Bullies abound.....the news plasters their stories everywhere then try to get you to feel sorry for them by pointing out they were bullied, just misunderstood victims.
My sister took on the meme on Facebook that talks about bullies always existing so train children to stand up to them....
The worse bullies I knew were the adults in my life. I called it what it is abusers. Bullies are abusers. I took a class with our school district that broke down the bully, audience, and victim triad. Many people will say that they were alone with the bully. It was sneaky, behind peoples backs. That is just it, the audience was everyone else. If the victim claims the 'nice' person is a bully they are told they are too sensitive, can't take a joke, unreasonable, too soft and many other ways of shaming for not 'putting up' with the bullies behavior. Standing up to bullies could land the victim in the hospital...the 'harmless' bully isn't always. Choosing how to handle a bully situation can vary widely.
Trying different approaches to the problem are sometimes needed. Taming the bully with kindness is one of the paradoxes that works, sometimes. A child reported to the parent that the neighbor boy was bullying him. A plate of cookies and a home visit turned a bully into a friend. Another interesting solution is positive peer pressure. The audience surrounds the victim and lets the bully know that they made themselves an outsider. This works when the bully is looking for acceptance. Then there are bullies intent on doing harm. Legislation does give an avenue to prosecute. The boy that terrorized the little 6th grader online cross state lines and no jurisdiction covered the crime so it wasn't considered a crime. The only thing that happened was his mother nearly lost her job and was put on probation at her job. His mother allowed him to use her work computer unsupervised. Most of the time the parents make it easy for online bullying and other cruelty to go unchecked. Rather than correcting poor behavior they mumble, "Kids are just being kids" or "It is a part of childhood." The irony is how often the tables are turned and victims are blamed for the bullies behavior. Its craziness. Laws can help with giving an avenue of recourse but it won't stop the bullies any more than laws against killing stops murders. I do believe in getting involved at school, church and community levels. I also believe in getting to know your children's friends, where they hang out, and monitor online activity. Teaching respect for self and others, the golden rule, and other basic kindness rules is a step towards keeping your child from becoming a bully. Teaching them self respect, self acceptance, and Karate goes along way to keep them from becoming victims. One of our kids was being terrorized at school. The school wouldn't do anything about it. Yes, I took him to karate classes with a special request for self defense. It worked. Now, I take Karate myself. It works. No more bullies for me.
Resource for information on bullying: