Monday, June 4, 2012

a better self-conception

The Thinking Mother: I applaud the fact that another book has been published on bullying. It is clear that Jay McGraw cares about this issue and wants bullying eradicated, something he and I agree upon. However the book puts too much blame on the victim. The book’s strong point is trying to get the victim to have a better self-conception and to gain courage to try to stop it. The reality of the situation is that bullying is complex and not easily solved. I doubt it can be solved by the victim suddenly changing to be super self-confident and suddenly exuding leadership skills to be a change-agent in their community. Followers can’t suddenly become leaders. Introverted kids can’t will themselves to convert to being assertive extroverts. Uncharismatic and unpopular victims won’t easily win the support of the bystander school peers who are concerned first and foremost with their own selves. A lot of the unchangeable nature of a child’s personality defines their place in the pecking order that American public schools cultivate. A child, especially one who lacks self-esteem and has been victimized, sometimes for years, can’t suddenly change who they are to become Top Dog or become popular, just as they can’t will themselves to be accepted in some of the more powerful and higher regarded cliques. Those sad facts help the bully-bystander-victim cycle continue today as it has been happening for hundreds (thousands?) of years (Jay McGraw's Life Strategies for Dealing with Bullies Book Review).

Jay Phillip McGraw (born September 12, 1979 in Wichita County, Texas) is the son of Phil McGraw of The Dr. Phil Show and Robin McGraw. He has one younger brother, Jordan (a musician). He has written several books aimed at young people. He has also appeared on The Dr. Phil Show. McGraw is President and CEO of Stage 29 Productions in Los Angeles, a company he co-founded with his father. He has served as Executive Producer on several prime-time "Dr. Phil" specials. He appeared as host of Renovate My Family, which aired on Fox. McGraw attended Greenhill School, he is a graduate of the University of Texas, receiving a B.S. in Psychology. He earned his law degree from Southern Methodist University. He is executive producer of the TV series, "The Doctors." McGraw wed Playboy model Erica Dahm at his parents' home in Beverly Hills. A reception for 400 guests followed the ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel. In March 2010, Dahm gave birth to the couple's first daughter, Avery Elizabeth. In April 2011, McGraw and his wife announced they were expecting their second child in September 2011 (Wikipedia).

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Bullying is an abusive treatment, the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when habitual and involving an imbalance of power. It may involve verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed persistently towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability. The "imbalance of power" may be social power and/or physical power. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a "targeted individual" (Wikipedia).