegoat.
Schools have many resources to learn and discuss the bullying behaviour. However, until the education system is able to effectively educate children about the family scapegoat mechanism, bullying behaviour will remain present in schools and homes in our world.
Tags: bullying, children, indie author, mental health, scapegoat
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